TULSA - The match-up that many basketball fans in Oklahoma have longed for will happen on Friday.
That's when Verdigris star and University of Arkansas signee Rotnei Clarke and Pawnee standout and Oklahoma State signee Keiton Page – the two leading active scorers in Oklahoma prep basketball – will meet for the first time in a high school game.
The match-up between good friends will happen at 2 p.m. at the Expo Square Pavilion in the loser's bracket of the 43rd annual Cherokee Nation Enterprises Tournament of Champions.
"Everybody wants to make a big deal of it – Keiton and Rotnei matched up – but to me it is not that big of a deal," Clarke said. "We're good friends, but we probably won't even match up. They play zone unless they try to go junk or something. We probably won't play man because he is too good of a player to go 1-on-1 with. It's not really a match-up, but we will have fun with it."
The 6-1, 180-pound Clarke currently has 2,833 career points and the 5-10, 170-pound Page has 2,573 as both chase Ty Harman's state-record mark of 3,639.
Both young men scored over half of their team's points in opening round losses on Thursday.
Clarke, who has been over 40 points four times this season, had 28 points as Oklahoma City Bishop McGuiness downed Verdigris 49-38 with UA assistant Tom Ostrom looking on.
Bishop McGuiness jumped to a 25-9 lead in the second quarter, but Clarke scored the last 11 points of the half.
The Cardinals tied it 34-34 in the third quarter, but Ryan Randolph had 8 of his 22 points down the stretch to lift the Irish to the win.
Daniel Orton, McGuiness' 6-10, 260-pound junior center, had 8 points.
"We knew they were going to double team me," Orton said. "…We knew I would have to post and repost and just kick it back out and have them shoot threes all day. Coach said we were going to have to get 10 to 15 assists."
Page had 40 points – his third time over that mark this season - but Jenks downed Pawnee 70-60.
That set up the Clarke-Page showdown.
"I think it's a game that everybody is looking forward to," Page said Terry Tush of GoPokes.com on Wednesday afternoon.
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