In our second game of the season we played Lake Brantley with no practice between games. Lake Brantley has been the most consistently productive team in our county at all three levels of play. They seldom feature any genuinely great players even at the varsity level, but they have an abundance of tall, physical players and do a terrific job defending, rebounding and playing with confidence. They are the only team that I have a losing record against as a JV coach 1-3 going into the night.
My one victory was memorable for cementing my reputation as an anti-time out coach. I was at Oviedo with our original FBGM team. We played very well….until the 4th quarter when Brantley pressed us and cut into out lead. For several possessions, there was growing sentiment on the bench that a time out was in our best interest. I held off. Even when Brantley tied the game and pressed. We inbounded to mid-court without the benefit of a time out and had a 2 on 1, but we missed the lay up. On the other end we got a jump ball, and i got my sub on the floor. Whip Green, a wiry left hander with a streaky shooting stroke. We inbounded underneath and Whip trotted up the left side of the floor to the deep corner, caught the ball and shot us to a three point lead. We never trailed again and won by four. Whip was about 1/8 from the field before the shot, and when i watched the video later that night our videographer, Charlie Koepsell, was screaming and cussing me out to call a time out. A timely substitution always prevails.
Back to last night. Clearly inspired by my pregame speach on the Honeybadger, our kids came out on fire defensively. Our activity level was off the charts and we surged to an early double digit lead. We went a little bit up and down, through the middle two quarters which i expected given how much energy we expended early, but seemed to have an answer for every thing they threw at us. We led 54-37 to start the fourth.
We had mild foul trouble, and wanted to control the tempo so we went Oranges which is our spread delay game. We varied between impatience and missing open lay ups. As our offensive efficiency bottomed out, our defense crapped the bed. We lost our shape, gambled too much and didn’t rebound well enough. We did however do enough to hold on 64-61, and have our first meaningful crunch time minutes.
At this point of the season, I believe this type of win is vitale. Had we cruised home by 15-20, we could become complacent. As it was, we have numerous things to work on, and in the drama of the win the impetus for the players to listen and learn.
Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.