Stillwater News Press

High School Sports

January 23, 2013

Deep field at Shawnee Invitational doesn't intimidate Pioneers

STILLWATER, Okla. — Typically, Stillwater High School boys basketball coach Michael Davis doesn’t pay too much attention to rankings.

But when you have two top five teams in Class 5A and another looking to crack the top 10 in one tournament, it’s enough to even get Davis’ attention.

“It’s a really, really good field,” Davis said. “You have two top 5 teams in Class 5A with Coweta at 13-1 and Southeast at No. 5. Then you have El Reno, who is also ranked and on our side of the bracket. It’s pretty solid.”

A deep field might intimidate most teams, but not the Pioneers. Early season wins over some top-ranked teams — including a win at Edmond Santa Fe last week — have the Stillwater (12-3) battle tested and ready for the Shawnee Invitational.

“We realize that you have to go play the game,” Davis said. “Our first concern is Choctaw because that’s who we play in the first game. That’s what we’ve been working on — getting focused and ready for Choctaw. Our deal is one game at a time.”

Last year the Pioneers finished second to El Reno in the tournament. Now they begin a new quest against possibly even tougher competition, beginning with the game against Choctaw at 5 p.m. Thursday.

“We got beat in the finals by El Reno, but we won it the year before with Alex Budke and that group when they were seniors,” Davis said. “We’re very familiar with this tournament. We look forward to this tournament. We think this is the best tournament in the state for us.”

It doesn’t hurt that Stillwater has plenty of momentum heading into the tournament — perhaps part of the reason the Pioneers are favored to reach the finals again this season.

Stillwater is coming off a 65-60 overtime victory over Ponca City and is looking to build on that momentum.

“Our confidence is really good right now,” Davis said. “They’re right where they need to be — not too high and not too low. Playing Ponca City gets you ready because we knew that we were going to get their best effort. ... We knew what they were capable of and for some reason, they find an extra gear when they play us.”

But it isn’t just building momentum for the tournament that Davis is concerned about. He’s hoping the tough competition this weekend will also help the Pioneers gear up for the playoffs, which are quickly approaching.

“The thing about tournaments is that you never know what’s going to happen,” Davis said. “Everything’s different. You get a chance to play against three different styles of play. That always helps you going into the playoffs. If you play every kind of team out there and every style, it only helps you become more familiar with what to do. Everything you do is a part of the process and that’s what we keep telling our guys.”

Davis said he isn’t looking forward to the rematch with El Reno in the semifinals — saying that he’s more worried about Choctaw at this point. But with Stillwater’s offense rolling by using both post play and outside shooting, it’s safe to say that the Pioneers are a very dangerous team in this tournament.

“We just have to take it one game at a time,” Davis said. “We can’t be worried about who we’re going to face in the next round or in the championship because we’re not there yet. Our guys are taking it one game at a time and that’s how we’re going to have the most success — by not getting ahead of ourselves.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
High School Sports
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Must Read