A day before Pilot Point took the court against Dallas Life Oak Cliff in the area round of the playoffs last Friday night, the Bearcats wanted to travel to Denison to see Whitesboro play Edgewood in anticipation of meeting the winner this week.
But Pilot Point coach Jeff Price insisted his team focus only on Life Oak Cliff and not worry about the outcome of the game in Denison. The Bearcats obliged and sneaked past Life Oak Cliff 56-49, and Edgewood cruised by Whitesboro in a 63-47 finish.
Now, Pilot Point’s full attention is on Edgewood as the teams prepare to square off at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Garland Sachse.
“Our kids are extremely exciting and don’t really care who they’re playing anymore,” Price said. “They know everybody from here on out is going to be really good, so they’re just excited to have a chance to play again.”
The Bearcats continue to turn heads in the Class 3A state playoff bracket as the only No. 4 seed to advance out of the first round. Pilot Point has won seven straight games since a 2-6 start to District 9-3A play and has been impressive on both ends of the court over the last three and a half weeks.
The Bearcats are allowing an average of 50 points per game in that time while Mason Sheppard, Javon Bruce and Jacob Pitts have paced the team’s scoring in the playoffs.
Edgewood undoubtedly will be Pilot Point’s toughest test to date after the Bulldogs handled Whitesboro to improve to 29-2 on the season. Edgewood is scoring 71 points per game while allowing an average of just 37 points.
“Our kids play with a lot of confidence, and they don’t back down from anybody,” Price said. “They’re not afraid, and they don’t get intimidated. They know anybody can beat them on any given night, but they also know if they play well, they can play with anybody.
“We’re going to have to take care of the ball. If we can do that and get good shots, I think we’ll be in the game. But if we turn the ball over and don’t block out, we’re going to be in trouble.”
Pilot Point is playing in the regional quarterfinals for the first time since 2001, and a win Tuesday night would put the Bearcats in the regional tournament. The winner of Pilot Point vs. Edgewood will advance to take on either Atlanta or Commerce at 7 p.m. Friday at Prosper.
The 3A Region II championship game is set for 2 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s hard for the kids not to think about it and consider it,” Price said. “But from where we were three weeks ago to now, it didn’t even seem like a remote possibility. They’re doing a good job of staying grounded. They know what they’ve accomplished and they know what they have a chance to accomplish, so they’re really excited about the opportunity.”