MARCUS - The Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn Eagles played two tough, close War Eagle Conference games against Remsen St. Mary's here on Tuesday night, but wound up on the wrong end of the score in both.
MMC girls' coach Shane Williams said St. Mary's played more aggressively and determined than the Eagles, as they played an aggressive man-to-man and full-court pressure. MMC shot just 31% from the field, down from their season average of close to 45%, missing 21 shots from inside the free throw line -10 from three feet or less. They also rebounded poorly on the offensive end - not good when you are missing a lot of shots. St. Mary's won the game, 39-34. Kaylee Dreckman, with 12 oints, and Caitlin Johnson, with 10, led Eagle scoring. Anna Klingenberg led the team's rebounding, with seven caroms, as well as in steals, with three.
Coach Williams feels the Eagles, now 2-7, need to play faster -"quick, but not in a hurry," as he puts it. He said the team "played flat, and at one speed the whole night."
Williams thought his team was "really coming together over the past week," but that Tuesday night's loss was "humbling," and was a "tough loss going into the break."
The coach knows it is his responsibiility to get the girls to the level that is needed, and feels that he has not been successful in "changing the culture" around the team - particularly in regard to being able to pull ot wins when the game is close. Williams plans to be more aggressive in his attempts to do so, and is looking forward to having a good second half of the season.
In the boys' game, MMC coach Al Vasher felt that a "sluggish third quarter" hurt the Eagles, adding that they "played very well" in the first half, and also "did a great job of fighting back in the fourth quarter." In the end, the 1-7 Eagles lost to the Hawks by a score of 71-64. Vasher, too, hopes his team wil carry over some of the positive things from the first half of the season into the second half.
Tim Holmes paced the Eagles with 20 points, and Nick Damman was right behind him with 19. Jordan Boekhout was also in double figures, with 16. Dammann, with seven rebounds, and Holmes, with six, led the rebounding effort. Michael Ruba had 25 points to lead four Hawks who scored in double digits.
The MMC teams next play a non-conference doubleheader at home against the Akron-Westfield Westerners on January 5.