In-game adjustments come up short in Warriors’ loss to Maquoketa Valley

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By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


It was a slow week for the Central basketball programs, as a weather postponement limited the boys to just one game on Dec. 5, when they took on Maquoketa Valley.


According to coach Brady Stramer, the Warriors struggled to score against the Wildcats’ full court, man-to-man defense, which held Central to just five points in the first period and down eight points. 


The Warriors adjusted afterward, settling in and scoring double digits in each of the following three periods, but they could not keep pace with the Wildcat offense, leading to a 64-44 loss. 


“I thought our half court offense, specifically in the last three quarters, was good. We didn’t shoot an incredibly high percentage from the floor, but I thought we got a lot of open shots, which were results from good ball movement and spacing,” Stramer said. 


Dan McGreal led the offense with 15 points, while shooting 66 percent from the field, and helped the Warriors break the Wildcats’ full court pressure. It was McGreal’s third time scoring in double digits in as many games. 


Elliot Kelly also played a big role in the press break offense, and led the Warriors with eight rebounds and four assists, while scoring four points. 


Caden Erickson was the second leading scorer with 11 points on five of eight shooting, and two players, Tate Berns and Gabe Erickson, each scored six points. Berns and G. Erickson also combined for nine rebounds and two assists. 


As a team, the Warriors shot 39.5 percent from the field and 35.7 percent on three-point shots, but were dismal from the free throw line, going five for 13, and committed 21 turnovers. 


On the defensive end, the Warriors did a good job of forcing perimeter shots early on, but according to Stramer, “as the game progressed, our inability to possess defensive rebounds stopped any chance we had of mounting a comeback.”


At one point, the Warriors closed the gap to within eight points during the third period, but weren’t able to get enough stops, allowing the Wildcats to eventually pull away. Maq Valley was also able to attempt 13 more shots, which proved the difference in the game. 


“We will continue to focus on rebounding and turnovers moving forward. We did a good job of moving our feet defensively and not reaching, which helped us total only nine team fouls, and shot 13 free throws compared to their seven,” Stramer added. 


The next two match-ups for the 1-2 Warriors are on the road. The first is against undefeated Clayton Ridge on Dec. 13. The Eagles are only allowing 27 points per game to opponents so far this season, while winning games by an average of 29 points per contest. 


“Turnovers and the ability to rebound on the defensive end will continue to be paramount as we progress through our next week of games. We will need to take care of the basketball and attack their defense with ball fakes and crisp passes in order to give ourselves open shots at the basket,” Stramer said. “On the defensive end, we will need to stay connected as a group and have all five guys on the court do their part to rebound the basketball and limit our opponents’ attempts at the basket.” 


The Warriors finish out the week against the 1-4 Postville Pirates on Friday, Dec. 16 

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