Basketball’s usually an indoor game, but the weather outside has definitely affected this year’s high school basketball season.
First, there was the snow, then came the sub-zero cold. That pattern has continued for most of January and February. And, it has played havoc with schedules.
Hamilton Heights’ boys have six games left to play before the end of the month. The Huskies (11-3) are playing practically every third day. Between Dec. 28 and Feb. 6, Heights played three games.
“As a coach, I’m all about routine. And they’re busted.” Huskies coach Chad Ballenger said. “I know I’m on edge and that gets to the kids, too.”
Besides the game postponements, players and coaches have dealt with missed practices. snow days and numerous school delays.
Guerin Catholic boys coach Pete Smith agrees that time between games has made a noticeable difference in his team’s play.
“You can simulate in practice, but our timing’s awful against varsity bodies,” Smith said. “Our JV’s small. We play against the JV. They battle, but it’s not simulating guys like (Heritage Christian’s) Seth Somers out there who’s not going to take a back seat to anybody.”
Somers sank four 3-pointers in Monday’s game against Guerin.
Both Ballenger and Smith agree that the weather has affected all of the teams.
“No one’s immune to this weather,” Smith said.
The Golden Eagles (14-3) play three games next week (including rescheduled games on back-to-back nights) and that’s something Smith tries to avoid this late in the season and so close to the playoffs.
“If you notice, I usually schedule one game a week in February,” Smith said. “We can just build up things in our repertoire.”
Smith wasn’t pleased with his squad’s play in the 77-53 win over Heritage Christian on Monday.
“If people run to the block like we’re supposed to, we’re going to get shots,” Smith said. “But instead, it’s like we’re all wanting to play in the perimeter right now.”
“We’re good outside shooters, but we have got to take advantage of what we have inside.”
Guerin had most of their outside shooting success Monday from the guard position.
“That 3-point shot is fool’s good for my bigs,” Smith said. “They just forget that no one can stop them if they’re down low and strong.”
Smith was quick to praise senior center Cris Burrough, who lead the Golden Eagles with 18 points.
“Offensviely, he established himself early,” Smith said. “He’s the only son-of-a-gun that will run to the block.”
Junior guard Nick Sahm returned to score five points (including a trey). Sahm has played in only four games this season due to injury. The last time he played meaningful minutes was Dec. 3 against Indianapolis Herron.