by Eric Oslund
The Spectrum Sting boys basketball team hosted Southwest Christian Tuesday night. They are in the next tier of teams that the Sting are trying to break into as they look to move up the conference, so this game meant a lot to them.
They were riding a three-game winning streak and had some momentum, but they were also on the tail end of back-to-back games and that work load began to take its toll on the kids. But, despite the things that went against them in the first half, the game remained close at halftime.
“Cole Elrod got in foul trouble and Matthew Kruse got in foul trouble, Kelton Sundstrom got in foul trouble, so actually to be down five at halftime, considering a lot of our scoring options were on the bench, we felt like were in a good spot to be down five to that team,” head coach Marc Prepeluh said.
By the time the second half came along, you could see the wear and tear start to develop on the Sting players. Turnovers and missed shots started to accumulate, which led to Southwest Christian building a double-digit lead.
The Sting tried to work back and try to catch their opponents, but it was always one thing or another that seemed to be getting in their way. Part of it is just growing pains that the team needs to work through, though. They are still a young team and need to learn to take games one possession at a time – lock down defensively and then get the job done on offense.
“We’re essentially matching their shot and then not getting stops on the defensive end, so it was really frustrating,” Prepeluh explained. “Sometimes when we get down by, even double digits, we kind of fold and the intensity is lost when we still have a chance to get back in the game. I think we need to improve upon that, especially with the remainder of games we have.”
The Sting had a much-needed break following the 66-53 loss to Southwest Christian, which they are using to prepare for Friday’s game against Maranatha. Prepeluh knows it important for his team to come away with a win as they begin to head towards the conference tournament, which begins Feb. 21.
“They’re a very comparable team to us, so winning on the road there would be tremendous for us, for momentum going into the final week of the regular season of the conference,” the head coach said about playing Maranatha. “It’s definitely a winnable game for us and I think if we can get that, regain the momentum we had over our three-game winning streak, it’ll definitely bode well for the rest of the season, and into the conference tournament.”