Both the New Brockton boys’ and girls’ basketball teams continued to struggle last week with the boys facing losses to both Wicksburg and Luverne and the girls struggling against Wicskburg.
The New Brockton boys (0-4) have struggled with what Gamecock coach Anthony Carter described as selfish play and an inability to finish games. That inability to finish cost the Gamecocks late against Luverne, leading to a 53-46 loss.
“To be honest, I’m not very pleased with our inability to finish,” Carter said. “As a head coach that has been in this game for a long period of time, I’m starting to question myself on what I’m doing as a coach.
“I have to look at the way I’m doing things and figure out how to connect with these guys and get them to finish games. We could be 3-1 right now instead of 0-4 if we could just finish games.”
New Brockton and Luverne played to a back-and-forth game until the Gamecocks missed a number of late free throws, which hampered New Brockton all night.
Luverne converted 13-of-16 free throws, while New Brockton could only muster 5-of-15 from the free throw line.
“We didn’t make our free throws down the line,” he said. “You can’t win missing that many free throws. That was a huge factor.”
Isaiah Donaldson led the Gamecocks with 18 points, while Caleb Griffin added seven points and Jy’shan Nelson scored eight points.
Following the Wicksburg loss, New Brockton also fell to Wicksburg 46-35 in a game that Carter said selfishness really hampered the Gamecocks.
“We’re just being totally selfish and undisciplined out there,” Carter said. “That goes back to me as the head coach, to get that selfishness out of them, and if they’re going to play selfish, put their butts on the bench.
“We’re not winning with them on the court playing selfishly, so let’s see what we can do with them on the bench.”
Carter said that the Gamecocks also continued to miss free throws throughout the game.
Despite Carter’s frustrations with his Gamecocks, he pointed to the success of junior Caleb Hurley as one of the players he’s been proud of this season.
“Caleb has really stepped up his game and we’re really proud of him,” Carter said. “He played JV last year and now he’s stepping up and has taken over and playing a really big role for us. I think the success from him individually makes me feel good with how he’s developed since last season.”
Things didn’t go much better for the Lady Gamecocks, either. They dropped their game against Wicksburg by a score of 42-17.
“Our biggest asset is our girls’ speed and as a staff we have to take advantage of that,” Carter said. “These girls aren’t ready to run a half-court set right now.”
The Lady Gamecocks fell behind 13-4 in the first quarter but continued to fight and were down 27-13 at halftime. The third quarter, however was the difference with Wicksburg outscoring New Brockton 12-2 to take full control of the game. Neither team got going in the fourth with Wicksburg outscoring New Brockton 4-2.
“At halftime we were still in the game but you let the other team outscore you 12-2 in the third quarter and only score four points total in the second half, that’s definitely not a good thing.”
Carter said that the first and third quarters are the biggest quarters in basketball and the Lady Gamecocks allowed Wicksburg to control the game in both quarters.
Carter said that going forward the Lady Gamecocks will need to focus on transitioning into a more fast-paced style to take advantage of the team’s speed and athleticism.
“We have to focus on a fast-paced style,” Carter said. “We’re small and athletic, so we have to just use that speed.”
The New Brockton JV boys also fell to Luverne 62-23 and Wicksburg 64-7.
“A loss is a loss regardless, but the frustrating thing is when you’re in a lopsided game and the kids are playing nervous and making excuses for each other and not wanting to finish,” Carter said. “We’re just not taking things serious and that goes back to our coaching staff needing to play the kids that want to be out there and that are willing to work their butts off at practice.
“A loss is a loss but to get beat that bad is absolutely embarrassing.”