Hoops Season Progresses

By John Niswander
Elm Staff Writer

The Shoremen basketball team opened up conference play on the road with a 61-74 defeat at the hands of Swarthmore College last week. The Shoremen are an extremely young team with only four upperclassmen on the roster and can build off of some positives in this game for the rest of the season.
“We played hard for most of the game against a really good team. We kept our turnovers low and competed. We can always continue to learn and get better, but I think we took some positives steps,” said sophomore guard Brandon Berry.
WC jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in large part due to the pressure applied to the Garnet.
“Heading into the game, we knew they did not like pressure, so we pressed the whole game. It flustered them a lot, which helped us a good amount,” said junior guard Joey Shelton .
WC’s lead quickly vanished thanks to a 10-0 run by the Garnet. WC was able to keep the game within each reach, only trailing by 3-4 possessions throughout most of the first half. WC struggled to box out with Swarthmore’s size advantage down low.
“We are undersized so we must box out aggressively. Sometimes we were not boxing out and we can’t jump with them considering their height advantage,” said Shelton.
After one half of the game, WC trailed 28-40. The Shoremen were content with their play in the first half, and knew that with a couple of second half adjustments they could keep play more competitive with Swarthmore in the final 20 minutes.
“At the half we talked about amping up the pressure and continuing to play as a team. We also made it a point of emphasis to crash the glass harder,” said Berry.
Head Coach Aaron Goodman also made a tactical adjustment that helped WC keep the pressure up on Swarthmore.
“We made a slight adjustment in our press coverage. In the second half we played much harder, focused, and executed better,” said Coach Aaron Goodman. WC was only outscored by one in the second half, 33-34. The adjustments at halftime were effective, but the deficit from the first half was just too large to overcome to squeak out a victory.
One positive for WC, looking at the box score after the game, was that they committed 11 fewer turnovers than Swarthmore. WC outscored Swarthmore by 11 points, 17-6, in points off of turnovers.
“We gained 15 extra possessions and they turned the ball over 18 times while we only turned the ball over seven times. That is our formula to win games,” said Goodman.
WC came up short on the scoreboard this game, but they can still be proud of their effort and competiveness with one of the toughestteams in the conference.
“I think a positive individually for me was getting into a groove early offensively. As a team we should take pride and be proud of how many more possessions we had and how many turnovers we forced them to have. We just need to convert more diligently,” said Shelton.
Goodman is certain that the team is heading in a positive direction and will improve with each game this season.
“We need to improve in our conversion on turnovers, especially at the rim on our layups. We need to be focused on the free throw line. We will continue to tighten our offensive and defensive execution. We have a winning formula with this team and we are improving each practice and game,” said Goodman.

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