2 state tournament basketball teams, 1 coach with his own hoop history, and 1 Gold Ball

OKLAHOMA CITY - Hopes, dreams, hoops, hardwood - how can so much emotion be concentrated in such a small space?

Every year, eight of the best small town high school basketball teams in Oklahoma converge on the OKC Metro to compete for a championship. Boys and girls, Class A and Class B.

For towns like Frontier and Cyril, this year marks a rare double. Both boys and girls teams made it to the state tournament.

For Cyril's coach, Shane McLemore, the feat is rarer still. He's the head coach of both teams.

"I've coached these boys since they were in the 4th Grade," McLemore said. "We've got a really good group of girls. We've got three seniors that are extremely great kids."

The town of Cyril was extra quiet on Friday morning.

School was cancelled on account of the games.

The home gym was empty except for the banners and pictures that tell the story of a 1938 championship and of a special group of kids who grew up together, went to school together and played every sport together.

Both boys and girls formed the core of two great teams in the same era.

"They all know each other well. They all like each other, and they all like playing together. It's a good group," McLemore said.

Twenty-five years ago, McLemore was an All-State senior, part of a team that got to the state semi-finals.

McLemore coached his little brother and his sister to the state tournament.

This year, McLemore has a son and daughter on his teams, each wearing the number 14 jersey but only one with extra duty.

"It's hard to do both," he said, "especially when you get to this level and you have to do all the scouting, but I'll tell you what - that's the town I come from."

The Frontier girls win by a whisker Thursday night.

The Frontier boys lose to Cyril's boys.

Cyril's girls team loses to Smithville, another small Oklahoma town.

The seniors who've been together all their lives - some will fight on, others will go home.

One team in each bracket ends their season with a win, but the small town journey is something they'll never forget.

The Cyril Class A boys team won their first Gold Ball since 1938 Saturday afternoon with a 57-52 win over Fort Cobb-Broxton. Fort Cobb had won the previous 4 state titles.

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