Harker Heights already has plenty to be proud of entering its regular-season finale tonight against Copperas Cove.
For starters, the Knights — a team that two weeks ago was clinging to the fourth and final playoff spot in District 8-5A — have clinched a postseason berth and can claim the No. 3 seed outright with a win against Cove.
Heights also has won five straight games, including exacting revenge upon Temple and Waco Midway in its last two victories after disappointing losses to each earlier in the season.
The win against Midway, in fact, was just the second time the Panthers have fallen in league play this season.
But Heights isn’t resting on its laurels and preparing for the playoffs at this point.
Despite coming off perhaps its most impressive win of the season Tuesday against Midway, the Knights enter tonight with the same chip they had when they were fighting for their playoff lives earlier in the district season.
“We’re playing for third place,” Heights head coach Glenn Cunningham said Tuesday.
“I don’t know what happened (between Temple-Copperas Cove) tonight — really doesn’t matter. We’re going over there to try to win another ball game and secure that third-place spot and then see what happens.
“We really don’t want to have to play an extra game to see who’s third or who’s fourth.”
Heights can clinch the No. 3 seed with a win against Cove but will have to play Temple for the seed if it loses and the Wildcats defeat Killeen.
Because of that, Heights is taking aim at Cove the same way it did Temple and Midway.
“We’re gunning for them,” sophomore Tyler Torres said after the Midway win.
“We have it coming for them,” Daniel Cole added.
“Cove knows that we’re ready to play and we’re going to show them that we’re a great team.”
Heights, of course, didn’t get to where it is now by taking teams for granted, and the Knights don’t plan to start with Cove.
Cove is still clinging to slim playoff hopes, and Cunningham said he expects the intensity to be high.
“I know Cove will be after us,” Cunningham said. “Cove will be a tough battle for us. We’ve got to go over there and play heads up baseball and play the same kind of baseball we played tonight and what we’ve played the second half of the season.”
Fortunately for Heights, the Knights know they can play that type of baseball after winning five straight.
Now, they just have to repeat it one more time.
“I’m confident our kids will be ready,” Cunningham said. “I don’t think they’ll overlook Cove.”
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