ALLEN Allen High School has no real basketball tradition to speak of, and finished third in district this year.

So what are they doing in the state tournament?

'You know, we're just working hard every day; coach stays on top of us,' said Myron Fisher, a senior guard and one of the captains on the team. 'Me and Whitey [co-captain Andrew Dawson] stay on top of our teammates, make sure we stay focused.'

The truth is, these guys knew they could be this good even if no one else did. Going to Austin has been the goal all year.

'I told my AD back at the beginning of the year, we got a group of kids who have the ability to be in Austin and win it all... it's just a matter of it gelling and coming together at the right time,' said head coach Jeff McCullough. 'I know it's kind of cliche, but we're playing our best basketball at the right time.'

'Nobody really expected it except for us, of course,' Dawson said. 'They [Allen students] are really pumped for it, especially since everybody else is doing well this year in all our sports.'

The big story here last week was that Allen's $60 million football stadium was found to have cracks in it. The athletic department as a whole, on the other hand, has never been more solid.

The football team has won back-to-back state championships, and the wrestling program has five in a row.

Now the Eagles basketball team is going to state for the first time ever.

'The old saying is: 'Winning breeds winning,'' said Allen athletic director Steve Williams. 'Kids get excited, they see the football team winning' they see the wrestling team winning; so it's something to shoot for.'

'In Allen, we're used to winning, and winning in a lot of sports, and that's one of the reasons I came here,' said McCullough, who is in his second year as the Eagles' head coach. 'Allen is used to some championship programs, and we're just the next in line.'

There's not a lot of room in the trophy case for another one, but it's a good problem to have.


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