After a week of snow and cold weather, the long awaited rematch vs. the Raytown South Cardinals came to Smithville as we played our final home game of the season. While we found ourselves with the lead in every single quarter tonight, we fell one possession short, falling to the defending state champs, 49-52. As I was driving home and reflecting on the evening, the best metaphor I could think of tonight comes from the golf course. Every golfer will you tell you about those rounds where it just seems like everything you do is a grind; forced to hit the ball out of the bunker or from the rough. Tonight, it felt like we would par a hole, then bogey two, then birdie one, the bogey another, then par, etc. We struggled to find consistency tonight.
As we always do though, we just continued to battle. A bad final 90 seconds of the 3rd quarter saw the score go from down 2 to down 7. We immediately came storming back into the game, taking the lead back midway through the 4th and after a switch back to our zone, we forced Raytown South to run about a minute and half of offense before they could find an open look. Down by 2, having shot 1-14 from 3 for the game, the Cardinals swung the ball to senior Cerick Wright and credit to that young man for stepping up and hitting the biggest shot of the game for them, putting them up 50-49 with 90 seconds to go. From a defensive standpoint, we got them to shoot the shot we wanted them to take and we got a hand up to contest, sometimes they fall.
On the other end of the floor, we still had our chances but couldn’t find the shot we needed to put us back ahead and we fell 52-49. I love these games during this time of year. You want as many “district-like” games and situations as possible and we’ll be able to pull a ton of film from tonight and learn/practice specific scenarios that we saw tonight as we prep towards the end of the week.Still a great effort from this group tonight. Wish we could have pulled it out.
Tomorrow though, we’ll turn our attention to our regular season rematch on the road vs. Platte County. Another Varsity-only, 6 PM tip.
Balanced scoring across the board tonight, Brad Schram led us w/ 11, Nick Dakon had 10, Ryker Edwards had 9 who led us with rebounds tonight with 6. Rhett Foster had 8, Keltin Nitsche had 6 and also led us with assists tonight with 5. Marcus Garza and Andrew Miller had 2 each and Cody Simoncic had 1 though he did take his season lead back from Brad with his 13th charge taken on the season (Brad has 12).
More than anything, we just need to stay healthy for the rest of the week.We’ll return to full strength later this week as we get all of our guys back out of quarantine and we’ll be ready to roll for our home district game on Saturday vs. Excelsior Springs at 5 PM.