The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 27, 2012

Familiar name leading Ketchum

Larry Callison, in the 1994-95 prep basketball season, coached Ketchum’s boys to the Oklahoma Class A championship.

Those Warriors overall finished 26-3 — beating Hooker 68-66 for the title in the State Fair Arena at Oklahoma City — and 16-0 in the Lucky ‘7’ Conference.

Now, the current Warriors, who’ve rejoined the Lucky ‘7’ Conference, are possible Class 2A contenders under Grant Callison.

Grant Callison, 28, is Larry’s son and in his first season as the head coach after assisting dad last season.

Dad is retired, Grant said. The parents — Arland is mom — live at Claremore and dad plans to work three days a week during season at Patriot Golf Club in Owasso.

Grant Callison’s Warriors are 11-0, ranked ninth in Class 2A and 4-0 in the expanded Lucky ‘7’ Conference.

Callison said the Warriors usually utilize nine players and the coach appreciates their intangibles.

“We’re very unselfish,” Callison said. “Part of that is because we’ll have three point guards on the floor at one time. The team plays hard on the defensive end.

“We’ve played very well early in the season,” Callison said. “We knew we would be able to score. We aren’t doing a very good job of defensive rebounding. We need to become more physical.”

Callison, who’s assisted by Chris Bacon, listed seven returning starters in a preseason questionnaire returned to the Globe.

They are 6-foot-3 senior Jeylyn Sharpe, 6-0 senior Trae Fairchild, 6-3 senior Tyler Cupp, 6-3 junior Tristen Pendley, 6-2 junior Brock Knoten, 6-1 junior Roman Graham and 6-1 sophomore Tanner Mouse.

Quinton Inman, a 5-7 junior, and 5-5 freshman Jayson Knox, described by Callison as “quick as a cat,” complete the leading nine.

Sharpe is averaging 22.9 points and 11 rebounds after averages of 23.7 and 13.8 in those categories in 2011-12. Fairchild, who’s headed for Arkansas-Fort Smith to play golf, and Pendley also are scoring in double figures at 12.5 and 13.5, respectively. Mouse is adding double-figure scoring and seven assists.

Sam Fairchild, Trae’s dad, has the Ketchum girls off to a 10-1 start and No. 14 ranking.

Callison, a graduate of Eufaula High School and Northeastern State of Tahlequah, said the Warriors resume on Jan. 4 by visiting Foyil.

Then the Locust Grove Tournament will have Ketchum opening against rival Class 3A No. 7 Adair.

“We’ll get tested (at Locust Grove),” Callison said.

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