Saturday, February 19, 2011
Perhaps one of the biggest questions as the Class 4A playoffs begin this weekend is whether the top-ranked Cache girls can repeat as state champions.
The Bulldogs (19-2) went undefeated last season for their first state championship and open districts tonight against rival Elgin.
But what will it take for Cache to repeat?
"No. 1 is complacency," Cache coach Brett Sanders said earlier this week. "We can't be complacent. We've got to get the fire in our eyes again. I'm very interested because I think we've been on cruise control the last three or four weeks. We need to start playing some basketball.
"I think determination. It's hard. There hasn't been a 4A team on record in the last 30 or 40 years (repeat), so that tells you something about the class and how hard it is to go in and repeat. Lots of teams have been there but nobody has done it in a long time."
To keep his team on its toes Sanders used a different method Wednesday for practice. He loaded the girls up and took them to Mount Scott (pictured courtesy of Sanders), where they dribbled and passed their way to the top before holding practice with two portable goals.
"It's just a beautiful day," Sanders said. "We have a coaches meeting tonight in Altus so I can't practice after the boys finish in the new gym. It's just an idea."
Cache enters tonight a little banged up with senior point guard Bretlin Sanders playing through a broken bone in her shooting hand and senior Cassadie Holybee out with her third knee injury of the season. But senior center Honor Duvall and senior sharpshooter Lindsey Carter are healthy.
For a repeat, things will have to click right for the Bulldogs. Sanders knows that and his players know that.
"Absolutely we got to talk about that," he said. "We have talked about it. We went into the trophy case two days ago and looked at the trophy and the others. I told them, 'It wasn't easy. Basketball has been here 80 years and there wasn't another gold ball so don't think it's easy.'"