Broken Arrow Express
GOING UP: Broken Arrow’s Tony Hall drives to the basket against Union in a recent game in B.A.
KEVIN ADAMS for GTR Newspapers
Junior Caleb Huffman is the man putting up points for Broken Arrow, but he gets help from senior teammate Tony Hall. As a matter of fact, the pair are like a balanced attack.
Sometimes Hall, a 6-4 guard, may finish as the scoring leader. Such was the case when he posted nine points in Broken Arrow’s low-scoring 39-29 win against Bishop Kelley on Feb. 17.
Broken Arrow persevered through a struggling campaign last year as it went 9-17. But most of the victories came down the stretch, setting up the springboard for this season. As of Feb. 17, the Tigers had completed the regular season with a 17-6 record and ranked eighth in the state Class 6A poll.
“We knew it from last year that we could be something,” Hall says. “It was our responsibility to score and be the leaders on the team then. It transitioned to this year as the leadership just grew a little bit more. Caleb has the ability to score a lot because of his speed and athleticism. We have two big roles we have to do. It feels good knowing that I get to go in the game and come out and have fun with my friends and stuff. Just going in there and compete basically, that’s pretty much it, just having fun.”
Hall has confidence in a way that makes him versatile.
“I’m the all-around player,” he says. “There is no specific thing I do that just stands out. I can do everything. That’s bringing the energy. I just have an all-around game that most players may not have, so I consider myself like the glue that can do everything so I can bring everybody together.”
When both Hall and Huffman have big games, opponents will find themselves having a difficult time.
“Everyone else will feed off our energy,” Hall says. “Once we get that going, there is no stopping us.”
The key to success for this year’s Tiger team, Hall says, has been just being a team.
“That’s what it all comes down to,” he says. “We love each other, like on and off the court, so there’s no fighting. We don’t have to worry about that. We go into the locker room, we’re happy. We all bond together this year. Last year, we didn’t mix along very well with some of the seniors. They were doing their own thing and we were trying to keep going. It paid off this year and everything is clicking. We just bond and there hasn’t been any fighting among us.
“If there is anger on the court, that is just us competing. But after practice, we know we’re still going to be good. We’re just pushing each other this year,” Hall says.
Hall sees a variety of athletic abilities in his teammates.
“We have different athletic abilities,” he says. “As far as jumping high, that would be Caleb and Braden Boyer. Especially Caleb, he can jump out the gym. Caleb is probably one of the most athletic kids I have ever seen and Braden Boyer is pretty fast for his size too and can jump high. A majority of our guards are quick. Some can jump higher than others, pretty much.”
At this writing, the Tigers were set to meet Stillwater in the first round of the regional tournament on Feb. 24 at Booker T. Washington.
Prior to the postseason, a victory against OKC Douglass, No. 2 in Class 3A, in the semifinals of the John Nobles Tournament in Moore, was Broken Arrow’s most memorable game of the season, Hall says.
“I just put the nerves away and played my game and I played as hard as I could and it kind of clicked,” he says. “I knew they (Douglass) were the tough team, they were going to be scrappy and we’re going to have to get boards. So I play really hard and I ended up coming up with 20 rebounds and 20 points. I made a couple of great couple of great passes and stops on defense there. It was just fun, because we were just feeling the power and it was like a beast was going inside me.”
Hall said he knows this team can go all the way to state.
“Our toughest opponents will be Union and some OKC teams,” Hall says.