The Mary Persons Lady Bulldogs outlasted Howard Friday night at Westside to win back-to-back region tournament titles.
"There was one point at the end of the third quarter, beginning of the fourth quarter, we caught fire," said MP head coach Kurt Greene. "From that point on, it was just a matter of will."
A free-throw ended up being the winning shot in a 51-50 overtime victory for the Lady Bulldogs.
Repeating was not a bad thing at the region tournament, but MP wants to avoid a repeat of their state run last season. Mary Persons lost to Dougherty in the first round.
"We don't want that to happen again," said sophomore guard Keke Calloway. "So we're going to come out here tomorrow and play our best."
Mary Persons hosts Wayne County at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Unlike the region tournament, the state bracket matches up unfamiliar teams.
"I've always enjoyed that part where we play somebody for the first time," explained Greene. "When you play somebody three or four times they get to know you a little bit and they can figure you out a little bit."
"I think the biggest problem is going to be their post people, because they are athletic post people. They're intelligent post people as far as knowing the game and getting in the right spots. So, I think that's going to be a problem for us."
The players hope to use last year's loss to better prepare them Tuesday night.
"I feel more experienced and I feel more comfortable with my teammates than I would with any other team that I've played on," said senior, guard Kendria Buckner.
"You have the best of the best out of each region," explained Calloway. "It's just more competitive and the state championship is the big dog, big goal."