As the district season winds down and the postseason draws near, the Harker Heights boys and girls both find themselves in the thick of tight district races.
With the Lady Knights fighting for the second seed in District 8-5A, and the Knights trying to keep pace with Shoemaker for the district title, neither can afford to drop a game heading into meetings with Waco Midway this evening.
The urgency for the Lady Knights is particularly high with Killeen and Temple also tied for second place with just two games remaining in the regular season.
Just a game behind the trio is Copperas Cove, who the Lady Knights visit in the regular season finale Tuesday.
Heights can only guarantee itself a playoff spot by winning out, and while head coach Shirretha Nelson said she was a bit frustrated following a 16-point loss to Temple, she and her team were trying to remain upbeat.
“We’re really trying to take the positives because we’re still in the race,” Nelson said, “and last year at this time we weren’t even in the race.”
But Nelson knows her team, which has lost four of its last six district games, will have to improve if it wants to still be playing after Tuesday.
“We need to find ourselves and the things that have made us successful this year,” Nelson said. “We kind of went away from it, and I honestly don’t know why, but we need to go back to it.”
The Knights’ playoff hopes, meanwhile, are likely safe, but after a loss to Shoemaker last Friday, now find themselves in a tight two-team race for the district title.
One loss can be the difference between first and second in District 8-5A, thus the Knights can’t take any team, even sixth-place Midway, for granted.
So, for the Knights and Lady Knights, the days of figurative must-win games is likely over, as every game from this point on will have significant ramifications on the 8-5A playoff race.