Coach Michael McBride says his Trinity Lutheran boys basketball team has to do a better job of playing defense than what they’ve shown in the first two games of the season.
“We’ve got to do a better job of guarding the 3-point shot,” he said following an 88-66 loss to Madison Saturday night in the Bollinger Athletic Complex. “We’ve got to play much better perimeter defense. [Tuesday] night we did a much better job rebounding. Tonight we gave Madison way too many second-chance opportunities.”
Madison held a 12-4 lead midway through the first period before Hudson Norton made a 3-pointer for the Cougars.
The Cubs built their lead to 24-11 at the end of the first quarter and led 47-24 at the half. Madison shot 8-for-13 from 3-point land in the first half and the Cougars were 8-for-23 from the floor.
“When they did miss a 3 it seemed like Madison rebounded a lot of those," McBride said. "We didn’t do a very good on our perimeter defense and we didn’t do a very good job rebounding.”
After Madison scored the first basket of the third period, the Cougars played their best ball of the night by scoring 11 straight points to cut their deficit to 49-35. Tyler Goecker began the hot streak with a 3-pointer, and closed the rally with a basket at 4:40 to make it a 14-point difference.
The Cougars (0-2) then went ice cold as Madison went on a 15-0 run to take a 66-35 lead. Trinity didn’t score again until Norton drained a 3-pointer with 1:30 left in the period, and Madison held a 66-38 lead entering the final quarter.
The Cougars finished with 17 turnovers, and McBride said he would like to see that number reduced to 12 or less.
“We talked about that today in our team meeting that we want to keep turnovers at 12 or less," he said. "That’s where we need to go. I think we were 19 the other night.”
Goecker and Norton topped the Cougars in scoring with 18 apiece and Josh Rowe scored 10. Jack Marksberry and Mitchell Hackman each scored 6, Noah Voelker and Chase Sawyer each made a 3-pointer and Lawson Woods scored 2.
Luke Miller topped the Cubs (1-1) with 21 points.
McBride told his players to keep their heads up and keep working hard. If they do that, winning will come.
“We’ve just got to stay the course," McBride said. "South Decatur is going to win a lot of basketball games. Madison is a good basketball team as well. I told the guys in the locker room that we’ve got to do a better job of defending the 3 and we’ve just got to keep our heads up."
He was proud of the way his players continued to fight in the face of tough teams.
“We played two good basketball teams. It was ‘David and Goliath’ type stuff tonight between us and Madison," he continued. "We didn’t quit. There a little bit in the first half I questioned their effort but they came out and responded. Their effort was great in the second half. I can’t complain about it at all.
“It’s a good group to work with," he continued. "Knowing what I know so far of them we’ll get back to work on Monday, and Monday we are going to have to work. It’s not going to be just a traditional come in and run through some stuff, we’re going to have to get ready because we turn around and play Tuesday,” McBride said.