Current Date: Sat, 07 Dec 2013 18:52:23 -0500
Though the circumstances certainly allowed for them in the North Carolina junior varsity basketball team’s matchup with Greensboro Day School on Saturday, coach C.B. McGrath is not one to make excuses.
After all, the team has had only three practices since Nov. 11 — only one of which saw the group in its entirety — due to McGrath’s travel with the varsity squad to Hawaii, California and Indiana.
But McGrath said it was the lack of intensity, concentration and effort that led his team to fall to the Bengals 77-65.
“We’re not in as good of shape as we were when we left on Nov. 11, but you have to stay in shape somehow and stay mentally prepared to play a game,” he said.
“They were just a half step quicker to loose balls, they got a bunch of offensive rebounds when they missed a shot. They’d take a bad shot and then they’d get the offensive rebound and get a better shot off. We didn’t do that on our end.”
Despite a slow start, the Tar Heels managed to tie the score at 30 at the half with the help of freshman Spenser Dalton, who ended the night with 13 points.
“I told them I said I felt pretty good because we didn’t play that great and it was a tied ball game,” McGrath said. “I said the best news is we have a second half to prove ourselves and get better and play like we know how to play.”
But to McGrath’s dismay, the first play of the second half was another instance in which the Bengals out-rebounded the Tar Heels — a challenge that UNC would try to overcome all afternoon. But the rebounding, coupled with strong lane penetration, would serve Greensboro Day well.
“We were just a step slow,” sophomore Kyle Currie said. “For whatever reason we weren’t in help defense at all.
“We should have never let them penetrate like they did … They should have never gotten in the lane.”
But in the midst of the team’s atypical play, there was one consistent force.
Sophomore Sasha Seymore led UNC with 20 points and five rebounds, as he shot 75 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line.
McGrath said he was pleased with Seymore’s performance and added that the Tar Heels should have given him more touches.
And for Seymore, the feeling was bittersweet.
“Its nice to score points, but at the same time it’s about our team’s basketball,” he said. “And we didn’t play very well today.
“There’s only a limited number of times you get to play basketball in the Dean Dome, and I think we kind of blew one today.”
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