by Eric Oslund
The Spectrum Sting hosted their sixth annual Red Out Event on Friday, Feb. 17, and all proceeds raised that day were donated to American Heart Association.
Students and faculty alike wear red throughout the day to show their support for heart disease, and all the classrooms even decorated their doors. Then, once school was let out, the events began with a faculty-versus-student basketball game.
That was followed by the boys JV basketball game and then a heartwarming speech given by Spectrum’s head football coach Seth Mills – who was being honored.
Upon conclusion of the speech, it was time for the main event, the boys varsity basketball game against Milaca. The scene was set as the stands were filled with red shirts from supporters of both the home and away teams, and there was even overflow seating put in place as extra chairs filled all four corners of the gym.
Unfortunately, though, the game became pretty lopsided early on as the visitors got up by double digits on the Sting quickly and the home team was never able to recover.
“From the beginning, we couldn’t really – once they got up by 10 we couldn’t really come back. Then we kind of just lost it from there,” Spectrum’s sophomore guard Matthew Kruse said. “To beat that team, we can’t go down by 10 right away, so we’ve just got to bring it right away.”
Letting a team jump all over them to start either the first of second half has been a problem the Sting have had all season long. They will play great basketball for one half of the game, but just seem flat the other half. They just can’t seem to put it all together.
Against Milaca, they didn’t appear to be themselves in the first half and found themselves trailing by 14 at halftime. Milaca then built up a sizable lead, but the Sting were able to mount a comeback on a couple different occasions.
But the deficit was just too large to overcome.
“I think sometimes, when we go down, all year we’ve had trouble playing two halves,” Kruse explained. “We always come out strong in either the first half and then forget to play the second half. So I think it’s just that we have to get down playing two halves and that’s when we’re most successful.
“I think we need to come out thinking we’re going to win and we want it more. And we’re going to play harder than them.”
Kruse led the Sting with 23 points against Milaca and was followed by Cole Elrud with 20. Their big nights were not enough in the end, though, as the Sting would fall 85-71.
Their conference tournament starts Tuesday night, Feb. 21, on the road against New Life Academy. They have the ability to make a run in this tournament, they just need to be able to put together two halves of solid basketball. Not just one.