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The Rams enter a mid-season slump

Varsity boys basketball is looking to move forward and end their losing streak

Photo Credit: Roman Sarkisov

With the fall to Grand Ledge on Jan. 18, the Holt Rams varsity basketball team increased their losing streak to seven games. Each time, they have lost by an average of 14.6 points per game. Head coach Darren Zwick attributes this slump to their unsteady play.

“The team has been struggling due to being very inconsistent within the game,” said Zwick. “Most of the games during this losing streak were lost because of one poor quarter either on offense or defense. We also have been shooting a very low percentage over the last several weeks.”

The ability of being consistent can make or break any individual game. If the team gets down by a significant margin at any point of the game, it can very difficult to bounce back. Also, if at any point the team does not keep a high energy level throughout, the game can sway to the opponent’s side.

“The team has been struggling on putting a full 32 minute game together,” said senior Andrew Alspaugh. “Our main issue we are focusing on is not having a period of time during the game that we don’t have energy and focus because that seems to really put us at a disadvantage.”

Senior Andrew Alspaugh looks to pass the ball to senior teammate Jason Kline. The big man for the team is averaging 4 points per game over the seven game losing streak. | Photo Credit: Roman Sarkisov

Falling behind in points in a single game is hard enough to recover from, while falling behind in several games is even harder to recover from and can be mentally challenging to players. A losing streak can certainly fatigue a team trying to recuperate.

“All of us are tired of losing,but at this point we’re all used to losing and we need to break out of that,” said sophomore Nicky Johnson.

The fatigue is causing the team to have a new mindset. The team wants to stop losing and end the season on a good note, starting with getting a win soon.

“We all are looking for a way to turn things and start coming on top with some wins because I know everyone on that team wants to end this streak and get a win,” said Alspaugh.

Although the team is struggling, they are looking for ways they can benefit from this experience. They are meeting as a team to understand their flaws and how to move on. Overall, they are utilizing this slump to improve and to move on productively.

“Losing is always tough, but there are certainly a lot of lessons that can be learned,” said Zwick. “We are trying to keep a positive outlook and working hard each day to get better.”

As the team discusses their recent struggles, they are also coming up with solutions to end the losing streak. They have discussed the reasons they have been losing each game and how to fix those issues.

Junior Sam Ammon steps up to the free throw line to shoot a free throw. "We've had a few team meetings and are just trying to use this as a learning experience more than anything," said Ammon. | Photo Credit: Roman Sarkisov

“We have began going to the weight room after practice two times a week to allow us to also improve our athleticism and our team chemistry to keep us together, focus on the big picture for the year, and start getting some wins,” said Alspaugh.

Besides physicality and chemistry, the team is also working on effort and other vital aspects of basketball to win games. Coach Zwick has noticed some technical details and have brought them up to the team.

“We have analyzed the pieces of the game that are hurting us and are working to correct or modify them to put us in a position to be successful,” said Zwick. “Specifically we are focusing on consistent effort, rebounding, and overall positioning on the defensive end. On offense, we are looking for better ball and player movement that will hopefully lead to higher percentage shooting.”

The Rams may have been losing recently, but they have plenty of opportunities to improve from their meetings and pull out a win. Overall, the team is looking to revamp and improve for the rest of the season.

Said Johnson, “we just need to put all the pieces together the second half of this season and we will be a good team.”

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