Newcastle’s boys basketball team opens districts Saturday against Harrah at home.
The Racers have a 19-4 overall record, No. 6 ranking, two tournament championships and one of the best starting lineups in 4A basketball. Six years ago, the Racers finished 6-19 without a tournament championship.
Don’t Call it a Breakout
Asked if its a breakout season for the Racers, which peaked at No. 5 this season, fifth-year head coach Jessie Brown says “no.”
“Our program has been on the rise since I have been here. These young men have really worked hard every year to change the culture and projection of our program,” Brown says. “This is what I expected out of these young men.”
Newcastle has made tremendous strides in each of the past three seasons, improving on its record year-over-year. Brown has coached each Newcastle team to above .500, but this year has been the best under Brown.
Game of the Year
Newcastle has only dropped one tournament game, a 79-76 decision against No.4 Douglass in the Sweet Pea championship (which has since been mentioned among the top games of the year in Oklahoma). Their other three losses have come against No. 1 Kingfisher, No. 3 Weatherford and No. 10 Tuttle.
“We definitely want that challenge again,” Brown says. “Those were lessons for us. We only played well on one of those games and that was against Douglass.”
The Racers live by an alliterative motto: proper preparation prevents poor performance. Teamwork is another emphatic feature of Brown’s coaching style.
“Group effort makes us tick,” Brown says. “We play our best ball when everyone is involved and locked in.”
Senior leaders like Connor Boydstun and Chase Sucharda, who recently became a 1,000-point scorer, have been instrumental in Newcastle’s rise.
Carlsheon Young, a sophomore who was recently named the No. 1 recruit in Oklahoma’s 2025 class and holds offers from Kansas, Oklahoma and Creighton, has provided a spark in the scorebook on a nightly basis.
“We have some really good young talent mixed with players that have been grinding through the process. They are starting to see the big picture,” Brown says. “First coming in, I had to be a mean fuss in order to get them to understand what a winning program looks like. . . ‘Adapt’ is the keyword.”
A win against Harrah will advance Newcastle to the regional tournament, where the Racers could advance to state with as few as two wins – for the first time in Newcastle history.
“We can win state because we have put in the work to win it. This group of young men have faced adversity all year long and has come out on top,” Brown says.
Saturday’s tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.