Demons lack offensive firepower in loss to Keota
WELLMAN — Washington head boys’ basketball coach Bryce Smeins said that his team’s performance at Tuesday’s Mid-Prairie Jamboree showed him what his Demons need to work on. Keota defeated Washington 26-11 in two quarters of play.
“It showed us what we’re really bad at,” Smeins said. “We didn’t run the fast break very well. We were in the wrong spots. Defensively, we weren’t lined up right. Offensively, we were in a hurry. We just didn’t play very well, but we’ll learn from that.”
Senior Justin Hoffman’s short jumper put Washington ahead 3-2 early in the exhibition, but Keota answered with a 13-1 run to take control.
“We’ve got to be mentally ready to play,” Smeins said. “We were half speed from the start, and we never recovered from that. We want to play an uptempo style, so we have to get after it. We have to be ready to go mentally every time we come out of the locker room.”
Junior Garrett Covington hit a turnaround jumper and sophomore Daryn Sebelius nailed a 3-pointer as Washington trimmed Keota’s lead to 15-9 midway through the second quarter, but the Demons didn’t have the offensive firepower to get any closer. For the second year in a row, Washington scored just 11 points at the Mid-Prairie Jamboree.
“I don’t know if our preparation for the jamboree isn’t very good, or if we don’t take it very seriously, but we haven’t played well over there for a while,” Smeins said.
Covington, Sebelius and junior Alex Coker scored three points apiece for the Demons. Hoffman chipped in two points.
“All of our scoring graduated from last year,” Smeins said. “We’ll have very balanced scoring this year.”
Junior Luke Lyle scored 11 points to lead Keota, which finished 23-1 last season but lost its all-time career leader in scoring to graduation. Junior Kolton Greiner and sophomore Nate Owen added five points apiece, and Owen had seven rebounds. Junior Kyle Eakins chipped in four points, and junior Derek Berg had two.
The Eagles out-rebounded Washington 21-18 and got 13 more shots from the field.
“Keota got every loose ball,” Smeins said. “They were just more active than we were, and I think that led to them getting more shots.”
Smeins said his team will have to be sharper when it opens the season next Tuesday at Mid-Prairie.
“We played a lot better on Saturday night in that Hall of Pride game,” he said. “We didn’t play with enough intensity and we didn’t do the things we did on Saturday night on Tuesday night. It was kind of a step backward a little bit. It just shows that if we’re not sharp and ready to go, it could be a tough night.”