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Holt falls to Milford in home opener

The Rams now drop to 0-2 for the season, despite a 19 point effort by Jason Kline

Head coach Darren Zwick looks on as his team plays. “I liked how we took care of the basketball on offense and did not have many empty possessions,” said Zwick. | Photo Credit: Roman Sarkisov

On Tues. Dec. 4, the Holt Rams hosted the Milford Mavericks in their first home game this season. Despite being up by as many as 14 points, the Rams fell to the Mavericks 47-54. Senior captain Jason Kline scored 19 points, shooting 5-10 from the three-point line. Senior captain Andrew Alspaugh supplemented the team with 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals. Junior starting point guard Sam Ammon chipped in 11 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals.

The Rams started the game with a lot of energy. The team jumped to a quick 22-8 lead during the first half. Both coaches noticed the team’s enthusiasm at the beginning of the game.

“We got off to a fast start, and that was encouraging,” said assistant coach Russ Olcheske.

Senior Jason Kline with the ball in his hands on offense. “I think I played pretty well. My jumper was definitely on, and I did a good job knocking down shots,” said Kline. “I worked to get open, and my teammates did a great job moving the ball and finding me for shots.” | Photo Credit: Roman Sarkisov

“I thought we started the game with a lot of poise and energy,” said head coach Darren Zwick.

Although the Rams were up by double digits, the Mavericks came back. Holt didn’t play with as much energy as they started out with. That led to Milford cutting the lead down to two heading into halftime with the score at 22-20 in favor of the Rams. Kline also agreed the team started with a high tempo initially.

“I think at the start of the game we had really high energy and were working really hard on defense and worked for rebound,” said Kline. “As the game went on though we seemed to lose that energy—sort of flatlined, which is really what ultimately killed us.”

After the momentum started to shift away from the Rams, the team went on an offensive dry spell. Holt only scored seven points in 14 minutes after the initial 22-8 start, leaving the Mavericks to go on a 25-7 run to take the lead at the end of the third. Rams trailed 29-33 heading into the fourth.

Senior Max Darling dribbles as he gets ready to shoot a free throw. “We started out great and ended poorly, and we all know that and [we] just [have] to make sure we play the full 32 minutes,” said Darling. | Photo Credit: Roman Sarkisov

The Mavericks extended on the 25-7 run by scoring seven straight points to start the fourth quarter. However, the Rams fought back from the 11 point deficit to cut it to five with 18.7 seconds left in the game.

“We never quit or gave up, and we fought to win the whole game, which says a lot about our character and shows that we’re never going to make it easy on anyone,” said Kline.

Despite the effort, the Rams fell short and lost to the Mavericks 47-54. Looking back, Kline felt there were a couple things the team could’ve done better.

“We need to be able to not have large gaps of the game where we fall apart. We also need to make sure we box out and rebound. We aren’t tall enough to jump with people, so we have to outwork them,” said Kline.

Rebounding seemed to be an issue for the Rams. The coaches noticed the problem as well.

“We were out-rebounded... 35-20, including 18-6 in the second half,” said Olcheske.

“Our challenge in the Milford game, and going forward, is our ability to rebound on the defensive glass. I thought Milford's best offense...was second-chance opportunities in the paint. We need to improve our positioning and toughness on the glass,” said Zwick.

The Rams utilized a 1-2-2 defensive zone against the Mavericks. Overall, the team played well on defense and offense collectively. Although the team didn’t win, Zwick finds positives from Tuesday night’s game.

Photo Credit: Roman Sarkisov

“I liked how we played our zone defense throughout the game. We moved the ball well on offense and maximized our possessions by only having nine turnovers,” said Zwick.

The team is looking forward to recovering from the loss. Kline felt the team can learn from Tuesday night and move on to the rest of the season.

“I think that even though we lost, there were both good and bad things to take away. We played really well at times and showed a lot of promise, we just need to be able to put a full 32 minutes together to be successful,” said Kline. “Unfortunately we just couldn’t do that this time, but we’ll learn from it and bounce back.”

Holt’s next game is Fri. Dec. 7 against the Everett Vikings. The game will be home at 6:00pm.

The home opener brought a large student section. “I think a large student section helped get us fired up,” said assistant coach Russ Olcheske. | Photo Credit: Roman Sarkisov

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