Stillwater News Press

January 13, 2014

Stillwater High hoops happy to be back home

By Derek Brown
Stillwater News Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — Stillwater has a couple of reasons to be excited for Tuesday night’s matchup against Enid, the rivalry, Stillwater will play its second game at home and the Lady Pioneers could knock-off Class 6A’s No. 16 ranked team.

Stillwater will host Enid at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday after playing four games on the road.

“I think our coaches know what they are doing and if we do our plan then we should get it done,” Stillwater junior Lauren Stettnisch said.

The Lady Pioneers are pleased to not have to get on the bus and to be able to host rival Enid.

“It is good to play a game and not have to get on the bus for an hour,” Stillwater coach Clay Stephens said. “I  think the girls are a little more excited about playing Enid that it being a home game.”

The Lady Pioneers come into the rivalry at 5-6. Enid is 6-3 and is ranked at No. 16.

Stillwater and Enid have only one common opponent, Bishop McGuinness. Enid went to Bishop McGuinness on Jan. 3, and lost in overtime 52-48. Stillwater also traveled to Bishop McGuinness on Jan. 7, and won 65-52.

Sophomore Dylan Fix was out for Stillwater during that last few games. Fix’s absence was noticeable. The Lady Pioneers will have Fix suited up and ready to go for Enid Tuesday.

Stillwater will look to continue their success in the paint. Should Enid double-team down low, Stephens hopes that the Lady Pioneers are able to recognize it and get an open look.

“We’ve been trying to make some adjustments at being able to read the situation a little better,” Stephens said.

Enid will play with an attacking man defense that will be looking to create turnovers. The Pacer’s offense looks to rely on outside shooting. Stillwater’s defense will need to be able to get to the perimeter to contest shots.

“They shoot a lot of outside shots. We’re going to have to spread our zone out a little bit and contain that,” Stephens said. “They’re going to press us. ... If we can take care of the ball I think we’ll be alright.”

BOYS

Stillwater will return home after playing on a four-game road swing. The Pioneers could not be happier.

No. 15 ranked Stillwater will host Enid at 8 p.m. Tuesday. SHS has only played one home game this year on Dec. 20, in an 88-71 win over Southeast. Stillwater wants to protect its home court.

“Homes games are important. That’s where we feel comfortable at,” Stillwater assistant coach Derrick Verner said. “When other teams come in here we defend home.”

Enid could be a team that is easily overlooked. The Plainsmen are 1-11 this year. Stillwater will not overlook Enid though. EHS’ only victory came against Southmoore 68-65. Stillwater’s first game of the season was a 77-63 loss to Southmoore.

“We’ve kind of accepted that we have to go into every game and we have to have energy in every game,” Stillwater sophomore Jake Green said.

Stillwater is not a team that is overly confident. The Pioneers are not looking at Enid like a normal 1-11 team.

“There’s nothing you can overlook about Enid. They’ve got a win against a team that we don’t,” Verner said. “That tells you that they can do things and do them well.”

The Pioneers are perfect at home and want to keep it that way.

“Not having enough (home games) you can’t let any slip. We treat that as if it’s the state championship,” Verner said.

Stillwater is not worried about what Enid brings to the table. The Pioneers are stressing playing team basketball.

“There’s no selfishness on this team what so ever,” Green said. “It doesn’t matter as long as we have a W.”

So far Stillwater has had just one of their 11 games at home.

“Not having that many home games is not good,” Stillwater sophomore Jordan Brown said. “I’m very comfortable playing at home.”

The Pioneers know when the team basketball concept is at work. For Stillwater to be consistent in their play the Pioneers take an unorthodox view.

“(We) just need to act like it’s a party. Just have fun,” Brown said.