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February 28, 2014

Know Your Foe: Buffs face Cardinals at Bishop Kelley

(Continued)

McALESTER —

Zike said that on film, Pittman and Pitts appear to be East Central’s most dangerous shooters. Zike described the Cardinals as “athletic” overall.

“They have one good guard (Pitts) and a good forward (Pittman), and then there’s a lot of good athletes and role-players around them,” Zike said.

Both Wade and Zike are in their first years running their respective basketball teams. Wade said he’s tried to keep the Cardinals focused on being in the right position and not giving up easy plays.

“If you stay basic and you stay fundamental, you’ll win games,” Wade said.

Part of that approach means not adjusting his team’s approach from game to game. Both Zike and Wade said they’ve scouted the other team, but they differed in how to use that information.

“We’re going to concentrate on trying to stop those two (from) being able to beat us,” Zike said. “We know that from this point on, pretty much, I think we’re going to have better basketball players than several other teams, but (the) athletic ability part, they’ll probably be more athletic than us.”

“We’re going to play back-to-back if we win, so to go in and change our scheme overnight, it’s hard,” Wade said.

The Buffs have battled injuries since the start of 2014, but Zike said the team is healthier now than it’s been in weeks. The Buffs have beaten just one 5A team this season — Ardmore on Feb. 21 — and their regional tournament will take place at Bishop Kelley in Tulsa, the same location where their season ended in 2013.

“They want to go make a point to everyone that they are as good as anyone else in 5A,” Zike said of his team.

“We’re not playing them. They’re having to play us.”

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