Myers Park’s girls are nationally ranked and rolling. The Mustangs win by an average of more than 25 points per game. Only one of their 16 wins has been by fewer than 12.
As the Mustangs roll to what looks like a certain Southwestern 4A conference title – a blowout win over second-place Rocky River on Friday gave Myers Park a two-game lead with five conference games to play – Myers Park second-year coach Barbara Nelson admits she’s a little concerned with what will happen to her team if it finds itself locked in a tight playoff battle next month.
“That’s why we began to create these little games within the game,” she said after Friday’s win. “We have a certain number of turnovers they can have, or there’s a certain number of offensive rebounds they can give up. Nobody can play perfect, but everyone has to try to play their best. It’s really about trying to stay focused on the little things.”
Myers Park has lost two games in the past two seasons, both disappointing playoff losses for a nationally ranked team expected to reach the state championship game.
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This season, the Mustangs are again nationally ranked, again favored to reach the big game. Nelson and Myers Park are hoping that they get it right on this third try.
“We set that as a goal at the beginning of the year,” she said, “and now we’ve got to be willing to do the little things and have some luck. Last year’s team could’ve (won the state championship) but fell short. The team two years ago, I’m sure that team could’ve won it and they fell short. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for this year’s team to win, but falling short of it isn’t impossible either. We’ve got to show up every day and do our jobs every day and let the chips fall where they may. Hopefully, they fall our way.”
• It appears the MECKA 8 conference is the area’s toughest. The league changed names this year and added a few new teams, but state powers North Meck and West Charlotte and new state power Hough seem to have tough nights every night. West Charlotte was upset by Robinson on Tuesday and just escaped Mallard Creek on Friday.
• Over the years, I’ve often noted how late CMS basketball games start, particularly during the week. Area schools have done a much better job this season. I’ve heard about this issue much less frequently than in the past. I still think boys’ and girls’ games should be separated by location or game night, but kids are getting home earlier than in the past. That’s a good thing.