By Vern Hee
Time is running out for the Lady Trojans basketball team to make the playoffs. The Trojans finished last week’s home stand by losing two very close games.
On Friday they lost to Cheyenne 29-16 and on Thursday they lost to Mojave 31-27. The Trojans are now 0-4 in the bottom of their league.
The girls have been in every game they have played this year. They have played every team in the league but Faith Lutheran. Each game they have worked harder and gotten slightly better. They play a very strong defense, but can’t get over the hump and score more points.
Cheyenne gave them an opening by not scoring enough points in the first half, last Friday, but the Trojans could not make any baskets and stalled out.
Kristal Cummings, head Cheyenne girls coach, admitted her team stalled too against the Pahrump defense.
“We started off really slow and had a lot of turnovers and crucial players in foul trouble. They picked it up in the second half and were able to stay in the game. I told them at the half that you can’t start off the game playing slow. And with no intensity a lot of teams will come out and get you and that is what happened tonight,” said Cummings.
Jennifer Hagstrom, head girls varsity coach, hates to be repetitive. She said her squad deserves some credit for all the hard work they put into each game.
They held Cheyenne to just 12 points in the second half. This type of effort will win games if you can score.
“We shot ten percent. We held the highest scoring team in the league to 29 points. We got out-rebounded by one by a team that started a kid that was taller than all of my girls. We turned the ball over 14 times. Our average turnovers are 30 and we had 13 steals,” said coach.
The Trojans travel to Faith Lutheran next Tuesday to end the first half of league play. Most of the games in the second half will be away with the exception of Western on Feb. 1 and Faith on Feb. 7.
“We shoot every day and now we are rushing it. We need to get the offensive rebounds and the second chance shots. The hustle is there. Cheyenne’s kids play hard and they are tall I am not making excuses. The girls have to run the plays. We missed some really good shots. If we knock some of those shots down, then we are right there.
We play Faith a week from next Tuesday, they are big kids and we will have to knock them down from the outside. It’s hard because the kids are working hard,” said Hagstrom.
The Trojans boys team have not done as well as the girls. They too are running out of chances to make the playoffs.
They were blown away by two very good offensive teams. They fell to Cheyenne 67-29 and Mojave on Thursday, 62-36. The team falls to 1-3 in league play.
The Trojans defense got hammered in both games.
Brian Hayes, head varsity basketball coach, was disappointed by his team’s performance in both games.
“The last two games were tough losses. We were fairly competitive with Mojave down by six at halftime , but then had the game slip away from us due to turnovers. The score was a little deceiving considering our bench allowed a 11-0 run in the last 2 minutes or so. As for the Cheyenne game, we simply could not handle their pressure. We turned the ball over almost 30 times while attempting only 37 shots , and they killed us in transition 8/38. Of their 38 transition points, 30 of their points in transition were off of our own turnovers. That’s the game right there,” said Hayes.
Most observers of the games would agree that the Trojans have to work on the defense.
Hayes believes his defense is not to blame entirely.
“Defensively, I think we are ok in a half court set. We run into some problems when we face a team that can shoot it a little. We have been rebounding very well of late. We just give up so many easy baskets due to our own turnovers, that we don’t give our defense a chance most of the time,” said coach.
The Trojans travel to Faith Lutheran next Tuesday. To win that game, the team must be able to handle pressure.
This is something Hayes has been harping on all year.
“Although Faith doesn’t have near the athleticism of Cheyenne or Mojave, they are a solid, fundamentally sound team. They are big, and crash the boards hard. They mix up zones, and mans, and pressure as well. I’m sure they will pressure us. We are going to work hard this week on ball handling, and hope that given a week to prepare for Faith, we can come out and play a good, solid, fundamentally sound basketball game,” Hayes remarked.
Boys Division I-A
Girls Division I-A Sunset League