At a recent practice, Broken Arrow basketball coach Beau Wallace had a challenge for junior jumping jack Anthony Allen – how high could he jump?
The 6-5 forward didn’t disappoint.
“We tested his jumping ability the other day and he put his hand above the square,” said Wallace. “We were all pretty impressed with that.”
With his long wingspan and 36-inch vertical jump, Allen has been soaring to new heights this season. He’s been a solid contributor for the Tigers on offense, but he’s really shined on the defensive end.
“I love playing defense,” claimed Allen. “It’s my favorite part of playing. I like getting up and blocking people’s shots. You can have a bad offensive game, but you can always have a good defensive game. You can’t always control your shots falling, but you can always control how hard you play on defense.”
Tigers advance to the Class 6A East Regional Championship game with a 54-44 victory over Enid (Friday, Feb. 26). If you missed it, watch a replay HERE.
“He’s such a rim protector for us,” added Wallace. “Anthony plays a lot bigger than he is. You have to be aware of where he is at all times because he kind of comes out of nowhere. He’s got great timing when he jumps to block shots.”
Allen, who also plays for the Tulsa Hawks on the AAU circuit, is starting to receive attention from college recruiters.
“Ya, I’ve been starting to hear some things from some schools,” admitted Allen. “(Division II) Emporia State has reached out to me and asked me to come on an official visit.”
Postseason play begins for most teams this week and Broken Arrow is hosting one of the 6A regionals. Two games are on tap for Friday night, with Jenks and Sand Springs squaring off in the opener, and the Tigers facing Enid in the nightcap.
Photo Courtesy: Anthony AllenThe Tigers are shooting for a return to the state tournament, but Wallace doesn’t want his team looking ahead.
“That’s all we’ve been talking about with our kids is making sure you take care of the first game, especially at home,” remarked Wallace. “Enid is a good team and we’ve got to make sure we focus on that before we worry about Jenks or Sand Springs.”
“We just have to stay connected as a team,” chimed in Allen on what the Tigers have to do to make a deep run in the playoffs. “We’ve built up our chemistry really well this season. We have to guard on defense. Those are the main things because I know we have plenty of people that can put the ball in the hole. We just need our defense to be on point.”
“As long as I’m at Broken Arrow, we’re going to guard,” continued Wallace. “We’re going to put a lot of pressure on you and take things away. Obviously, the ball’s got to go in the hole. At the end of the day, you can guard all you want, but if you don’t make shots it’s hard to win games. We’ve got to continue to execute offensively and get shots that we want to get for our team.”