Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
The Blair Oaks girls basketball team enters today’s Capital City Shootout on the heels of a three-game losing streak, but you wouldn’t know that from watching the girls practice, head coach Kevin Kohler said.
“They play hard, they show up every day, there doesn’t seem to be any quit in them,” said Kohler, who is in his first season at Blair Oaks. “We’re just going to keep on with the struggle. You learn from your wins and you learn from your losses, so that’s why we play the games.”
The Lady Falcons look to learn something at 5:30 p.m. Saturday when they face Hermann at Fleming Fieldhouse, although they’d prefer to do so in a win.
“It’s killing them,” Kohler said. “Nobody wants to lose. They want to get off the losing path and they’re playing hard. There’s been no letups in intensity, just sometimes executing it has been difficult.”
There have been bright spots, such as Macyn Wilbers’ double-double Monday against Fatima — something Kohler would like to see more of.
“She just started taking the ball to the basket, and that was good,” he said. “She’s kind of using her length.”
Though the Lady Falcons fell 51-36 to the Lady Comets, Kohler had reason for encouragement.
“I think they’re getting better all the time, and I see them getting better in practice, and I see some in spurts in the games,” he said. “We came out in the third quarter and closed it down to five or seven (points), and for a few moments we looked pretty tough. And then we just kind of got shell-shocked again.”
Kohler has not participated in an event like the Shootout before, but he imagines it will provide another learning opportunity for the team.
“It’s a different experience,” he said. “It’s not one they face all the time, so I guess they would take that out of it. But sports is all about learning and understanding new situations and reacting to that.”
The 2-5 Lady Falcons had a chance to break the streak Thursday at St. Elizabeth (results were unavailable at press time). With that game, Saturday’s Shootout and a game Dec. 22 against Eugene, Kohler believes Blair Oaks has an opportunity turn things around.
“If we could come up with three wins before Christmas, that would be huge,” he said. “That’d get us back to .500, and that’d be a huge deal for us.”