Coming off of a 5-18 season last year, the Burris varsity boys basketball team isn’t just focusing on changing its record: the players are focusing on the small details of every game.
So far, the Owls have yet to play a game on their own court, but the key to building up the team’s confidence while away from home is recognizing the small opportunities and taking them, said head coach Joseph Anderson.
“Well besides one game, we’ve been in every game this year. The score, it doesn’t indicate that, but if you look, just here recently we had the 2017, two-way -state champions on the ropes. We were actually down going into the fourth quarter by 4 points,” Anderson said.
“We were predicted to lose that game by close to 45-50 points and when you have an opportunity to defeat defending state champs on their court, you have to take advantage — small things matter.”
With a 0-4 record this season, Anderson said it’s important for the team to value each possession, communicate and play as a team. When it comes to meeting Yorktown (0-2) Friday, Nov. 30, the Owls need to identify the Tigers shooters, take care of the ball and not turn it over, Anderson said.
“We’re hoping to come away with a victory. Other than that, it’s a long season, I’m looking forward to our guys taking small steps towards turning [it] around. It’s like planting seeds, you want to watch those seeds grow. So, this year I’m hoping we will sprout,” Anderson said.
When the Owls met the Tigers at home last season (55-71), they fell behind in the second and third quarters. Which is something, senior center and forward James Roysdon said happened during the team’s Nov. 27 game against Frankton.
“In each game you can, even though we lost, you can go back and see where we had flashes of our tram coming together. So really, it’s just us putting it all together and being the team that we can be and then playing for four quarters,” Roysdon said.
“They’re defending state champs, we were within one in the third quarter, so I mean we can build a lot off that. Just because we weren’t supposed to be close in the game, but we can see we hung in there.”
Aside from learning from this season’s losses, junior point guard Alex Halley said tough practice helps build confidence.
“We’ve been working hard in practice every day, getting down defense, working extremely hard, running a lot,” Halley said. “It’s like practice is super hard and going at it with each other each and every day, coming in and out of the gym every night, or sometimes mornings, it’s like we basically just have to give it our all to get out a win.”
The Owls face off against the Tigers at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at Yorktown.
Mary Freda is a senior news journalism and Spanish major at Ball State University.
In 2018, Mary was one of 10 students selected to participate in Hoosier State Press Association Pulliam Internship, where she was assigned to work at The Star Press as a general assignment, news reporter.
Currently, Mary works as a stringer reporter for The Commercial Review and The Star Press.