Truckers dispatch Cavs

Published 12:15 am Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Churchland High School Truckers rolled into a non-conference basketball match against Lakeland on Thursday and drove home with a close win over the Suffolk team.

The Cavs fell to the Truckers 55-50. This is the third Suffolk school Churchland has played and beaten this season. But Cavs coach Clint Wright was optimistic after the team’s performance.

“I am not the least bit disgruntled or overly concerned about our team’s performance against Churchland,” Wright said. “When you look at the number of shots we are taking, it’s the number of attempts that I like. The thing is our efficiency. We are taking the shots that we want; we are just not converting them. Those can be corrected, so there is no need for one to panic or get discouraged.”

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Wright said both teams came out a bit sluggish Thursday evening. After the first half, the Truckers were up by six. The deficit was well within range for Lakeland to come back.

“With the way those guys shot and played in the first, we felt we were in good position going into the second half,” Wright said.

The Cavs turned up their offensive effort in the second half, but they got a bit lazy on the defensive end. There were missed defensive assignments throughout the second half. The defensive struggle negated their offensive success.

“We have to be able to put together a complete game,” Wright said. “So far this season, we haven’t been able to overcome the little mistakes we have made.”

“We have to maintain our focus and keep our poise,” Lakeland senior Devon Morris said. “We have to be able to finish strong and be smart.”

The Cavs are 3-10 on the season. Some might see that record as discouraging, but the Cavs see it as motivation. Players say their record does not clearly define them. They believe they have been in the running for most of their games this year, a play or two away from having a better record.

The new year might represent a good opportunity for the Cavs. Most of the second half of the season is about conference play, and the coaching staff hopes the clean slate will allow the team to get a fresh start. They want to continue to get better at the little things, such as boxing out securing rebounds and playing better defense.

“So many things can take place in the middle part of January that can be advantageous to us,” Wright said. “We have not started conference play yet. The new year will bring a new sense of urgency and a new purpose. If we do the little things well, these four- and five-point losses will turn into one- and two-point wins on our behalf.”

Lakeland will be in action against Grassfield at home at 7 p.m. Tuesday.