Stillwater News Press

Sports

February 26, 2014

Stillwater basketball teams head to playoffs healthy

STILLWATER, Okla. — Stillwater hit a six-game winning streak at the right time.

The Pioneers are on a roll as they head into regional play. No. 11 ranked Stillwater will travel to Bixby at 6:30 p.m. Friday to take on Sand Springs in an elimination game.

“Sand Springs likes to shoot 3s so we’ve been working on closing out and trying to keep it loose and not put more pressure on these guys than there needs to be,” Stillwater coach Michael Davis said. “It’s different now because everybody is 0-0 now. You have to win your first game in order to make it to the next weekend.”

The Pioneers received great news Monday when senior guard Brett Budke was cleared to play. Budke was injured in the finals of the Shawnee Tournament on Jan. 25.

“It’s the best feeling (to be back on the court),” Budke said. “I’m a little out of shape and my touch isn’t quite there but it’s coming along. I’m feeling better.”

Because Budke was out for around a month he has lost some of his shape. Budke will likely be limited in minutes but could contribute to the Pioneers.

“I know how much this means to him. He wants to be out there. It’s good to have him with us,” Davis said. “He’s a big part of what’s been going on. He’s been writing scouting reports.”

Budke has already shown his unselfishness — which is what the Stillwater Pioneers stand on. Budke told Davis that he would rather come off of the bench instead of reclaiming his starting role to keep the team’s momentum going.

“He’s all about Pioneer basketball and not the individual part of it,” Davis said.

The team is excited about having Budke back on the floor.

“It’s awesome (to have Budke back). He’s another weapon. He’s one of my best friends. He’s like a brother to me,” Stillwater senior guard Carson Teel said.

Even though SHS is riding on a wave of success the Pioneers have still been working to sharpen their skills.

“We’re getting ready to go. We’re very positive going into the game,” Teel said. “It doesn’t matter how we were at the start it’s how we finish. We have a six-game winning streak now and we can erase that and get six more. That’s all we’re looking for.”

Sand Springs is 7-16 and has lost its last three games.

“They’re better than what their record is. They’ve got guys that can shoot,” Davis said.

Stillwater ended the regular season with a 17-6 record and has won its last six games.

“We feel good about (heading into regionals). If you don’t feel good about it you’re casting doubts about yourself. We believe we have enough to get everything done,” Davis said. “Our goal is to win the next six games.”

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