Coach blames himself for tournament loss
Elsberry Lady Indians Center Brittni Hagemeier.
It was a victorious, yet disappointing week for the Elsberry Lady Indians, who played in the 2013 Bank of Old Monroe Varsity Girls Tip Off Classic in Winfield last week and went 2-1.
“We could have, actually we should have, went 3-0 in the tourney, but we didn’t play the way I know we can,” explained Head Coach Hector Bencomo.
Their first match up against Silex was a hard loss for Coach Bencomo, one that he blames himself for.
“We had a 14-point lead in the third quarter and let it go,” said Bencomo. “If a team cannot work with that kind of a lead and pull off the win, there is something wrong and I know what it was.”
According to Bencomo, he didn’t prepare his team well enough for their first game against a team that has been a powerhouse team for quite some time.
“We should have ran different sets and exercises to better prepare for Silex and I didn’t, so again I blame that loss on me,” said Bencomo. “Our girls were all ‘gun ho’ to run the floor and there is time for that, but there is a time for holding the ball and running set plays. I give credit to Silex because they won the game, but at the end of the day, we beat ourselves.”
Bencomo said he knew Silex was in a small rebuilding year, having lost several key players to graduation the year before, but mentally he said he failed to prepare his girls the way he should have.
Next on the tourney schedule was the University City Lady Lions, who took a 78-33 loss to the Lady Indians.
“They had a real good kid who was able to score 19-points on us and they had a point guard who was just as dominating,” said Bencomo. “But after we found our groove, once Brittni Hagemeier and Tanner Bencomo synced up, we ran the floor and were able to score.”
However, game three would pose to be another challenge as they paired up against the Winfield Lady Warriors for a second time this season.
“We did some different things than I think they were expecting. They thought we were going to play the same way we did during our first match up, but we really switched things up and they couldn’t make the adjustments,” said Bencomo
Elsberry won 70-44.
Bencomo said there were a number of players that stood out for him throughout the tournament. One was Hagemeier, who not only scored 35 points, but also was named All-Tournament. Another was Tanner Bencomo, who according to Coach Bencomo, really seemed to take over in game two. Olivia Brown also made mention as she was able to come out of her comfort zone and put up 41-points.
“Olivia is a three-point shooter, but we learned that sometimes she could put up more points as a two-point shooter. So we are working on balance with her,” said Bencomo. “She will be dangerous from both, but she is a natural three-point shooter.”
Some of the key areas he said they need to work on, as a team is building up their cardio and working better on their man-to-man plays.