HUGO, OK -- The Hugo Buffaloes are back in the state tournament after a year of ups and downs. The experienced group will start their journey toward gold ball number two tomorrow evening, and with a determined core of seniors don't be shocked if they bring one home.
Bouncing back has been the key to success for these buffalo boys.
"We've been accustomed to meeting challenges and so we'll step up to this one too," said head coach Darnell Shanklin.
All season long they've had their backs against the wall. From holiday tournaments to last weekend's area playoffs; The Buffalos, led by six experienced seniors, listened to their coach and answered the call.
"He told us we've been in this situation before at the Durant tournament, we lost first game, came back won the next day," senior point guard Nick Brown said. "We did it at the Idabel tournament, lost one, came back the next day. So we're a good bounce back team and he was like, 'we can bounce back or hang it up,' and six seniors we all stepped up and decided we didn't want to hang it up."
Three years ago the team came home runner ups, two years ago as semi-finalists, then last year, one win from their third state tournament in as many years, they were ousted.
But what did they do? Bounce back. Together.
"There's numerous guys over there that I've been playing with for about nine, ten years and know you know we... it's time to put it all together and win a state championship," Brown added.
So here they are three wins from state putting a basketball crazed town on their backs.
"It would mean so much to Hugo. Because every year we get so close, we get farther and farther and we keep coming up short so this year we're going to try to do it," Brown concluded.
"We've got great support. We've been playing close to home in the playoffs some, we've been on the road and people have been there. They've been supporting us, so it means a lot to our community," Shanklin said.
Hugo will take on state power Millwood at 7 o'clock at Yukon High School.