SC accomplishes its No. 1 priority
Scott City’s Draven McRae puts up a shot during the championship game of the Garden City league tournament on Monday evening.
By Rod Haxton, editor
Wins an added bonus
for inexperienced squad
Glenn O’Neil had one top priority when he put together the summer schedule for his basketball team.
Court time. Lots of court time.
“We played about 30 games this summer between the tournaments and Garden City league and we needed every one of those,” says the Scott Community High School head coach.
As one would expect from a team that includes only three players who saw significant varsity minutes last season, there is plenty of room for improvement.
Perhaps what stood out most this summer was the effort O’Neil saw on the floor.
“That was our biggest strength,” he says. “Whether I talked to coaches in summer league, MAYB or the Jamboree, they complimented the boys on how hard they played and how well they played together.”
On the other hand, inconsistent play on offense, and the lack of a scoring threat in the paint, remain issues that Scott City will have to resolve during the upcoming high school season.
“Our biggest weakness was offense. We’d sometimes go through six to eight minute dry spells,” O’Neil says.
That proved costly in a double overtime loss to Central Plains during bracket play on Sunday in the Great Bend tournament. Scott City saw a 12 point lead evaporate after scoring just one point in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
The scoring droughts are the result of several factors, but high post scoring is at the top of the list.
“We have to get offense from our high post,” O’Neil says. “If teams don’t have to worry about scoring from our post, or our high post even taking a shot, then it will allow them to spread the floor and put more pressure on our perimeter shooters. That’s going to make us a lot easier to defend.”
He says the team also has a “tendency to turn easy shots into hard shots. When you’re wide open at 10 feet that’s the shot you take. You don’t drive in and take the contested shot at six feet or five feet.”
More Time in Gym
While Scott City (21-8) saw a lot of action in MAYB tournaments and in summer league play at Garden City, O’Neil emphasizes that championship teams are built from the extra time that players spend in the gym improving their shooting or ball handling skills.
“We don’t have enough guys who are spending extra time in the gym working on those things,” he says.
“Those things come into play when you either don’t have the confidence to take the shot, make the shot or dribble into the gap and bring two guys to you and create an easy open shot for somebody else,” he emphasizes. “We’ve made offense as tough as possible for ourselves right now. If it continues we’re going to have some games where we look really, really good and other games when we look really, really bad.
JV Makes Progress
The SCHS coach was also pleased with the progress made by next year’s incoming freshmen and junior varsity players. He credited his sons, Brett and Trey, with coaching the younger players in weekend tournaments and in league play at Garden City.
“They spent a lot of extra time with the boys in the gym and I think it was evident the last couple of weeks,” O’Neil says. “We saw steady improvement. They ended up winning the Great Bent tournament, including two wins on Saturday over teams that had beaten them the day before.”
He says the freshmen also got a jump start on learning the high school system.
In addition, next year’s junior varsity squad played eight games in the Garden City league, winning their final two.
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