Nobody should like losing, but more lessons can be taught from failure than success.
South High School boys basketball hopes the start to its season can be one of those teaching moments. The Colts head into break with a 4-7 record after losing at home to Pine Creek on Friday 60-22.
“We ran into a buzzsaw tonight and we were challenged (Thursday) night,” coach Gabriel Zeigler said. “But overall, we’ve seen some really good things and I still believe that we’re going to surprise teams when we get to (South-Central) League. I still believe we’re going to be a team that people don’t want to play.
“We’re going through those growing pains right now and they’re never fun.”
From the beginning, it felt like Pine Creek’s night after the Eagles finished the first quarter with a 21-2.
Multiple steals led to easy baskets for Pine Creek and that same defensive prowess spread in the second quarter, giving the Eagles a 34-12 halftime lead.
“We just had a rough start to the game in the first quarter,” Teidric Duran said. “Throughout the game we kind of picked it up more, but we just can’t get behind in the first quarter anymore.”
Missed shots killed any offense for the Colts as the Eagles also dominated the glass with a 37-12 advantage.
Pine Creek used its height advantage to grab several offensive rebounds, which led to several put-backs and second-chance points.
“When you have a young team, they feed off of offense,” Zeigler said. “When you get good looks and the ball just doesn’t want to drop, like it has the past couple of nights for us, frustration sets in. Our efforts there defensively though.”
Youth and inexperience has been an early obstacle for the Colts.
They made the 4A state final four the past two seasons behind a strong senior class that graduated after last school year.
To make the adjustments even larger, former coach D.J. Johnson stepped down after last year, putting in first-year coach Zeigler and an all-new system.
“The challenge that we have is not so much losing the talent, it’s that we have to learn game situations,” Zeigler said. “We have a young team that hasn’t experienced any of that before…These guys are still learning (what it takes to build chemistry with each other). I believe they have it in them.”
Offense has been the recent struggle for South after it posted 30 points Thursday at home in a loss to Air Academy.
But defensively, Zeigler sees the intensity and believes that can be one of the positives the Colts can take into the break.
“From the start of the season until now, we’ve grown so much,” Duran said. “We’re getting to learn the offense, getting to learn to play better with each other. Just overall we’re getting better every day.”
Fine tuning those pieces will be necessary for the Colts as they have only two games in January before the South-Central League schedule begins.
South takes the court next on the road against Centaurus (5-3) on Jan. 5 and then host Elizabeth (2-5) Jan. 12. After that, the Colts open league play against Pueblo County at home on Jan. 15.
“(New changes) has had an affect on us,” Duran said. “We’re also down about four players with injuries and grades.
“Later on in the season, they’ll be coming back after break and we should be able to get going again.”