St. Mary's out to 7-3 start, even as team looks to halt slow starts
For the St. Mary's boys basketball team, coming from behind has become a reoccurring theme for them this season. It's one they want to fix.
"The boys hesitate at taking shots," said head coach Paul Rath Sr. "I have to tell them just let it rip, guys. We practice threes, we practice twos a couple hours a day."
In 10 games this season, the Lancers have found themselves trailing by more than six points in the first quarter six times. They come out, seemingly fired up and ready to go, but have trouble scoring when the opportunities are in front of them.
The Lancers are 7-3 to start the season, and that's with the team struggling at the start of games. It's a question of why this keeps happening to them, and it's a question that Rath Sr. would like to answer.
"I wish I knew," he said. "I tell them to get good warm ups; get sweaty, get loose. Then we just come out and, I don't know, we're flat. We're going to have to fix that though. We've got a lot of work ahead of us."
The players are even starting to question their first half issues. When it happened the first couple of times, they figured it was just them getting the rust out. As it kept happening, they began searching for answers as to why.
"I think, with our starts, we take teams just way too lightly," said senior captain Paul Rath. "We need to come out and not take any team lightly."
Junior forward Cory Kiebzak couldn‚t put a finger on just why the team has had such slow starts, but he does know that when they come out of the locker room at halftime they are like a different team.
"We just pick up our intensity. We're able to come out and just play our game," he said. "It just seems like we just really come out strong in the second half."
Their first half problems haven't hurt them too much in terms of results, but St. Mary's knows that if they don't get it fixed soon, it could come back to haunt them in the long run. To fix it, Rath Jr. believes that it starts in one place.
"It's all practice," he said. "We need to work hard in practice, as hard as we can; push ourselves every day so we know that we can play our game from the very start every time."
The Lancers are just starting to get into the heart of Monsignor Martin Athletic Association league play on their schedule. The competition is going to be arguably the toughest it's been in years.
So, St. Mary's is focused on figuring out a way to start games better when the result truly matter.