Being an emotional team can be very good or very bad.
But Midwest City's ability to manage its emotions has been one of the biggest keys to its success this season. The Bombers have been able to benefit from emotional play, but not be dragged down by the negative side of it.
The Bombers have been No. 1 in Class 6A most of the year, and they were ranked nationally as well, peaking at No. 13 in USA Today's poll. And they've handled all the expectations and pressure well.
“You play off emotion, and it's excitement and energy and aggressiveness,” coach Dewayne Bradley said. “These guys really feed off each other. We don't get to an emotional high, because then you have letdowns. We try to stay consistent.
“Like with the rankings, we embrace it and we thrive off of it. We look at it in a positive way that keeps us motivated and keeps us hungry.”
MEMORIAL FINDING ITS STRIDE
Since point guard Jordan Woodard returned from injury in early February, Edmond Memorial has been working hard to get back on its game.
With wins down the stretch over teams like Midwest City, Edmond North and Putnam City West, it appears the Bulldogs are getting close.
“I feel like we've been improving and we're starting to peak at the right time,” Woodard said. “While I was sitting out, a lot of guys built their confidence. Right now, we've got great team chemistry and we're playing well together.”
DEFENSE KEY FOR PUTNAM CITY
After running through the regular season with only one loss, Putnam City hit some rough patches in the playoffs, but played well enough to get back to state.
Each time, it was a refocus on defense that helped them get through, especially in comeback wins over Edmond North and Edmond Santa Fe in elimination games over the weekend.
“Coach (A.D. Burtschi) always tells us that defense will make our offense go,” said senior point guard David Bush. “So if our offense isn't going, we can't let our defense fall off.”
PC WEST BATTLE-TESTED
Coach Lenny Bert knows his players have been through the type of battles that have prepared them for state.
PC West is one of only two teams to play the state's top three teams, Midwest City, Edmond Memorial and Putnam City. Against rival PC, the Patriots lost three times in the regular season — once in overtime — and defeated the Pirates in the playoffs.
PC West also took Midwest City to overtime, and lost by six to Edmond Memorial last week in a game that came down to the final minute.