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After drilling a three pointer to head into the half only down two points against Simon Kenton, the Williamstown Demons were hoping to keep their momentum and earn a district win.
However, the Demons have struggled executing after halftime this season and continued their struggles against the Pioneers, falling 80-59 on Feb. 2.
“Our players played extremely hard, but when you shoot 50 percent from the foul line, you’re not going to beat many people,” coach Stacey May said. “It would have been a seven point game if we make our free throws and we’re not pressing and fouling at the end of the ball game. It would be a different ball game. But we’ve got to learn to concentrate and execute during the third and fourth quarter. We’re notorious for only playing one half.”
“We came out and played hard in the first half, but we don’t know how to finish off a game in the second half,” Storm Mason said. “We’ve been doing it a lot lately and we need to learn sometime. We don’t run plays in the second half and we need to make sure we start calling them out in the second half. We need to play hard every half to finish off games.”
The Demons outscored the Pioneers 19-17 in the second quarter, even taking the lead for a portion of the quarter. Patrick Spoonamore hit four threes down the stretch, with one coming before the half to send them into the half down 40-38. But coming out of halftime, the Pioneers started to push the ball off defensive rebounds for better looks at the basket and took a 60-48 lead into the fourth quarter before adding to their lead for the final score.
While the Demons were disappointed with the final outcome, there were positives in the game for the boys. Although they were unable to fully capitalize on the opportunities, the Demons repeatedly got to the free throw line and kept fighting. Todd Vice turned in a strong defensive game, coming away with several blocks in the second half and altering several Pioneer drives.
“We’re going to recover and we’re looking forward to March,” May said. “We’re going to change some things up at halftime. I don’t know if the kids tighten up at halftime. We might stay out at halftime and not even come in. But we’re going to change something because we’re notorious for competing with anybody in the first half and then not executing in the second half.
“We’re getting to the free throw line though. We just need to execute,” May said. “Todd played good defense. He’s learning to go straight up. When he comes in the lane and rotates, scorers are aware that he’s there. I think a lot of players see him in the lane and he alters their shots. But we’re going to come into practice and work on free throws.”