By Greg Price
As the St. Mary’s Celtics varsity boys basketball team prepares to hit the hardcourt once again in game competition in the New Year, today, head coach Ken Gabruck is hoping the Celtics find more consistency in 2019.
“We ended up playing 12 games in December, playing more games than we practised, having played in three tournaments,” said Gabruck. “Overall, we are above average against the teams in our classification, but we are struggling with the top teams. We can stay with them for awhile, and then they just seem to run away on us.”
Those games where the tougher teams are running away with games at a certain juncture of the hardcourt contest, Gabruck noted the wounds are self inflicted.
“Our shot selection is not good. The opponent comes down and scores a couple against us and then we want to make it up right now. There’s another poor shot selection, they score again. We get a turnover and they score again and the game gets away from us,” said Gabruck. “There too much of individuals trying to do it themselves, shooting off the first pass. We can have that same, if not better shot opportunity three or four passes later. Shooting early, we don’t have people in rebound position and then people run on us.”
Gabruck referenced the Celtics’ recent home game against the Vauxhall Vikings where they were up by a point 32-31 and all the sudden the Vikings scored 20-plus straight points.
“That’s happened to us a couple of times now against some of the better teams,” said Gabruck.
As the Celtics get more practices under their belt, they will be looking to get their speed game going in their schemes.
“We are trying to get our running game going which has been our weakness not getting any fast-break points,” said Gabruck. “We have to get faster bringing the ball up the court. We really worked on that over the Christmas break and it’ll be a big part of our arsenal in the second half, playing more uptempo.”
The Celtics host Milk River today with game time at 7:45 p.m. The team is then off to an Immanuel Christian tournament in Lethbridge on the weekend.
“It’s a four-team tournament and we play a round-robin. It looks like all the three other teams are strong,” said Gabruck.
The Celtics are also preparing to host its Double Blue tournament on Jan. 18-19.