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#4 Pittsburg Prepares for State Tournament - KOAM TV 7

#4 Pittsburg Prepares for State Tournament

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The Pittsburg Purple Dragons are headed to the state tournament for the second straight season. Last Friday, they clinched their spot in the state tournament on a Drew Roelfs buzzer beater, which gave them a 56-54 overtime win over St. Thomas Aquinas in the sub-state championship game.

"I knew it was in right away," Roelfs says, "I didn't know what to do, so I just started running. Then everyone started running after me. It was crazy."

It was a rollercoaster game for Pittsburg, and obviously, an emotional finish. However, the team says that game is behind them, and they're not worried about  a letdown game after such a big win.

"We just all have to focus in," says senior Marque English, "We have to know that last game happened, and we're glad it happened the way it ended, but we have to get drawn back in...and get ready to give it all we got."

Last season, the Dragons were one-and-done in the state tournament, falling to Wichita-Heights in the first round 72-65. Most of the team is back from last year, and that loss has not been forgotten.

"It's a new year and a new season. And our guys understand that," adds head coach Kiley Roelfs, "But I don't think there's any question that that's in teh back of their minds."

"Going into this year our mindset is a lot better," says senior Chase Curtis, "We're going to be more physical and we're going to be ready for everything they're going to throw at us."

Pittsburg's first round game is against Topeka-Seaman High School. The Vikings are 15-7 this season, and making their first appearance in the state tournament since 2008.

"When you get to this level, you know you're going to play against a good team, and they are a very good team. They're solid on both ends of the floor. They have two bigs inside that they really do a good job of playing through," coach Roelfs adds, "Our ability to deal with those will play a big factor in this game, without a doubt."

Tip-off for Wednesday's game will be at 6:30 in Topeka. 

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