There won't be any kind of parade for whoever wins the Lake Country Conference title. It won't change the playoff picture and certainly has no effect on the already-seeded district tournaments.

But don't try convincing the members of the Madill, Plainview and Sulphur basketball teams it doesn't matter.

"Area people keep with it and so do we," Wildcats coach Aaron George said. "It matters to them and it matters to us."

Plainview head coach Jeremy Stewart had similar sentiments.

"It's just these guys growing up, playing in the conference, against each other, from the sixth grade on," Stewart said. "It gets to where it's bragging rights."

The Wildcats, Indians and Bulldogs all head into the final week of the season with a chance at the LCC title. Plainview fell to Sulphur in a 42-37 double OT thriller on Jan. 22, while Madill topped the Bulldogs 56-47 last Friday. Madill's lone conference loss came against Marietta on Feb. 5.

Now, the Wildcats and Indians face off tonight in Madill, with the winner earning at least a share of the LCC title. Sulphur has to win against Kingston, and Bulldogs coach Chase Todd is interested to see how events unfold.

"I'm really proud of these guys and what they've accomplished because there weren't a lot of people who thought they would do this," Todd said. "For us, it's just win and no matter what, we're co-conference champs."

The three teams have all had stellar seasons to this point. Plainview (19-3) is here on the wings of leading scorer Deric Shelton and a strong defensive unit. Sulphur (15-7) uses a balanced perimeter game and defensive prowess. Madill (15-7) relies on tempo and an offensive onslaught.

"I've been blessed with a bunch of above-average players and I think that makes it harder to game plan around us," George said. "On the other hand, that makes it so that it takes two or three of them to guard one great player."

That is the problem the Wildcats will face tonight in Shelton, who is coming off a 24-point performance against Lone Grove on Senior Night.

"Pray. A lot," George said when asked about how to defend Shelton. "But really, you just have to be aware of where he is and be ready to help a teammate quickly."

Spencer White