ARCANUM — Ryan Innis believes if his team can hold its opponents’ score in the 40s, his team will have a good chance of winning most of those games.
The major problem Innis’ Twin Valley South boys basketball team has right now, though, is they are having trouble putting points on the board.
The Panthers shot just 16 percent (7-of-43) from the field, including going 0-for-20 from 3-point range in a 42-19 setback at Arcanum on Friday, Dec. 4.
“I thought we prepared really, really well this week. I thought we had a great week of practice,” Innis said. “Obviously, coming off the Dixie loss we knew we had to work on our controllables. Our effort. Getting to the 50-50 balls, to boxing out, to rebounding and doing all the little things right that we talk about.”
His team did most of those, keeping the game close in the first half and only trailing 17-7 at the break, despite going 3-for-22.
“Obviously, we have to make shots. We probably got 300-400 shots up apiece this week. We really stressed that. We’re really trying to get these guys in position to shoot with confidence and make shots. Coming into this game, I thought we were there,” he said. “We just had one of those nights where nothing fell. We got really good looks at times. I just told my group, ‘You’ve got to shoot with confidence and you’ve got to keep continuing to shoot and we’ve got to realize when we’re off that night, we’ve got to make easier shots, get to the rim and not settle for threes.’”
The game got away from the Panthers in the first four minutes of the third quarter.
The Trojans went on a 12-0 run to take a 29-7 lead with just under four minutes left in the quarter. South didn’t score its first points of the quarter until the 3:30 mark. Arcanum extended its lead to 34-9 with 2:44 to play.
“What we talk about all the time is the first three minutes (of the second half) is the most crucial point of a game,” Innis said. “We were either going to come out these first three minutes and we’re going to turn this into a single-digit ball game or they’re going to start to pull and that’s exactly what they did. They took the energy.”
South fell behind by as many as 28 (40-12) with 5:48 left in the game, before closing with a 7-2 run.
“I thought defensively we executed our game-plan to perfection. We’re giving up 44 points a game and you’re going to win a lot of games more than likely when you hold teams in the 40s,” Innis said. “Again, you’ve got to score the ball and that’s something we’re not doing. We’ve got to continue to get better with that.”
Innis said his team has to play with more energy earlier in the game.
“We took the pressure up in the fourth quarter and we’re turning the pressure on too late. We’ve got to turn it on quicker and we can’t wait until the fourth quarter to play like that,” he said. “We’re still trying to get that chemistry down and we got a lot of young guys that are playing a lot of minutes, but at some point, we’ve got to grow up a little bit and go make plays and quit playing scared. I tell my guys we’ve got to play angry. We’ve got to play with a little chip on our shoulder. At times we’re too soft. Got to play with a purpose.”
South was led by senior Brayden Marker’s seven points. Tyler Wright and Lucas Sievering each added four.
South (0-2) is scheduled to travel to Waynesville on Saturday, Dec. 12 for its next game and will host Tri-County North on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr