Sports

Cloverdale boy's hoops looks for consistency

While the record may not be where Cloverdale boy's basketball coach Karl Turk would want at 1-9, he has seen growth this season from the Clovers. 

"The 2023 portion of this season was trying. As a team, we only registered one win as far as our record is concerned, which doesn't attest to the multiple areas in which we have improved and have experienced growth," Turk told The Putnam County Post. 

Of the nine losses, three have come by a combined 10 points. 

"We anticipated the early portion of the season would be difficult, as we were acclimating six new varsity players into the roster; four of which did not play at all last season and the other two were predominantly junior varsity players," Turk said. 

Turk said as of late, there has been "marked growth across the board." 

"Trey Schabel is emerging as a lead guard, making tremendous strides as a freshman. Over Christmas break he registered three starts and was able to score in double figures. Levi Johnson has also come on as of late. He has been hampered by a hand injury suffered during football season; yet over the break was able to score 17 points vs Greencastle," Turk said. 

While he admits he did not anticipate having only one win at this point in the season, Turk said he could see themes that can be expected when putting a relatively new team on the floor, especially when it comes to mental lapses and closing out games. 

"We have been in some close games in which inexperience has been a factor as well as unfortunate injuries. We are optimistic that through the 2023 portion of the schedule we have gained the needed experience and certainly are hoping for greater health during the new year," Turk said. 

The Clovers open the 2024 portion of the season Friday when they roll out the red carpet for Owen Valley, who is 3-6. 

And, when they do so, they will have a focus on consistency, according to Turk. 

"At the root of consistency, we feel a noted need to improve our mental focus. Physical exertion typically is not the issue when things don't go our way; instead it is a loss of mental focus spurred on by adversity (injury, the other team's play, etc). The game of basketball is one of runs and often one run determines the victor in a game. We are looking to stay focused to a greater extent in order to produce more of those game changing runs ourselves; and mitigate those produced by our opposition," Turk said. 

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