It's their biggest game of their season, but the Hardin-Jefferson Lady Hawks are on cruise-control.
Facing a feisty Rusk squad Friday night H-J head coach Mike Fogo noticed a calmness after their morning shoot-around.
"This is a real loose group to begin with," said Fogo at Sam Houston State's Johnson Coliseum. "They're bee-bopping around here just waiting for 8 pm to arrive."
The Lady Hawks are trying to get back to San Antonio to avenge last season's state final loss to Argyle, but first they have to get past a Rusk team that comes in with an underwhelming record of 17-12. The Rusk crew are riding a four-game win streak with playoff wins over Huntington (41-36), Lorena (41-36) and Gatesville (68-66).
The Hardin-Jefferson Lady Hawks brought an arsenal of talent into the 2020 season and last year's state final appearance, while impressive, left the team bereft of what could have been. H-J fought a formidable Argyle squad tough throughout the contest before foul trouble and depth ended their season with a 49-41 loss.
Coach Mike Fogo looks towards this season's playoffs with nine returning players, including district heavyweights Delberta Guillory-Smith (Defensive MVP), Ashlon Jackson (Newcomer of the Year), and Makenna Henry (1st Team All-District).
The Lady Hawks are currently ranked #3 in class 4A in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) poll.
"We're getting better," said Fogo.