It would probably be safe to say that after two quality wins against Van-Far (65-48) and Monroe City (61-52) and a number four seed in the Lutheran High School Nike Cougar Classic, no one saw a 46-22 drubbing at the hands of the number five seed Priory in the first round for the Elsberry Indians.
According to Head Coach Ryan Parker he was however able to take away something from this loss.
“I learned that you have to score to win. Eight points in a half and 22 overall won’t win any games,” said Parker.
The Indians failed to have a single player in double figures and the long reach and height advantage of Priory over the Indians’ Guards proved to be too much to handle.
“Give credit to priory we got a lot of open shots but couldn’t execute,” said Parker.
Coach Parker has stated that he uses these Tournaments as a learning tool. First to see where is team is now and second to see what needs to be done for the basketball that really counts, Conference, Districts and State.
“In my six years here our goals have never changed (conference titles, district titles, state titles). We talk about those goals all the time and what it takes to achieve those goals,” said Parker.
Even former players, such as Charles Fraction, Brennen Hurley and Scott Kroeger who recently talked on an Indian Sports Network broadcast about what they learned playing in tournament’s like the Cougar Classic and the Peoples Bank and Trust Tournament in Troy and Francis Howell.
“You only get better playing good teams. I think it says a lot about our program when former players hang around and want to be around,” said Parker.
Another thing Parker was able to do in this tournament was utilize some of his bench, getting to see them in real game action.
In all three games the Indians bench of Tyler Turnbull, Gavin Hill, Justin O’Brien and Logan Anthony got to see considerable playing time.
“There is a reason why those guys are with the varsity as underclassmen. All of them can play and each one gives us a little different look,” said Parker. “Wayne [Holland] is getting better each game and plays with ton of energy, Tyler and Gavin are going to play some big minutes throughout season, Justin and Logan give us a little more depth and are learning on the fly.”
In the second game against Barat Academy, Elsberry started the game on a mission outscoring the Eagles 41-16 in the first half.
The Indians went on to defeat Barat Academy 53-22 and headed to the Consolation Championship game against Orchard Farm on Saturday.
Elsberry came out on top 56-41 over Orchard Farm despite the fact that the Eagles hit six three-pointers in the game.
“Orchard Farm is very well coached and always plays us tough. Thought we did some good things and did what we do fairly well and didn’t fall into someone else’s game plan,” said Parker.
Kenny Lesley (15) and Rodney Chatman (14) led the Indians in scoring.
The Indians won’t be back on the court until Jan. 3, 2014 where they will take on Wellsville at 7:30 p.m.