Amistad Basketball – Week 3 – 1st Home Game in 2 Years!

Believe it or not – I’d be concerned with my team if we were playing really well in the first few weeks of the season.  Rarely does a team play well out of the gates, and not have something alter their course throughout the tail end of the season.  I would rather see our team look bad now, continue to improve, and peak at the right time.

After winning our first game at Griswold, we responded with one of our captains missing the team bus and being benched for the entire game against Maloney.  It was a great opportunity for our team to see who else would step up.  Nobody did – and we lost bad – as Maloney looked like the more seasoned, experienced team on the floor.
But it was good for us all to experience the letdown, and to keep in perspective that our progress as a unit takes precedence over relying on any individual player.  We also believe that a commitment to our principles is more important than winning – as our principles and standards will sustain us through the good times and the tough times.
After the loss to Maloney, we practiced hard on Sunday for 3 hours knowing that we were going to have 3 games in 4 days – beginning the very next day.  We beat O’Brien Tech by 17 on Monday, who was a much improved team from last year. Disappointingly, we were beat off of dribble penetration repeatedly throughout the game as a result of unacceptable guard play on the defensive end.  The win in O’Brien Tech game slotted us for the championship game of that tournament on Thursday at 7:00 PM.
Tuesday, we played Westbrook – which was our first home game in two years.  Last year – we opted to play every game against any and all takers on the road in order to get more games on the schedule and to prepare ourselves for the state tournament.  This year, we got a 20 game schedule and were able to schedule a few home games.
 However, we do not have a gym at Amistad High School.  So we play our home games at Columbus Family Day School on Grand Ave and Blatchley.  It actually felt really weird to play a home game in the same gym where we practice.  And I think that it felt good for the players to play in front of a home crowd. Watching our player’s take the floor to pre-game music, our Captains reading a sportsmanship announcement, and being introduced with a National Anthem really meant a lot to me as the head coach – as I have seen our kids have to walk or take the City Bus back and forth to practice for the past two years – in order to be committed to building our Basketball Program. Now that’s Commitment!
We played well as a team early on the defensive side, and shared the basketball – which got us out to an early lead that we kept – beating Westbrook 70-37.  One of the best things that happened in the night was the sportsmanship within the game that carried over after the game.  Both teams played very hard – it just happened to be our night on the offensive end.  I was most impressed with the Westbrook Boys’ Program and how they actually helped us pick up and stack chairs after the game. What a great example of class from a class program.
Though we’re 3 and 1 right now, the record isn’t as important to me as my player’s grasping and executing our defensive principles possession after possession.  We’ll see how we do again this Thursday.
Then it’s 3 days off for Christmas immediately Followed by the East Haven Holiday Tournament on Monday.
 Amistad Play Hale Ray in the First Round at 5:00 PM at East Haven High School.

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