Against Rush Springs on Thursday at 3 p.m., Wilson will play what is essentially a road game in the Class 2A Regional Tournament.
Coach David McGuire said his Eagles team (15-8) will be extremely relaxed because the pressure on both teams is equal — each team is one loss away from its season’s conclusion.
The Eagles’ 1-2-2 full-court press will be extremely important to achieving their goal.
“I think that will set the tone from the beginning,” McGuire said. “Controlling the tempo is extremely important whether you’re wanting to go faster or wanting to slow it down.
“In watching film, what we need to make sure is that they don’t establish any consistency or continuity on offense. We need to make sure in the first two quarters that we establish the tempo, the intensity and not let them get any confidence throughout the game.”
The way Wilson’s season ended last year offers a painful reminder for the Eagles to not overlook the Redskins, despite their 5-18 record.
“They beat a good Elmore City-Pernell team in the first round of district to advance,” McGuire said. “In the playoffs, if a loss lingers, the team coming off a win has an advantage.”
Two of Rush Springs’ three wins in 2014 occurred against Elmore City-Pernell.
For Wilson, meanwhile, a loss lingered last season, and it cost them.
“We won our district. We lost Thursday night and we were so disappointed, that we got beat by a team that wasn’t as good on Friday afternoon,” McGuire said. “We’re about to reverse the tables, hopefully.”
Efficiency is the key word during Wilson’s practices, McGuire said.
“I’ve said that word, probably in the last two days, 100 times,” he said. “Treating each possession as if it’s the last possession. On offense, that means eliminating turnovers, taking good shots. On defense, it means make sure you’re making the proper coverages and decisions on keeping them out of the lane.”
The Eagles are focused on advancing.
“We know it’s possible to win three games,” McGuire said. “We know that we can beat Rush Springs. We’re taking one game at a time, having a positive outlook and knowing that our goals are still right there in front of us. … We’re excited.”