Oklahoman Super 5 Coach of the Year: Deer Creek's Totsy Manning sticks with her defensive strategy, and it pays off

GIRLS BASKETBALL — Deer Creek finished the year 24-5, winning 11 straight games. Its last loss came Jan. 25 against Putnam North in the championship of the Bruce Gray Invitational.
by Jacob Unruh Published: April 6, 2014
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Deer Creek coach Totsy Manning never wavered from her strategy.

An 0-2 start to the season? Not changing.

Losses to Shawnee and Harrah in early January? Still not changing.

Manning still preached defense to the Antlers, and that ultimately paid off as they won their second straight Class 5A title in March and fifth overall despite being a heavy underdog.

And for her guidance, Manning is this year’s Super 5 Coach of the Year.

“No one thought we could probably win it this year and a lot of people were still skeptical about the year before,” Manning said. “We started playing our best basketball in January and that’s when we really started to believe we could be playing on Saturday and defending our state championship.

“We lay our foundation on defense and they adapted and adjusted to the teams we played. To put three games back-to-back like that is really tough and three solid teams like that is just really amazing. I’m so proud of what they were able to accomplish.”

Deer Creek finished the year 24-5, winning 11 straight games. Its last loss came Jan. 25 against Putnam North in the championship of the Bruce Gray Invitational.

For a team many felt had little shot at knocking off heavy favorite Shawnee, it was a surprise on the outside looking in.

For Manning and the Antlers, though, there was no surprise.

“You just always have to believe in yourself and your teammates,” junior Dakota Vann said. “At first it looks a little rocky, but you never give up on your teammates or yourself.


by Jacob Unruh
Reporter
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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