Originally Published: Feb 19, 2010 5:12 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The high school basketball playoffs are right around the corner. Millwood is one of the favorites to take the Class 3A gold ball. The second ranked Falcons are adjusting to squeeze of remaining at the top of the heap.
“It’s not pressure,” Millwood forward Kevonte Richardson said. “We just have to go out and play and prove we’re the one to win the state title this year.”
“We’re staying humble,” guard Allen Starks said. “Nobody’s really getting a big head. We’re just taking one game at a time.”
However, there is a deeper motivation that is driving some of the players.
The Millwood Falcons were one of the favorites in football but fell in the semifinals. Now a good portion of that team is on the hardwood searching for redemption.
“We should’ve beat Kingfisher,” Richardson said. “I’m not going to say that we just sat there and lost. We should’ve beat them.”
Juniors Josh Turner, Kevonte Richardson, Allen Starks and Brandon Swindall and senior Daniel Jackson are still smarting from that semifinal loss. But they’re looking to finally get over the hump on the basketball court.
“All the football guys are hungry for another state title,” Jackson said. “We got upset in the semifinals in football, so we’re kind of hungry for a state title in basketball.”
“We’ve been playing basketball and football since middle school,” Starks said. “The chemistry [between us] is very, very good.”
Even though each contributes significantly on the court, they had to slow down when making the switch from turf.
“We were getting charging fouls and stealing,” guard Josh Turner said. “It was crazy at first.”
The players said the late playoff run on the gridiron helped prepare them for this home stretch in basketball. And the pressure from the hardwood should aid the Falcons on the turf next season, where they’ll be one of the favorites in 2010.