The Okarche girls clearly didn't have any type of poor reaction to playing on Sunday, rolling to a 58-28 win over Seiling to earn the team's 23rd state tournament berth.
More of a worry for coach Cherie Myers was how her team would react to a heartbreaking, last-second loss to Cheyenne-Reydon Saturday night.
“You know, with 15- or 16-year-old kids, you never know how they'll do,” Myers said. “But this group has been resilient, and they've handled adversity throughout the year.
“When we came into the area tournament, we talked about it. You've got two ways to get to state, and it doesn't matter which way you go — front door, back door or whatever — you've got to get in there.”
As is the case with a few select small-school towns, going to the Big House is more an expectation than a hope, and Okarche certainly falls into that category.
“You don't put on an Okarche Warriors jersey without expecting to go to the state tournament,” Myers said. “We talk about it to the point that, yeah, it's a goal, and if you play hard and do things right, that will take care of itself. You've got people up in the stands, parents who played in the state tournament and grandparents, so they expect it.”
Ranked No. 1 in Class A, the Warriors will go into state looking for their fourth state title, the last coming in 2010.