The Hirschi Huskies have gotten used to back-to-back sets on a weekend.
They've done it six times including Saturday. The total includes tournaments but also some creative scheduling by Donald Hedge, who was seeking to play tough competition more than to mimic what his team could see in March at the Region I-3A Tournament.
The timing might not have been planned, but his team has had lots of practice at building enough endurance to play two tough games in a 24-hour stretch as they did Saturday with an 81-75 victory over Trinity Christian of Lubbock.
If there's another back-to-back set it'll be in Lubbock, on March 1-2, where the Huskies will hope to win back-to-back games and punch their ticket to their first state tournament since 1988.
"We've won a bunch of them, and we've played pretty well in most of them," Hedge said. "We're used to it by now.
"We've got a chance but we've just got to keep getting better. We want to get better at the little stuff. If we do those things, we have a chance."
The team isn't looking ahead as it faces the immediate challenge of the District 5-3A race and then a tough playoff road to get to Lubbock.
Both the Huskies and Lions (13-8) were coming off second-place tournament finishes last week: the Huskies in Ardmore and Trinity Christian in the Caprock Classic.
And Hirschi had defeated Gainesville, a preseason top 20 team in 3A, by a 73-43 score Friday night.
The Lions and Huskies traded small leads throughout the first half with Trinity Christian scrambling well for offensive rebounds. It had five chances on one second-quarter possession and four on another.
But Torrence Cooper came off the bench to provide a big spark with 10 first-half points, and Marcus Foster had 17 as the Huskies went to intermission with a 37-31 lead.
Foster, who had a game-high 31 points, and the Huskies kept the lead throughout the second half although the Lions wouldn't go away.
That forced Hirschi to execute under pressure and hit free throw after free throw after free throw. The Huskies answered the challenge, converting 17 of 22 (72 percent) in the fourth quarter and 26 of 35 (74 percent) for the game.
Foster found a nice rhythm, converting 11 of his 12 in the fourth. He had 11 points in both the first and fourth quarters for his third 30-plus performance in his past four games.
About the only flaw offensively was a pair of charging fouls where the ball was forced instead of moved to the open man, but Hedge was very pleased with the offensive flow.
He said the keys for success he outlines for his club are defense, rebounding, taking care of the ball and free throws. After getting beat by five on the glass by the bulkier Lions, the Huskies won that battle by three in the second half.
"Offensively, I thought we played pretty well and in the second half, we cleaned up the rebounding," Hedge said. "That's a good team we were playing. They made a lot of tough shots in the fourth quarter. They were patient and disciplined."
More rebounds meant more chances in transition and the ball movement helped open shots for everyone. Torrence Cooper finished with 17 points; Terrence Cooper had nine; and Rico Shumpert and Mack Sillemon had eight apiece.
The Huskies (10-7) will play a third home game in four days at 6 p.m. Monday against Holliday (18-2) before their District 5-3A opener at home Friday against Vernon.
Hirschi 81, Lubbock Trinity Christian 75
L. Trinity Christian (13-8) — Parrott 14, Stephenson 21, Ewald 3, Harrison 2, Wentz 10, Wheeler 23, O'Hair 2.
HIRSCHI (10-7) — Foster 31, Torrence Cooper 17, Terrence Cooper 9, Sillemon 8, Shumpert 8, Barnes 4, Harley 4.
Trinity Christian 18 13 19 25 — 75
Hirschi 19 18 25 19 — 81
3-Point Goals — (LTC) Stephenson 2, Parrott 1, Ewald 1, Wentz 1; (H) To. Cooper 4, Te. Cooper 1, Foster 1, Sillemon 1.
free throws — (LC) 9-14; (H) 26-35
JV — Trinity Christian 59, Hirschi 47; TC-Cory Wimberly 15; H-Hickman 12.
Freshman — Hirschi 55, Trinity Christian 44; TC-Hurst 12; H-Michael Norris 25, Glen Horton 9.
District 21-A Div. II Girls
Saint Jo 52, Midway 40
MIDWAY (11-11, 2-2) — Cassidy Mass 21, Kelli Forester 10, Merkel 9.
Saint Jo (2-2) — Weger 8, Patrick 2, Lyons 1, Reeves 11, Fernandez 23, Hawthorne 7.
Midway 4 14 8 14 — 40
Saint Jo 8 13 16 15 — 52
3-Point Goals — (M) 3 (Forester 2, Merkel 1); (SJ) 7 (Fernandez 5, Weger 2).
free throws — (M) 19-26; (SJ) 7-16.