The Big Spring Steers are trying not to put too much pressure on themselves as today’s area championship matchup against No. 4 Kenndale at 8 p.m. in Breckenridge approaches.
After the Steers won Tuesday’s bi-district playoff game against Bowie, head coach Cliff Thompson mentioned if Big Spring beats Kennedale, there won’t be any movies made labeling it as the greatest upset of all time.
The message has been simple: Don’t be nervous, just believe.
“Just believe you can hang,” Thompson said. “Everyone know they’re a good team and we’re the underdog. Nobody’s ever gone and upset someone not believing. I think we have a pretty good game plan. If we execute and keep it close, you never know what’ll happen.”
It’ll be Luke Adams, Tristian Clay, Marc Segundo and company against Kennedale’s towering post players and solid guard play.
Thompson said the key in this one is the first quarter. The Steers won’t necessarily have to set the tone as much as they have to make sure Kennedale doesn’t have a big first quarter and get into rhythm.
Kennedale has size in the post, with a player listed at 6-foot-5 and another at 6-foot-10. The Wildcats have the ability to score in the paint consistently and can dominate the glass, too. They also have a freshman point guard, who Thompson said may be their best player with his ability to create his own offense.
Kennedale’s strong post play means it should be a busy night for Chazzell Robinson and Devante Lloyd.
“They’ve played against some guys in our district who are not quite his size,” Thompson said. “They’ve seen size this year. It’s not like it’s anything they’re unaccustomed to. This guy might be a little bit more skilled than what they’ve seen, but I feel comfortable knowing that they’ve played against taller guys and held their own a little bit.”
The Steers are little banged up heading into tonight’s game, though. During Tuesday’s game, Devante Lloyd took a hit to the face, forcing him to leave the game, but returned rather quickly. Thompson said the senior hasn’t has any headaches this week in practices, but trainers will make sure it’s safe for Lloyd to play tonight and there isn’t any concussion.
Robinson will wear a mouthpiece tonight, in order to protect a loose tooth. He took a hit to the mouth in Tuesday’s game. Mike Menefield and Adams are a little sore with leg bruises, too. However, no one is expected to miss tonight’s game.
While the Steers are trying to approach tonight’s game like every other one, Lloyd didn’t deny how big a win this would be for the program.
“Earlier this season, I said this is going to be the best basketball team Big Spring has seen,” he said. “We get past this round, I guess my point was proven.”