Super 5 girls basketball 2020: Moore's Brent Hodges knew he had done something special
MOORE — The first thing Brent Hodges did when he walked through his front door on March 3 was send out texts to previous players and coaches.
He wanted to let them know the good news: Moore High School girls basketball had finally accomplished what they long worked for.
With a victory in the area championship earlier that evening, Moore had advanced to the Class 6A state tournament, the program's first state appearance in 22 years.
“They are all off to college all over the country, playing college basketball or just going to school, and I just wanted to let them know,” Hodges said of his text storm. “And the fun part is they already knew and were congratulating us.
“It was just a fun thing that night, not only to share with our current players that were there, but to share it with other people in the community.”
Hodges knew advancing to state wasn’t just an accomplishment for the basketball program. It was also an accomplishment for the community.
This season, Moore has battled through the deaths of several students, first in December when a senior was killed after her SUV was hit by a speeding car driven by an off-duty Moore police officer, then in February when members of the track team on a training run were struck by a drunk driver. Hodges said a lot of times when such tragedies happen, their classmates don’t get to honor those who have died in a way that they want, but this season, his players were able to do something special.
“Just doing that for our schools and our community and those kids and those families, playing for their memory,” Hodges said. “And playing for the three that passed and the three that were injured on February 3. That ran through my head of how special this is.”
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With a 21-5 record, the Lions put together their best season under Hodges, who has spent the past five years at Moore.
When he arrived, the Lions had won 12 games in four years combined.
“That first season, we go 12-12 and you think they’re going to throw us a parade,” Hodges said, through a chuckle. "But every year, we got better.”
The 2017-18 season, Moore went 15-9.
The next season, it went 19-7 but failed to advance out of area.
Finally pushing Moore over the state-tournament hurdle, Hodges has been selected The Oklahoman’s Super 5 Coach of the Year.
“Where we’ve come in those few years just shows our kids' work ethic,” Hodges said. “I think it’s just something about these Moore kids — they want it more, they’re driven, it’s just instilled in them.
“It’s just fun to see how far our program has come.”