As Harker Heights enters its regular season finale against Killeen on Tuesday, even an airtight race with Shoemaker for first place — and a potential neutral site showdown for the district title — can’t overshadow the same storyline that takes place every time the Knights venture into Killeen gymnasium.
“First of all, daddy’s home,” senior Cameron DeLaney said with a smile Saturday. “You know (Heights head) coach (Celneque) Bobbitt, it’s daddy’s house.”
Bobbitt will freely tell you how important each game against his alma mater is to him.
But at this point, the players also take pride in trying to ensure every homecoming for Bobbitt is a happy one.
“We’ve got to go in there and handle business,” DeLaney said. “We’ve definitely got to show up against Killeen at Killeen.”
Of course, there are two sides to the rivalry, and awaiting the No. 13 Knights (24-4, 11-2 8-5A) will be a Killeen team with no shortage of motivation.
First, the Kangaroos (21-10, 8-5) will be looking to avenge a 26-point loss to the Knights on Jan. 17 in which Heights outscored Killeen 39-13 in the second half.
Not only that, but Killeen will be looking to bounce back from an 85-52 loss to Copperas Cove on Friday, one that had the Roos up early Saturday morning trying to get the taste out of their mouths.
“I know Killeen practiced at like 6 this morning,” Bobbitt said Saturday. “So, I know we’ve got to be ready to go, too.”
Like every past edition of the rivalry, the latest edition of the Heights-Killeen saga will be one to throw out the records.
And while the Knights said winning a district title is still the priority, beating Killeen on the same floor Bobbitt once starred on is a close second.
“Nothing’s bigger than first place,” Josh DeLaney said. “First place is a priority, but Killeen’s still a pretty big game.”