The season has not yet come to an end for the Elsberry Indians as they defeated the Crossroad Currents (74-58),
for a fourth straight district win. The win occurred at Crystal City.
“If you had looked at our season prior to Saturday’s game I could have told you we could beat anybody,” said Coach Ryan Parker. “If we got hot we’re a pretty dangerous team and that’s what happened. We started playing to our potential instead of underachieving.”
Parker went on to say how if he had been told at the beginning of the season, district champs, he may have said ‘yeah right.’
“It was more of a surprise how we struggled throughout the season,” said Parker. “I have said all season we are a roller coaster team, even during districts, we had a good first game, second game we struggled and the third game we played real well.”
Although the Indians have to find an even keel, Parker stated how that may never be a possibility. However, he is pleased how the roller coaster ride is starting to smooth out and become more of a level ride rather than an up and down ride.
Parker explained how the day off may have played well for them. By taking Thursday as a day of rest and working only two-hours on Friday to put a game plan in motion, his boys seemed to come out strong and determined.
“We looked at how to attack their press and how they would attack us on offense and how we would play defense in the half court,” said Parker. “We executed pretty well, although we got away from it a little bit in the second quarter, started taking some bad shots, which showed if you take bad shots the other team is going to look for layups on the other end.”
One of the key players, who had one of his best career games, was Indians; senior Charles Fraction, with 29-points in the books. However, according to Parker, it was his defensive game against Currents’ star player Trevor Clay that stood out for him.
“Fraction went above and beyond the 29-points shown in the books,” said Parker. “Clay dropped 30-points the night before. We needed Fraction’s points to win, but his defensive game was even better, in my opinion than the points he scored.”
Although the Indians won, there was still no shortage of foul problems for a number of Elsberry players. Kenny Lesley found himself with two fouls in the first quarter, which forced Parker to sit him for a few minutes in the second quarter. Rahiem Porter, Dylan Howard, Ethan Pott and even Fraction seemed to be unable to avoid the eyes of the referees.
“We typically see Lesley in foul trouble but it wasn’t late in the game and part of the trouble with Porter was where we played him,” explained Parker. “Porter was playing at the top of the defense, having to help a lot and with us playing an extremely athletic team, he had problems stepping in and stopping them from getting to the rim.”
Even though Howard had a few problems with four fouls by the end of the game, Parker added how he played an extremely good game by putting things together and showing what he can do defensively. However, Parker went on to explain how it has been a difficult transition for Howard going from a guard position to a post position.