Verona focused on push to districts

Thursday, January 30, 2014

By Jared Lankford

sports@monett-times.com

Verona Wildcats coach Brad Stewart wrote the number "40" on the chalk board as his team assembled for their first practice since last weekend's Spokane Tournament.

He then informed his young team team that 40 was the average number of points per game they had scored during the tournament.

"I told them that they weren't going to win many varsity game only scoring 40 points," Stewart said. "We want to fix our biggest problem and it's scoring."

The Wildcats lost all three games in the Spokane Tournament because of offensive struggles. Stewart stated that his team has to have the confidence to make shots.

"Shooting a basketball is a lot like facing a 10-foot putt in golf," Stewart said. "Some approach the putt like its nothing and the step up and swing. Others over-think the putt and focus on a slope on the green or how tiny the hole is."

Stewart said that there has to be some expectation in the mind of the shooter that he is going to hit the shot.

The Wildcats prepare for the final few games on their schedule with a date at Billings on Friday.

"Billings likes to get up and down the floor and shoot the ball," Stewart said. "We have to be able to make shots to compete and win."

The Wildcats as a defensive unit have been solid all season long. The defense begins with Tomas Estrada in the middle of its two-three zone.

"Tomas is our leader on both ends of the floor," Stewart said. "He has a shot touch on the ball and isn't afraid to step in front of a player and take a charge."

The Wildcats have placed a few more wrinkles into their offense in an attempt to create better looks. Stewart stated that the playbook is pretty well set after this week.

"Right now our main focus is on the offense," he said. "We are going to spend time perfecting our offensive sets and try to get sharper."

Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.

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