Going undefeated is a tough task at any level of basketball.
The Earlsboro Wildcats sit atop the Class B rankings with a record of 23-1. With hopes of hanging a championship banner, Coach Russell Parsons used a late season 61-59 loss to No. 6 Paden as a learning moment.
“Our team totals in assists the three games leading up to Paden was 22, 18 and 17. Against Paden, we had a team total of four. I think that speaks for itself. We didn’t have a very good offensive flow that night,” Parsons said. “I give credit to Paden. They did a great job of challenging us at the rim.”
The loss was an eye-opener for the team and they have made the necessary adjustments to make a playoff push, Parsons said.
“I think the loss helped get their attention more than it has in some of the games we won easily,” he said.
On Tuesday, Earlsboro responded with an 81-29 win over Bowlegs.
The team is led by two 1,000-plus point scorers in Elijah Stargell and Trey Herron. Herron recently went over 1,000 in a 77-44 route of Allen JV. Stargell crossed the 1,000 point threshold early in his junior and could potentially hit 2,000 in the playoffs.
“With Elijah, his athleticism in transition and aggressiveness are such a big part of our offense,” Parsons said. “Trey brings a lot of toughness to our ball club. He also spreads the floor with his ability to shoot the three.”
Other players such as Kaveon Sharp, Garrett Lena and Trenton Nadeau are essential pieces in the Wildcat’s stable of scorers.
“All five of our starters have led us in scoring,” Parsons said. “It’s hard to say who our best player is because we spread the ball around so well.”
The fast pace style helped the Wildcats score 80 points or more 10 times so far this season. As a team, Earlsboro averages 73 points per contest while holding the opposition to 51.
The key to their high-powered offense is their overall athleticism and attention to detail in practice, Parsons said.
“I think you have to be smart and fast,” he said. “Shot selection is the biggest key and with our athleticism we have the ability to get good looks a little quicker than some teams. You have to have good repetition in practice. You have to do things correctly and it will pay dividends in games.”
On the season, Earlsboro holds a 3-0 record against 3A teams, 7-0 versus Class A squads and a 5-1 record against the Class B top 20.
The Wildcats play tonight at home against Mason. They will close out the regular season Feb. 6 on the road against Sasakwa.
District play will begin on Feb. 10, when Earlsboro hosts the winner of Asher and Macomb.