It is the day before the first game of the year and I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve! We have been working very hard in preparation for this season and I am so excited that it is finally here. This week is a big week for us. With the addition of the Beef House Classic, we will play 3 games this week instead just the annual pre-Thanksgiving clash with Western Boone.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) the Trojans travel to Western Boone to take on the 3A Stars. This traditionally has been a highly competitive opening game. Although the Stars have a decided advantage in the series over the last 10 years (8-2), the Trojans won last year 50-45 and 8 of the last 10 games between the two schools have been decided by a margin of 9 points or less. The Stars are coached by Scott McClelland and are led by senior Riggs Baxter who was an IBCA Top 100 participant this past summer.
Saturday we will host The Beef House Classic. This is a 4-team one day tournament. The IHSAA granted schools the opportunity to add 2 games to the traditional 20 game schedule this year. We decided to host our own tournament with the help of The Beef House. Here is some information about the tournament:
Varsity (Main Gym)
10:00 Covington VS Frontier
12:00 Cascade VS Brown County
5:00 Consolation Game (L1 VS L2)
7:00 Championship Game (W1 VS W2)
JV (MS Gym)
10:00 Cascade VS Brown County
12:00 Covington VS Frontier
5:00 Consolation Game (L1 VS L2)
7:00 Championship Game (W1 VS W2)
Session Ticket: $5.00 per session (No reserved seats)
Doors open 45 minutes before the beginning of each session.
Covington All-Sports Passes will be honored for this tournament.
From the desk of John Karrfalt...
For 6th grade basketball, the Thanksgiving holiday break is a sign that the 6th grade season is half over. The team enters this year’s Thanksgiving break with a record of 5-2. After a good 4-0 start, the team came up short against two well organized teams- South Vermillion and Tuttle. After the two losses the Trojans bounced back with a home win against Attica 26-24. The Trojans had beaten the Ramblers in overtime in the season opening North Vermillion tournament. The two teams will meet for a third time the Monday after Thanksgiving break when the Trojans travel to Attica. The following day, the team travels to Pine Village for its second straight road game.
The Trojans traveled to Crawfordsville on Thursday evening for our annual pre-season scrimmage with the Athenians. After 9 practices our kids were looking forward to finally playing against some new faces. The coaching staff was excited to see players in a game-like situation as well. We played pretty much the way I expected us to. We played hard, but our timing and execution on the offensive end was a little off. Defensively we looked really good at times and at other times our communication and positioning broke down.
I’ve been asked by several people who were not at the scrimmage, “Did you win?” Well, I guess if you added up the scores of the 4 quarters, you would have to say that we came out on top. But, looking at the score of a scrimmage can be very misleading. You don’t shoot FT (even on shooting fouls) until the last minute of each quarter…. Individual fouls are not kept… and regular substitution patterns aren’t used. Coaches don’t go into the scrimmage trying to “win.” Instead we go in with the goal of trying to find out as much as we can about our team. Here are few things (but not everything) that the coaching staff picked out as areas that need improvement:
- Our communication on defense was below average.
- Our players need to do a better job of getting into a stance at the defensive end.
- We were not consistent in boxing out.
- Our press rotations were way out of sync.
- We need to attack the basket off the dribble more often.
- We need to set and use screens more effectively.
Not everything was a negative. Our ball movement was good and we certainly are unselfish. We also shot the three fairly well. In fact, we had 7 different guys hit a three pointer and our team made 14 threes for the night. Probably the biggest positive on the night was our depth. I’ve told our coaching staff from Day One that this was the deepest team that I’ve ever coached and Thursday night’s performance didn’t make me change my mind. We played 11 guys major minutes and all of them demonstrated that they can play at the varsity level. The problem for me and the coaching staff this year will be trying to divide the playing time in a way that allows us to utilize our depth to our advantage without disrupting our continuity on the floor. A coach can only play 5 guys at a time and in high school we only play 32 minute games. It definitely is going to be an issue that challenges the coaching staff. The flip side of this problem is the fact that our practices have been as competitive as they have ever been. I’m not trying to offend any of our opponents by saying this, but I honestly believe that some of the best competition our starting five is going to see this year is our second unit.
One other positive was our crowd. It was really nice to travel to Crawfordsville and see more gold and black in the stands than blue and gold. We have a number of road games in the early part of the season, so hopefully this will be the beginning of a trend for us. Our first game is Wednesday, November 26th at Western Boone. We hope to see you there.
This is the third installment of a 4 part series entitled- Nine Tips For Basketball Parents. If you missed the first two installments, you can find them by clicking on the parents tab at the top of the page. Here are tips #5 and #6.....
#5 Your Son Is Not His Performance- Love Him Unconditionally
The quickest way to damage your relationship with your son is to punish him after a poor performance. Your son needs to know without any reservation that his self-worth and lovability have nothing to do with his performance on the floor. Kids generally feel bad enough after a game where they didn’t play up to their potential. Often times they feel like they have let down their team, their coach, or their parents. After a rough night on the court even some well-meaning constructive criticism from a parent makes the child feel like he isn’t loved as much by the people who are supposed to love him the most. I think it is important for parents to choose their words and their tone carefully after games in which their son didn’t play up to his potential.
#6 Make Sure Your Son’s Goals Are His Goals
I think it is very important to know whether your son is playing basketball because they enjoy it, or is it to please their parents? If you catch yourself saying things like, “our jump shot is too flat”, or “We really need to start driving the ball to the basket more," when you are really talking specifically about your son- then your son is probably not playing “for himself.” In fact he is probably playing to please you or for your vicarious glory and that leads to nothing but problems in the long term. It is certainly normal for parents to want their son to be as successful as possible, but parents can't make that happen by pressuring their son to meet their standard of performance. Players must set their own goals and parents need to support them. When the parents expectations on performance level far exceed their son’s, then basketball quits being fun. It’s when a player has his own reasons and his own goals for participating that he grows to love the game and has a much greater chance of achieving his goals.