Steers try to stay in hunt for district crown

The Big Spring Steers have been openly talking about a District 5-3A crown since day one.Tonight is their chance to make sure they get a shot at it.The Steers face Abilene Wylie in the second matchup of the season at 7:30 p.m. in Abilene with a chance to be district champions on the line.“I’ve mentioned it several times to them,” BSHS head coach Cliff Thompson said. “They understand. I told them in the locker room after that first game our goal is to win the district championship. I just try to make sure they understand that we can’t play uptight.”That’s what Thompson believes hindered the Steers in the first game against Wylie on Jan. 28, which was a thriller. Considering it was one of the bigger home games of the season, Thompson thought his players were a little wound up. A late 3-pointer sent the Bulldogs past the Steers for the 50-46 win. The Steers haven’t faltered since that loss and a win tonight could either win the District 5-3A title or force a third game against Wylie. The key, besides winning this game, for the Steers is what happens when Wylie takes on Brownwood Tuesday. If the Steers win and Brownwood beats Wylie, Big Spring will finish first in the district. If the Steers win and Wylie beats Brownwood, then another game between the Steers and Bulldogs will be needed to determine the champion. That third game would be at a neutral site.However, Wylie can wrap this district up with a win tonight and the Steers would finish second. Thompson repeatedly talked about playing loose and with confidence today and it will still be difficult beating a team that doesn’t make many mistakes.Thompson said he hopes to put a little more pressure on the Bulldogs defensively, although they handle full-court presses well.Wylie is disciplined on defense, too, so the Steers will have to get past a lot of the same hurdles from the Jan. 28 game.“They’re aggressive with their hands,” Thompson said. “They’re always in good position defensively. They just don’t reach. A lot of teams, especially in high school, they just want to stay flat-footed and reach.”