The Myers Park girls' basketball locker room door says all you really need to know about Mustangs' goals. It is adorned with a sign that says "3-10-2012," the date of the 4A state championship game.
Wednesday night, No. 1 Myers Park stayed a perfect 29-0 on the year, looking every bit the role of state contender in a 70-43 rout of I-Meck tournament champion Hough in the second round of the 4A playoffs.
Now, the Mustangs' focus moves to Southwestern 4A rival Butler, which beat I-Meck regular-season champion Hopewell 48-46.
"That sign has been there since September and winning it all is definitely our main goal," said Myers Park coach Dustin Terrel, whose team swept Butler 72-46 at Butler and 66-50 at home.
"We're not going to look past anyone, but we also won't forget what we are playing for."
Hough (19-9) made things tough on the Mustangs in the first half, as it routinely outhustled Myers Park and beat it to loose balls.
As a result, the Huskies went into the break down only 30-25.
"We realized at half that Hough wanted this game just as bad as we did," Myers Park sophomore forward Saadia Timpton said.
"We knew we had to come out and play harder than them and turn up the defensive pressure."
A close game in the first half quickly turned into an up-and-down track meet, with Myers Park going on a 7-0 run and then an 8-0 run in the third quarter to push the lead to 51-37 with eight minutes to play.
Timpton led the balanced attack with 15 points, and Roddreka Rogers and Aliyah Mazyck had 13 points each. Brittany Smith and India Timpton added 11 points apiece.
The Mustangs' offense was strong, and the defensive pressure was suffocating and chaotic.
Myers Park started the final quarter on an 8-2 run to put the game away.
The Mustangs also had 20 steals on the night, another big key to their success.
"We definitely woke up in the second half," Terrel said.
"Those chaotic moments where everything seems to be out of control ... are what we thrive on.
"It allows us to go on those runs."
While Myers Park turned it on, Hough cracked under the pressure, committing too many turnovers, according to Hough coach Sonja Tate.
"We just had too many mistakes and turnovers to beat a team like Myers Park," Tate said.
Sophomore forward Kelsey Dean led the Huskies with 11 points and eight rebounds, and junior Brandi Arey added 10 points.