by Eric Oslund
Who’s going to set the tone? Who’s going to to get the team going?
Those are two questions that Spectrum Sting head boys basketball coach Marc Prepeluh is constantly asking his team. He got his answer Monday night when they defeated the FAIR School Falcons 80-53 with about 26 seconds remaining in the first half.
There was a loose ball rolling across mid court and freshman guard Max Lawrence went sprinting after it, and dove on the ground in an attempt to wrestle it away from the opponents. He had to leave the game for a while, as the effort left him with a little gash on his chin he needed to get patched up, but that is the type of play the head coach likes to see from his players.
“I think that it’s good, it just channels right down to the other players when kids do that,” Prepeluh said of Lawrence’s effort. “Then all the other kids will take on a role like that too, so I felt like they did a really good job with that. Max especially because he’s a gritty player.”
Lawrence returned to the game with a bandage over his chin, but continued to fight hard for everything he earned. You could tell that effort began to rub off on his teammates, as a new life began to spring into them after the Falcons went on an 11-0 run to start the second half.
Everyone on the team began to get fired up, especially the players on the bench, who began hooting and hollering every chance they got. Standing up, shouting at their teammates, celebrating and just having an all-around good time, which is something their head coach likes to see.
He admitted he’d like to see it more when they are losing too, not just when they are winning, but it’s always good to see his players having fun.
“We could definitely use a little bit more cheering during every game, not so much just the wins, but overall they do a pretty good job and it definitely helps motivate the players that are on the floor,” Prepeluh began.
“We preach so much about just playing hard, but at the same time, it is a game and they should have fun. I think that helps with that aspect of the game. I’m glad they do it and it keeps them loose.”
That high energy from the bench players carried onto the floor when the starters were taken out late in the game after the Sting extended their lead. Some of the loudest cheers of the night came when those players were able to come in, work together and score.
The Sting are now 3-3 on the season, but 3-0 when playing at home. Prepeluh said that the reason for that is because they have played a lot of tough teams while on the road, but it’s also clear that they players are more comfortable playing in front of their friends and family.
And when they are comfortable, and working hard, they are a tough team to beat.