SULPHUR — Ebony Harrison and Tierani Richardson were integral parts of a championship team.
Now they'll look to repeat their results, together, at the next level.
The two seniors signed athletic scholarships Monday to play basketball at Murray State College.
Harrison and Richardson were two starters for one of the best teams in Oklahoma state history. The Bulldogs went 30-0 and earned the first state title in school history.
"They're getting two wonderful young ladies, not only as basketball players, but as people," Sulphur coach Toby Todd said. "The work ethic that they're going to bring, the desire to win, all of it is going to be a great deal for them."
It's that fierce desire to win, and the work ethic to earn it, that excited Murray State coach Crystal Robinson about the pair.
"The thing I like the most about them is that they're competitors, and it's very hard to teach that," Robinson said. "They both have the willingness to work to win, and that's something our team needs."
Harrison, despite being undersized for the position, established herself as one of the top post players in the state, especially on the defensive end. Richardson, also a smaller player, was renowned for her accuracy from behind the 3-point line and finished her senior season with a 39 percent clip from beyond the arc on 246 attempts.
Together, the two are fast friends off the court, and certainly have no problem continuing their careers together in Tishomingo.
"The fact that we're staying together is really beneficial," Richardson said. "We can keep that chemistry we've already established."
While Richardson made the decision to attend Murray State some time earlier, it was a pitched battle for Harrison's services between the Aggies and Oklahoma Baptist all the way to the end.
"I would lean there, and then I would lean towards (OBU)," Harrison said. "It was a tough decision."
But when it came down to it, Harrison liked the combination of the Murray State program, and the chance to play with Richardson, too much to turn down Robinson.
"Every time I went to Murray to watch a game, I was drawn to it," Harrison said. "And having a teammate going certainly helped."
Now, the challenge for the two will be adjusting to the collegiate level, something the duo has already gotten a chance to try out.
"We went over there and practiced with them, and the first quarter I was like 'oh my gosh, it's so fast,'" Harrison said.
But it's a challenge that Richardson is ready to face, knowing the opportunity she and Harrison are receiving is a rare one.
"I think that we've worked so hard in basketball for so much of our lives," Richardson said. "And for that actually pay off into playing basketball in college means the world to me."
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