With 3:40 left in the 3rd quarter, Rhett Foster laid in a bucket to pull us within 2 after a back and forth opening 20 minutes. The biggest lead for either team up til that point had been 7 with both teams leading at one point in both the 1st and 2nd quarter. Over the next 4:30, the Warriors gave up a 16-4 run and with 6:45 remaining in the game, we found ourselves down 14 points.
A lot happened in those 4:30 minutes, some fortunate, some not but ultimately the hole was 1 step too deep for us to climb out of. We, of course, came storming back like we typically do; showing great toughness and fortitude to do so. Cut the lead to 3 and had three full possessions to tie it but just couldn’t find the look that we needed to get any closer.
It’s a 19 point improvement from our first matchup vs. Grandview which is a good thing but as our kids who will be the first one to tell you this, we’re done settling for morale victories. Still very proud of our kids. They never gave up. They kept battling. Had some awesome leadership moments on the sidelines, especially when things got down. They put their arm around one another, gave each other the confidence and positive energy to get back into the game.
In the first quarter, it was the offensive rebounds that cost us but mostly it was our turnovers. Those were huge tonight. We shot 48.7% from the field down, an eFG% of 55.1%. Those are both very, very good numbers. We would take both in a heartbeat for any game that we play in. However, when your opponent takes 10 mores shots in the game than you because you had 10 more turnovers, that’s an opportunity for 30 more points that we didn’t have compared to our opponent. Makes it tough to win. Have to figure out how to take care and be stronger with the ball against teams who like to press. I’d grade us out a group as a B or B- tonight. 4/9 (44.4%) from the line didn’t help much either.
At this point in the season, we’re trying to put ourselves in position to win games and learn some more about ourselves in terms of specific areas that we can target in practice to improve upon for districts. Both were accomplished tonight.
Ryker Edwards led us with 17 points tonight, Keltin Nitsche (13) and Rhett Foster (10) also got into double digits. Rhett led us in rebounds with 7 and Keltin led us with 4 assists. Brad Schram had 3 and Derek Boyd and Nick Dakon rounded out the scoring with 2 a piece. Cody Simoncic played some great defense for us tonight and while he got into a little foul trouble, he was still a positive in our +/- which is great. Thought Caleb Donnell and Derek Boyd came in and gave us a big lift off the bench with their defense, too, both helping us come back in the 4th quarter. Andrew Miller came in during the 2nd quarter and gave us some nice minutes, nice to be able to get him some more experience, too.
All in all, decent night, decent effort, good game for us to think about and use going forward. It will certainly help prepare us for our game on Friday vs. Ruskin who lost to Kearney this evening by 11. That one will be on the road. Another tough task for us.
JV had a very similar effort tonight where they came roaring back in the 4th quarter after being down except they WERE able to hit a big bucket with time winding down to tie it. Unfortunately, there was still enough time on the clock for the Bulldogs to come down and get a bucket and credit the young man from Grandview for hitting a tough floater in the lane with 3 seconds left to get the win.
On to Ruskin! Thank you for all who came out tonight and supported us or were cheering us on from home! Go Warriors!