The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

February 20, 2013

Local teams enter make-or-break weekend in basketball playoffs

ENID, Okla. — Uh-oh.

A week ago, the Enid Pacers were on top of the world — ranked No. 7 in 6A, anyway — and entering their final three games of the regular season with a week of rest thanks to a snowed-out senior night game against rival Stillwater and the wind at their back after seven wins in eight tries.

Then, Enid lost two of three, the one win coming 49-41 against Lawton, a team the Pacers thumped 51-32 on Dec. 15. A loss in their next game, 6:30 tonight against Mustang in Tulsa Washington’s Region 2 bracket, would mean the end of the Pacers’ season.

Last season, an equally successful regular season leading to an equally hopeful postseason, ended with a surprising first-round exit after a 49-41 loss to Bartlesville.

So, uh-oh.

“Sure, it’s a worry of mine,” said Pacers coach Robb Mills. “It’s all in the back of our heads, but as a collective unit, we’ve got to regroup.”

More similarities between last season’s final game and the Pacers’ next one don’t help ease the concern. Like last season, Enid (17-5) is favored to advance past its

first-round elimination game. Bartlesville was a pedestrian 13-7 before ending Enid’s 2011-12 season, and Mustang is 6A’s No. 20 team, despite stumbling to a10-12 record.

The parallels are present. Then again, it seems, so is a newfound awareness of them.

“I think they (the Pacers) just know that they don’t want to go through that again,” said Courtney Chelf, one of two seniors and the Pacers’ only four-year starter. “We haven’t really talked too much about it, but I’m sure we will. I don’t want it to happen again.”

“I tried to remind them and showed them some film of games where we really played our best and what we’re capable of,” Mills said. “It happens in sports. People get upset. People don’t play well. We haven’t had a lot of games this season that we really just laid an egg and played bad. It just happened to be right now. What do you do with it? You get up. You get back up.”

In Enid’s favor, the Pacers are back at full strength after the surprising return of freshman starter Andi Pierce, who missed six games from Jan. 24-Feb. 12 with injuries to her shooting-side shoulder and upper arm that were first thought to be season-ending.

“It’s pretty good,” said Pierce, who scored a career-high-tying 13 against Lawton in her return to the lineup. “It’s feeling better. A little weak.”

Mustang has won two straight, beating Putnam City West and Yukon to snap a three-game slide, but hasn’t beaten a top-10 team in 2012-13 (0-4), and is 4-10 vs. top-20 teams.

A win against the Lady Broncos would set up a Region 2 title game against the winner of an 8 p.m. semifinal between Ponca City and host Booker T. Washington at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and would guarantee the Pacers at least a consolation berth in the area round starting Feb. 28.

“I told the girls (Tuesday), ‘In this room, everyone in here has to be all in and believe that we can be as good as we can, no matter what any of the naysayers say,’” Mills said.

Text Only
Sports
  • Minors lose in first round

    Wren Perry and Garrett Scudder combined for a two-hitter as the D-Bats Gallegos of Dallas run-ruled the Enid Minors 8-0 in six innings in the first round of the South Plains Regional Tuesday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

    July 22, 2014

  • Baseballpicture.jpg Majors open regional with Cherry Creek

    The Enid Majors (36-12) enter the Connie Mack South Plains Regional Tournament today at David Allen Memorial Ballpark coming off one of their best seasons in the past few years. Now, the pressure is on as they face Cherry Creek, Colo.,at 8:15 tonight.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Enid Event Center_28_BV.jpg Ballpark to observe Military Appreciation Night

    David Allen Memorial Ballpark hosts Military Appreciation Night tonight during the 6 and 8:15 games of the Connie Mack South Plains Regional Tournament.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Rory McIlroy: There's a new tiger in town

    His father introduced him to the game when he was small, putting a golf club in his hand when he was barely past the toddler stage.
    He fell in love with it and worked hard, improving steadily. He became a terrific junior player and quickly improved.
    He was touted as the next big thing and didn’t disappoint.
    Now, at the tender age of 25, he is a multiple major champion.
    Tiger Woods? Yes, once upon a tee time. But now those words are being spoken about Rory McIlroy.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days.jpg Gundy has big plans for Hill

    The picture became a little clearer Monday of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briles: Baylor swinging for the fences

    Coach Art Briles and Baylor arrived at Big 12 football media days as defending champions for the first time.
    Briles has a slightly different take on the Bears’ newfound standing.

    July 21, 2014

  • Radio-TV for 7-22-14

    July 21, 2014

  • Big12.jpg Big 12 commissioner says 'change is coming' in college sports

    That was the theme of Monday's state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Worrell takes 8th at Firekeeper Classic

    July 20, 2014

  • Fowler happy with runner-up finish

    For ex-Oklahoma State star Rickie Fowler, this is getting downright familiar.
    He’s not complaining.
    For the second time this summer, Fowler played in the final group of a major championship, failed to overcome a big deficit, and settled for the runner-up spot.

    July 20, 2014

Click here for NASCAR headlines
Sports Photos


Enid News & Eagle sports photos from the month of February 2014. Enjoy all the ENE photos with full access at http://enidnews.smugmug.com.