February 4, 2012, 5:34 p.m. Updated: 8 February 2012, 12:00 a.m.
Shawnee Mission Northwest girls basketball coach Jeff Dickson isn’t signaling any alarm bells or showing any lack of faith in his players after Friday’s 80-39 loss at Olathe Northwest.
While giving the Olathe Northwest program its due for a superlative effort against the Cougars, Dickson is quick to point out that his players haven’t lost an ounce of confidence in their mission to prove they’re among the best programs in the state.
“Olathe Northwest is one of the best teams in the state and they played like it,” Dickson said. “We didn’t, but I still believe we’re one of the best teams in the State.”
After winning the Truman High School Invitational tournament two weeks ago, things have been unsteady for SM Northwest as the Cougars have lost two of their last three games. However, Dickson knows the key for his team is how it reacts down the stretch in February.
“We’re a team that controls its own destiny,” Dickson said. “We have the next three out of four at home after a game with Olathe South — the number two rated team in the state. We want to do well in the (Sunflower) League and we can control where we fall in our sub-state.”
ONW boys 59, SMNW 29
For one quarter, the Olathe Northwest Ravens — one of the top teams in the Sunflower League — were evenly matched by the SM Northwest boys basketball team Friday.
Then the Olathe Northwest squad moved senior Shavon Shields out to the perimeter, and the game changed in a hurry.
Shields, held scoreless in the first quarter, went off for 25 points in the game’s final 24 minutes and subdued a Cougar squad that had offensive woes aplenty.
The Cougars turned the ball over 24 times and found shot opportunities lacking against a taller Ravens squad.
“Those two kind of go hand-in-hand,” Northwest coach Mike Rose said. “I thought many times we were soft with the basketball and that led to us not being able to execute our offense. We’ve got to learn to be stronger. They’re a very quick, athletic team. When they started to move Shields out of the post and into the perimeter, he really gave us trouble.”
Originally published at: http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2012/feb/04/olathe-northwest-tops-sm-northwest-girls-80-36-fri/