Atoka not satisfied with first state tournament berth in 25 year - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Atoka not satisfied with first state tournament berth in 25 years

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ATOKA, OK -- The Atoka Wampus Cats are back in the state tournament just four seasons removed from winning four games in two years.

"Our goal was to make the state tournament for the first time in 25 years and we'll always be remembered," head coach Russ Harrison said.

The last state tournament banner hanging in the gym is from 1989. It sits right under the school's only state championship in athletics history: the girls back in 1992.

Their picture in the field house has always inspired this group.

"As a little kid, I'd come up here and read that. That's pretty cool, I wish I could be one of them. Now seeing that I'm in the same position myself it's a pretty great experience," senior Spencer Moore said.

"This is all these guys have talked about, I can remember talking to these guys as eighth graders and they were talking about how they were going to go to the state tournament and they were going to be the group that took us," Harrison added.

It hasn't been all smooth sailing. Just Friday night they'd lose in the area championship sending them into an elimination game with rival Hugo.

They knew heading into the area consolation losing was not an option.

"That's our main goal, that's making it to state. Okemah? That was a step back right there. We felt like we should have had that game and we kind of let it slip out and they made shots here and there and so it was just a little set back but we knew we could take on just about anybody so we weren't going to let Hugo stop us from getting to state," senior Montana Johnson said.

Now with the main goal reaching the big dance out of the way, their next one is to be the last team standing at the "Big House" come Saturday.

"We're just very, I wouldn't say we're happy to be there, we're not satisfied that we're in the state tournament. That's the goal we set and now that we've made it, now we've got another set of goals that we're getting ready for this week," Harrison concluded.

They'll tip against Oklahoma Centennial Thursday at 7 p.m. at Carl Albert High School.