Millwood coach Arnelia Spears has been working to entice her players.
After winning the championship last season, the Falcons (23-4) are looking to add a second ring, which is something that's never been done at Millwood by the same player.
“I brought that to their attention because it's like a family thing,” Spears said. “Their sisters already have one. I said, ‘Just think, your sister got one, you got one, just think if you get two.'
“It's fired them up pretty good. Sometimes they're too fired up and they're missing layups and things because they're not being very calm.”
Senior Teanna Reid, one of three senior starters, leads Millwood with 17 points and 5.3 assists per game. But the young bench has provided a huge spark.
“I feel like we would have not been here if it wasn't for the bench,” Spears said.
“Everybody worries about the first five. To me it's not so much that first five who is going to start, it's who can help you when that first give gets in trouble.”
SULPHUR'S DEFENSE KEY
After falling in the semifinals last season, No. 1 Sulphur is back with the expectation of winning the gold ball.
And it starts with the defense.
“We like to pride ourselves in our defense and we obviously know at this level everybody can score, so we're going to have to turn it up a notch,” Toby Todd said.
Sulphur (27-0) is holding teams to less than 30 points per game and returns eight seniors, including leading-scorer Ashley Hughes.
LINDSAY MAKES FIRST 5-ON-5 APPEARANCE
Lindsay (20-8) last made the state tournament in 1989, when schools still played 6-on-6 girls basketball.
“It's huge because we really embrace the tradition of 6-on-6, but we're trying to get in the mold of 5-on-5,” third-year Lindsay coach Jon Jacques said. “We're trying to embrace the tradition and start the new tradition a little bit.”
Linsday won state titles in 1954, 1962 and 1968.
Oklahoma switched to 5-on-5 girls basketball in 1995.