Despite back-to-back double digit wins over Silex (54-37) and Van-Far (65-48), Elsberry Indians Head Coach Ryan Parker is still waiting for his squad to put together a complete effort.
“I didn’t think we played extremely well in either game. Some of that has to do with the teams we’re playing and what they are doing to us but a lot of it is us not executing and taking care of business,” said Parker.
In the Silex game Elsberry wanted to limit the Owls top shooter Matt Huber’s looks and he went off for 19 points.
“We have to do a better job of taking away the other teams best player,” said Parker.
The Van-Far game was much of the same.
“We knew [Nick] Barnes was a good player and did a better job on him than we did on Huber,” said Parker.
Barnes was able to hit some tough shots and ended up with 23 points, five of them coming on three pointers.
Even with the plan of Van-Far’s Barnes, Parker said his team played well for three quarters, but his team came out flat from half-time scoring on six points in the third quarter.
“We really didn’t defend like we did in the first half,” said Parker. “It is a learning process for us and in the end we will be playing our best basketball.”
One welcome surprise has been the recent play of guard Rodney Chatman who scored 20 points in the two wins and has started taking more shots.
“We want and need Rodney to shoot the ball. Sometimes he battles with himself and is sometimes to unselfish,” said Parker “He is a great shooter and with him only being a Sophomore I see great things out of him as the season progresses.
Up next for the Indians is the Lutheran-St. Charles Tournament with a first round matchup against Priory, a team that defeated Elsberry in this tournament last year.
“That 4-5 matchup is always a good game. Priory got us last year in this tournament when we were probably playing our worst basketball of the year,” said Parker.
Priory has a 6’6” kid down low and a couple good guards.
“For us it will start with our defense, if our defense is good we will have a chance to win but if not we will be in trouble,” said Parker.
Just like the Peoples Bank & Trust Tournament, Parker, likes these types of tournaments.
“I like this tournament, three games in three days versus teams we don’t normally see,” said Parker. “Again this tournament is us playing up to Class 3A schools but you only get better playing better competition.”