All about experience
Trip to Lincoln gives Eagle girls something to build on for future years.
LINCOLN—From the minute the Brady girls climbed on the yellow school bus last Wednesday morning until the trip was complete when they rolled back into town Friday evening, there was nothing but smiles all around.
“Sure it stinks to lose,” said coach Darren Tobey of Brady’s 59-30 loss to Silver Lake in the first round of the Class D-1 state tournament. “But this is about more than one basketball game. It’s all about the complete experience.”
Rooming together in a motel, eating supper at a nice restaraunt, watching the Husker women play and making all sorts of life-long memories—that’s what it’s all about.
“But we also learned some things about basketball,” Tobey said. “I know the coaches realized a lot of things we need to improve and I think the girls understand there’s a next level.”
The girls may have been a little awe-struck when they stepped on the court at Lincoln North Star High School, the coach said, but it wasn’t the gym that took the girls out of their comfort zone.
“We made it to state playing the same style week after week and then we get down there and I changed things up,” Tobey said. “Believe me, I’ve been kicking myself ever since.”
To slow down Silver Lake’s running game, Tobey switched his girls from their comfortable man-to-man defense to a zone.
“We’re not comfortable playing slow,” he said, “and it backfired.”
After being tied 3-3 in the first two minutes of the game, Silver Lake caught fire and never looked back.
The Mustangs went on a 10-0 run in the first period and finished the quarter with a 19-7 lead.
The first half wasn’t all Mustang domination, though. Brady struggled to hit a shot.
“If we could have made a few free throws and a couple of those bunny shots in the first half, we could have stayed right in the game,” Tobey said.
As it was, Silver Lake carried a 31-15 advantage into halftime.
“We were able to make a little run to start the third period and then (Silver Lake) took off again,” Tobey said.
A 12-0 spurt by the Mustangs put the score out of reach for Brady midway through the third quarter.
Sophomore Megan Polt led the Eagles with 15 points.
What Tobey hopes the girls come away with is a passion to return, next time with a bigger goal in mind.
“We have a lot of experienced underclassmen coming back,” he said. “We graduate three seniors and gain a handful of talented eighth-graders.”
The biggest thing Tobey hopes those returning players saw while in Lincoln is what it will take to be successful again next year.
“We watched solid ball handling, consistent shooting and in-your-face defense,” he said. “We know we’re going to have to play more physical.”
The Eagles finish the year with a 13-10 record. They also recieved the honor of a No. 9 state ranking in Class D-1 by the Lincoln Journal Star and a No. 10 rating in the class from the Omaha World-Herald.
“I hope that gives them a taste of what it’s like and they’ll work hard to get back there next year,” Tobey said.
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