For the second year in a row, Central Montcalm and Carson City-Crystal will meet in Shepherd on Wednesday.
This time things will be slightly different in that the Green Hornets will have a different coach in John Kearney, who will take his 1-3 team into the game.
“I think our biggest thing that has hurt us a lot is we’ve done well to run the offense but we haven’t finished our shots,” Kearney said. “We’re missing anywhere between 16 and 20 shots that are two steps away from the bucket you’re not going to win the game.”
CC-Crystal coach Ryan Fritz is coming off a come-from-behind win over Belding on Tuesday.
“The kids are pretty fired up, but it was the last day of school before break,” he said.
Fritz has seen Central one time, he noted.
“Their size scares me a little bit,” he said. “They’re quite athletic, and the surprising thing is the big guys can step out and shoot from 15, 20 feet.”
Kearney was at the game between the Eagles and Redskins and got a good look at his opponent.
“They (CC-Crystal) are aggressive, they don’t give up, they penetrate and they love to shoot the three,” Kearney said. “We need to take care of the inside and outside game. They do a nice job of playing the inside-outside game. They all can shoot the three.”
Fritz noted his starters have a bit of size, but they have to stay on the floor in order to have a chance against the Hornets.
“What we’re focusing on is not getting into foul trouble because our size is limited,” he said. “The other thing is you have to challenge shooters, whether it’s 20 feet away or five feet away.”
Kearney is hoping to get his team to think about the small stuff.
“Our biggest thing is we have to worry about one thing,” he said. “We just have to do the little things to start making us a better team. When we start doing the little things more consistent we’ll be alright.”
One of those things is making buckets.
“If we can limit those missed shots that’s the big thing that will help us,” he said.
Fritz, meanwhile, is hoping for those missed shots so that the Eagles will get rebounds.
“The other thing we need to do is rebound,” he said. “That’s something we’re getting better at but we need to do a better job of.”
Fritz wasn’t worried about the focus of his team, because they are having to play during the holiday break.
“I think it’s going to be the same for both teams,” he said. “We did it last year and it was a good game, the best game of the season. I think our focus will be there.”