Ban, Cane, Angle, Firm, Mind
This was the first real test of the Flying Queens. They play in the NAIA and this weekend they're going to be playing NCAA powerhouses. Their first team on tonight is Tennessee and if they win that they'll play either Texas Tech or New Mexico.
Tennessee won the championship before UCON became the perennial powerhouse.
Tech won the championship under Marsha Sharp, a former Flying Queen and assistant coach. UNM hasn't won the championship, but always fields a competitive team.
Coach Spain spent sleepless nights getting her game plan ready for all three teams. She was leaving nothing to chance. Tennessee and Tech had a center two inches taller than Shanika and more experienced. UNM didn't have a tall center, but three power forwards made up for it.
She sat in a cane chair in the motel visualizing Shanika against Janet McClusky. Shanika would use her hook shot a time or two and when the forwards moved in to stop her she'd pass to Sasha for a three pointer. When she went under the basket if she was blocked another pass to Vicky and when they closed in to stop that she'd move out for a three pointer. There was always an angle open for a clear shot.
It was time to get on the bus and face the music. She banished any negative thoughts. Today Wayland would reach the heights of women's basketball that they had in 1978 when they made the final four of the NCAA tournament.
The buzzer sounded for the opening tip off. The team gathered around her. They linked hands, "Be alert, be firm, be sure and kick their butts."