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Itâ€™s taken eight years to get back to this point.
Now Sweetwater finds itself in a similar situa-tion to what it faced the last time a girls team ad-vanced to the Class 3A area basketball playoffs â€” a highly-ranked squad that will be heavily favored to end their season.
Back in 2005, the Lady Mustangs faced No. 1-ranked Canyon and lost 67-26. Today, they meet No. 8 Lubbock Cooper in the area round hoping for a much better result.
But they know they will have to play their best to pull off the upset.
â€śI think weâ€™re ready,â€ť said Sweetwater coach Al Miller. â€śThey know the stormâ€™s coming. But weâ€™re going to fight as hard as we can. We have to play a perfect game.
â€śWe canâ€™t be careless. Our backs are against the wall. Itâ€™s like going up against the playground bully. You canâ€™t hold back; youâ€™ve got to hit them with everything youâ€™ve got.â€ť
Sweetwater has shown resiliency by winning four of its last five games to get to the area playoffs, after a stretch where the team lost three straight games to jeopardize its hopes.
And the Lady Mustangs are still confident despite their opponent, which has a 29-4 record this season while Sweetwater comes in 21-14.
The Lady Pirates have faced their share of tough opponents in compiling that impressive record. One of their four losses was to Canyon, but they beat Wylie 55-53 back in December â€” a game that Miller has seen on film â€” and twice knocked off No. 10 Shallowater in district play to earn the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye.
But Sweetwater has had a tough schedule since the start of district as well. Miller said Cooper is much like Wylie â€” it plays stout defense while on offense it can be effective outside or inside the paint. Katy Boren (13.3 points), a 5-7 senior guard, is the teamâ€™s top scorer.
But the Lady Pirates also have a pair of six-foot post players in Bridget Rampy and Claire Shaver, along with 5-10 Jordan Hise, who is the daughter of former Sweetwater boys bas-ketball coach Paul Hise.
Miller said that Boren and Taylor Parr, who averages 10.5 points a game, are the teamâ€™s top 3-point shooters.
The Sweetwater-Cooper game tonight will be the first half of a doubleheader at Post High School.
Wylie will face Levelland, the No. 3 team in Cooperâ€™s district, at 7:30 p.m.