There was once a time where finishing 2nd place in a tournament would have felt like a great success for the Smithville Warriors boys program and in many respects, it still is. Listen, a lot of other teams would have been very satisfied or even excited to finish 2nd place.
We are no longer at that place as a program. We were disappointed to lose in the championship. We were mad about it. It stung. It should have. We didn’t play well at all and we still gave ourselves a chance to win, a one possession game with 3 minutes to go, which makes the loss even more frustrating. It’s one thing to play well and lose, which is what happened in the championship game at the LeBlond tournament but when you don’t play well and still lose close, it’s make the 2nd place result feel a whole lot different.
We had a few standout moments in the game. For one, after finding ourselves down 14 in a championship game, we did show some toughness and some championship caliber heart, going on a fantastic 11-0 run to end the 3rd quarter to cut the lead to 3; the same deficit we found ourselves going into halftime with. That’s something that we can use and build going forward. Tough times don’t last but tough teams do. Only scoring 4 points in the 1st quarter was the real problem. We never really got it going early, never found that confidence that we needed. When shots fall early for us, the avalanche usually follows. When we shoot with confidence, look out. When we don’t, we have to rely on our defense to keep us in games (and hope we find our shooting stroke later). Our defense was good enough to keep us in it but not great enough to win the game.
An individual performance that really stood out for me was the performance of Rhett Foster. He had a great night. He was confident in his offensive moves, went strong to the glass for almost all of his attempts, had a few great post moves; he keeps getting better and better. He led us on the night w/ 12 points and 6 rebounds and that’s a stat line that is very replicable for him. Keltin Nitsche got into double digits with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists and also had 4 steals.
We’ll get better. Our next chance is at practice today and we’ll get to return to our own building tomorrow as we’ll take on the Grandview Bulldogs. JV will make their return tomorrow, too! JV tips at 5:30, Varsity to follow.