January 15, 2009

Troop moving in right direction

Troop moving in right direction

By STU MERRY

The Garrison Troopers’ first win of the season this past weekend at the McLean County Tournament shows the team is starting to believe in its talents and could be turning the corner to seeing more success on the court said Head Coach Jason Mattheis.

Troop 41, Underwood 37

The Troopers picked up their first win of the season, slipping past Underwood 41-37 in semi-final action this past Saturday. The win by the Troopers avenges a Dec. 18 loss to the Comets by a 65-42 count. Allen Iglehart led the Troop with 12, while Brandon Aldinger was the top point-getter for the Comets with 13.

Talking about the victory, Mattheis said he thought the Troopers were a little overconfident going into the contest.

"I think our guys figured that they could just step on the court and play like they did against Minot," he said, referring to the opening round game against the Minot JV.

Keeping that in mind, the Troop didn’t move quite as well, didn’t anticipate as much, and didn’t hustle like it could have," Mattheis pointed out. But in the decisive second half, the Troopers clamped down a little better, which finally jump-started the offense. To ratchet it up a bit, Mattheis and the coaching staff switched the defensive scheme in the fourth quarter, which led to a few more turnovers, which, in turn, put Garrison shooters into easy scoring positions.

"Then the ball seemed to go through the hoop a little easier," Mattheis said.

Minot JV 53, Troop 34

The Troopers opened the tournament, playing the Minot Magician JV strong for the first couple quarters. But in the second half – most notably the fourth quarter – the Magicians prevailed to pull away with the victory. Curtis Giffey was the lone Trooper in double figures with 14. What hurt the Troopers was costly turnovers. Garrison players handed the ball over 14 times in the second half. Minot converted those turnovers into 19 points. The Troopers shot 30 percent from the field and were 12-22 from the charity stripe.

Reflecting on how the Troopers are evolving as the season progresses, Mattheis notes the team’s defensive effort continues to improve and has been pretty solid.


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