After two tough loses to district rival Brandywine during the regular season, Mount Pleasant boys basketball coach Lisa Sullivan decided to make the preparation leading up to Friday’s state tournament second round game.
“We lost two close games where we had the lead going into the fourth quarter. We felt it was more about us beating ourselves,” Sullivan said after the Green Knights emphatically advanced to the state quarterfinals with a 55-31 win over the host Bulldogs. “We told the players ‘It’s not about Brandywine, it’s about what we want to do.’”
“We’re really hungry,” said senior guard Paris Holland, who shared game-high scoring honors with teammate Tomir Gibbs (16 points each). “I told the guys before the game the hungrier team was going to win and that’s what we did.”
10th-seeded Mount Pleasant (16-6) never trailed in the contest, but only led by six points (22-16) at halftime before a 28-10 run spanning the third quarter and six minutes of the fourth all but assured them of a trip to the Bob Carpenter Center, highlighted by fast break dunks by Holland and Gibbs to brought the heavy Green Knight cheering section to its feet.
“It was a real tough game,” Gibbs said. “We just had the determination, the attitude and the effort. We played more physical tonight.”
The Green Knights will face Flight B foe Hodgson in the quarterfinals Sunday at the Bob and Sullivan and her players are aware of what’s ahead of them.
“I’ve always said that Flight B is the toughest conference from top to bottom,” she said. “Every game we’ve played has prepared us for our destiny, whatever it is.”
“We’re looking forward to it,” Holland said. “We’re going to go in Sunday and play hard.”
Jordan Hair led seventh-seeded Brandywine (14-7) with 10 points and Jamal Davis added seven points.
E-mail Chris Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org