MURFREESBORO, TN (WMC) - Penny Hardaway and the East High School Mustangs advanced to the school's third-consecutive Class AAA State Championship Game.
The Mustangs defeated Bearden High School 72-60 on Friday, marking Bearden's second loss of the season.
In terms of reports that Penny is set to take the head coaching job at Memphis, Hardaway said it's not on his mind right now.
"I mean, you read it, but you don't let it get into the locker room," Hardaway said. "I think these guys have done a great job of reading it, but not letting it get to them, because we have a goal, and that goal is to win the third gold ball in a row. If you can't focus enough for that, then you shouldn't be here. You should be focusing on one thing right now. I know that's what they're doing. It hasn't been hard for me. I'm used to it."
East senior point guard Alex Lomax echoed his head coach's comments.
"We just focused on one thing only. So if we see something, I mean, it's just regular. It's just right there. We're not going to pay too much attention to it, because we just want to do one thing, and that's win the gold ball. We be on social media. We see it. It's just there. It's not a big deal," Lomax--a Wichita State signee--said.
East will face Whitehaven High School in the state championship game Saturday at 1 p.m. It will be the 17th time in the last 19 years that two Memphis teams will play for the AAA gold ball.
In Class A, Douglass High School defeated North Greene High School 73-47 to win their 30th game in a row and advance to the state championship game.
Hamilton High School will play for the Class AA State Championship on Saturday at 6 p.m.