SM Northwest boys fall to SM West, 62-52
Overland Park Shawnee Mission Northwest’s struggles began and ended on the offensive side of the ball Friday night in a 62-52 loss at SM West.
After a first quarter marred by turnovers, the Cougars fought back into the game, even taking a one-point lead before the end of the half.
SM Northwest coach Mike Rose said he talked to the team at halftime about finding ways to create space to score easy points, but it never transpired.
“We struggled a bit on the offensive end,” Rose said. “I think we only had five points in the third quarter, and they were just pressing on us, pushing us out, and we didn’t do a very good job of playing basketball.”
The third quarter presented the most notable shift in the game, when empty possessions, weak offensive rebounding and turnovers kept the Cougars off the board until 3:45 was remaining in the period.
“We just didn’t come out like we thought we would,” senior Luke Fields said. “We just kind of laid an egg out there, so we didn’t have much of a chance.”
Fields finished with 10 points and three rebounds, and junior Brady Skeens led the Cougars with 14 points, nine rebounds, one assist and a block. The Vikings outscored Northwest 11-5 in the quarter, extending their lead to eight, 39-31.
“They just got three or four buckets in a row, and of course when we’re struggling to get scoring on the other end of the floor, it kind of makes the lead swell up,” Rose said. “At times we just needed to do a better job of making sure we get a good offensive possession and get a good break and knock one down just to try to stop that flow.”
In the fourth quarter, the Cougars struggled with much of the same problems that plagued them throughout the game. They were outscored 33-21 in the quarter, resulting in the 62-52 outcome.
“I think (the game) is a good example that we need to improve on defense,” Fields said. “We haven’t given up 62 points this entire year, and our worst loss of the year we give up 62 points, so we just need more energy on the defensive side.”
Playing in his first game on varsity since becoming eligible, senior Italian exchange student Riccardo Masina added nine points, two rebounds and an assist.
Rose said the team has to go back, review its mistakes and work on improving in practice before upcoming games next week.
“The big thing for us, defensively I thought we played OK,” he said. “We put so much energy and so much effort into trying to limit (senior Viking guard Jay Temaat’s) scoring, that some of their other guys did a nice job of picking it up and knocking down big buckets.”