By Andrew Glover
PERKINS, Okla. —
A perfect season is just within grasp for the Perkins-Tryon Lady Demons, as only three wins separate them from accomplishing that feat. According to coach Jerry Burnett they aren’t looking further than Thursday’s 3:30 p.m. state quarterfinal against Hugo at Jim Norick State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.
“That’s in the back of our minds,” Burnett said. “We’re taking it one game at a time and are focused on Hugo.”
The Lady Demons (26-0) advanced to their 10th state tournament and third consecutive under Burnett. P-T is shooting for its first state championship after finishing as a runners-up in 1997. Burnett said Hugo is very athletic.
“They hit the boards hard,” Burnett said. “They are a man-to-man pressing team that could give us trouble if we aren’t careful.”
With the potential of making it to Championship Saturday, Burnett said his team is preparing for everyone.
“We’ve worked a lot on our press break and other things we could see this week,” Burnett said. “We want to make sure we are ready.”
Burnett said playing smart basketball on Thursday will be key to advancing.
“We have to limit turnovers and bring our game on the defensive end,” Burnett said. “We shot the ball well in the area round and hope that carries over.”
If the Lady Demons, who are ranked second in Class 3A are fortunate to advance, they will face the winner of fifth-ranked Verdigris or third-ranked Millwood.
“It will be a tough game at 9 a.m. Friday,” Burnett said. “It will definitely be a wake-up call. We will cross that if we get there.”
After coming up a victory short the last two seasons, the Cushing Lady Tigers, ranked third in Class 4A, finally advanced to the state tournament after a 43-41 victory over Casica Hall on March 1.
Cushing (24-1) faces Harrah, which is ranked eighth in the state quarterfinals at 2 p.m. in Southern Nazarene University’s Sawyer Center in Bethany. The Lady Tigers’ only loss this season was to East Central, which is a 5A school. Cushing is led by its post Che’ron Lewis.
If the Lady Tigers win Thursday, they face the winner of second-ranked Fort Gibson and fifth-ranked Weatherford. The Lady Tigers won a state championship in 1994.