By Derek Brown
Stillwater News Press
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Basketball is a sport in which teams go through cycles. At times teams can look like they are going to hold up the gold ball, other times question marks can surround a team. Because of these cycles, timing is everything. The Stillwater Pioneers have timing on their side.
Stillwater has not only grabbed six straight victories, it has done so without senior leader and second leading scorer, Brett Budke. The senior guard was cleared to play on Monday. Budke, of course, was ecstatic to get back on the court and begin practicing for Sand Springs at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Bixby during the regional tournament.
With the Pioneers clicking, Budke, being the unselfish player that he is, told Stillwater coach Michael Davis that he would rather come off of the bench. Budke’s actions show why this Stillwater team has had success this year — unselfishness.
The Pioneers know that the individual accolades are nothing compared to the big picture. Stillwater finished the regular season 17-6 and is ranked at No. 11 in Class 6A.
Some of Stillwater’s signature wins include beating Broken Arrow early in the year, No. 4 Edmond Santa Fe and No. 1 Bishop McGuinness — which they did in the same week.
The Pioneers are, in every aspect of the word, a team. For example, on senior night Jared Dickey poured in 31 points. That was Dickey’s career-high. Fellow Stillwater senior and scoring leader Carson Teel chipped in 16 points. Teel could have attempted more shots, instead he stepped aside and let Dickey work.
The success of the Pioneers should carry into regional action. Stillwater needs to go to Bixby and take it to Sand Springs first. Once that’s over, come back on Saturday and claim the regional title. With a win on Friday, Stillwater will play the winner of No. 10 Bixby or Bartlesville. The Pioneers and Bartlesville have met twice this year, splitting and both teams earning wins on the road.
Stillwater has shown that it can win six games in a row. With six more wins in a row the Pioneers can hold up the gold ball.