By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– With their opponent Friday determined in Madison, now it’s just a matter of calming the nerves and excitement in advancement of Friday’s Play-In Game at home with a chance of the Field of 32 on the line if they win.
“I’m hoping that the kids aren’t nervous, it’s a different situation than we’ve been in, so you never know how the kids are going to respond,” said Head Coach Dean Sanderson. “We have to continue to do what got us here and at the same time, play with a sense of urgency.
“We don’t want to play tight but you definitely want to play with a sense of urgency because it’s win or go home. Both teams are going to go out tomorrow and have a sense of urgency of what we’re doing.”
Sanderson preached that ‘Win or Go Home’ mentality as he reminded the team about Thursday’s practice being the last guaranteed last practice that they have before Friday as they prepare for a Senator (11-13, 6-10) squad that bolster three guys at 6’4 or 6’5.
For the players, there’s some sense of nerves but the good feelings where they’re at equals it all out.
“I think it’s a good feeling but I think we’re a little nervous because this is the first time we’ve made the playoffs in my life so it’s a pretty big game for us,” said the sharp-shooting Josiah Castillo on the emotions during Thursday’s practice.
“I think we just have to be confident, play at our pace and we’ll be good.”
Sanderson, who coached a playoff team or two himself, had one message for his team entering Friday’s game:
“Be confident in what we’ve done, trust yourself, trust your teammates and if you do that and have no regrets,” said Sanderson. “If you try and come out and do your own thing or make excuses or you don’t go quiet as hard as you could, then you have something you regret..
“We just want to make sure tomorrow, after the game, we have no regrets and hopefully that means we won the game.
Tip off for the game is at 730pm at McKay High School.
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!