Versailles boys basketball couldn’t keep up with St. Mary’s


By Drew Terhall

VERSAILLES — The Versailles boys basketball team couldn’t keep up with the 7-2 St. Mary’s team as they lost 40-66 at home on Jan. 6.

Head coach Travis Swank said once things started to go the Roughriders way, the team couldn’t respond.

“Good things were happening for us and played with a lot of energy. When it started to spiral, we didn’t play with the urgency and energy that we needed to in order to win the game. You can’t do that against a really good team like St. Mary’s,” Swank said.

Things started good. Versailles got out to a 7-1 lead and looked comfortable. Saint Mary’s then went on a run that included three made three-point shots to go up 18-10 after the first quarter.

The Roughriders continued to add to their lead and opened the second quarter on a 10-2 run. Versailles were having trouble with turnovers and Saint Mary’s was scoring easy buckets in transition.

Even in the half court, Swank said they are a tough cover with their post players being surrounded by good shooters. In this game, Saint Mary’s made nine threes in the game.

The offense started to get better in spurts in the second half. The Tigers were able to get to the rim and finish. They scored 12 points in the third quarter, their best offensive quarter.

Sophomore Drake Ahrens led the way for the Tigers on offense. Swank said Ahrens is good taking it to the basket, but the team needs to move the ball and get everyone involved to be at their best.

“We’re not a 1 on 1 type of team. I don’t see enough guys that have that kind of skill set to be successful. We got to continue to work the ball in our motion and hopefully we will get better results if we can do that,” Swank said.

Even when they were driving to the rim, Versailles didn’t get to the line often. Nor did they capitalize on their trips. They were 3 for 9 from the free throw line.

Versailles has been struggling lately from the line. Swank said they just need to continue working on them, that’s all they can do.

“We didn’t shoot a whole lot tonight, but we got to be able to concentrate and knock them down. We got guys going up there, that are going strong to the hole and they’re not finishing. They got to go finish it at the free throw line. They’re just not doing it right now,” Swank said.

Saint Mary’s didn’t let up during the game. Their offense continued to score inside and out and didn’t give Versailles a chance to gain ground.

Senior Evan Augstmann led the Roughriders with 21 points and made four threes. Senior Jace Turner had 13 and junior Alex Hoenie had 11.

For Versailles, Ahrens led the team with 10 points. Senior A.J. Griesdorn had eight points.

The Tigers are 5-3 on the season with a 2-0 MAC record. They still have some tough tasks ahead on their schedule.

Swank said playing in games like these or against tough competition shows the team’s mentality. In this one, Swank thought you could see the team spiral from their body language. The team’s mental toughness is something they’re working on.

“Good teams don’t have that. We got to find a way to persevere through that and continue to get strong in the mental department,” Swank said. “That’s what it really comes down to. Sometimes we just got to calm ourselves down. We’re still young and inexperienced at some points in time.”

Swank also said the team just needs to sometimes hold the ball, take a deep breath and run their offense. The team just needs to have a bit more experience to strengthen their mental toughness.

Versailles will host Lima Central Catholic, who is 7-0 on the season, on Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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