Cubs look for offensive spark

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monett needing players to put more points on the board

There is an old saying that goes, "Defense wins championships, but offense puts fans in the stands."

For the Monett boys basketball team (12-5), the first part of that saying is covered, but the team is struggling to get the offense rolling.

The Cubs began the season 7-3, and are 5-2 since Jan. 1.

While the purple and gold have continued their winning ways, the offensive product has decreased from 54.2 points per game over its first 10 games to 49.7 over the last seven.

"I think we are just getting sped up and force our shots," said Jeremy Land, Monett coach. "We don't get good looks and struggle to score the ball."

The Cubs have scored 50 or more points nine times this season and are 8-1 in those games, and 6-0 when they cross the 60-point plateau.

However, Monett has only crossed the 50-point mark twice in its last seven games.

"We have to have better spacing on the floor," Land said. It's something we are working on every day in practice. It is concerning when we struggle to score."

Defensively, the Cubs are only surrendering 45.2 points per game over their last seven contests, while their offense is managing just 49.7 per contest over the same period.

Land added that his team is struggling to move the basketball.

"We are not a one-on-one team, we have to move the ball to score," Land said. "However, we try to attack one-on-one instead of working for a quality shot. When we do that, it leads to shots that we aren't successful at."

Logan Coones is the team's leading scorer, averaging 17 points per game. As Monett moves deeper into conference play and scoring reports become more available, Coones, 5-8, is drawing more double teams.

"We have to work together to take better shots," Coones said. "We can't get rushed and need to let the game come to us."

Monett returns to action tonight, traveling to Carl Junction for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

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