At 4-3 overall this season, the Cimarron Bluejays boys basketball team is far from where needs to be.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” head coach Iric Mawhirter said. “We’re just not there yet, and so (we’re) kind of looking forward to the break, just to kind of hit the ‘reset’ button and figure out who we really are. We just haven’t done enough, and part of that’s my fault, just haven’t pushed ‘em hard enough and we’re just getting enough out of (the players).”
The team finished second to South Gray in the Cimarron Invitational earlier this season, but followed up with a win against rival Meade by a score of 51-48 on Dec. 12.
Even in that game though, Mawhirter said he thought the team went in a little over-confident. He tried to tell them before the game that Meade would play them hard, and they did.
The Bluejays didn’t handle some of the key situations well, he said. The Jays would put themselves in positions where they would be in a position to put the game away, but would fail to capitalize on them.
“We just couldn’t do it,” Mawhirter said. “We would have silly turnovers and they’d get easy layups and then next thing you know it’s tied or we’re down one, and so that game was really a microcosm of the season. We just sputter: We’ll do good for a little bit and then we’ll struggle. So we just have to be consistent and we have to put a full game together.”
Mawhirter said some of that was his fault as coach though, and as frustrating as it was from his perspective to see the team struggle in certain situations in that game, there were also some positives.
“I really saw a lot of contributions from guys in that Meade game,” Mawhirter said. “Everybody that played, really contributed.”
Countless players impacted that game, he said, including a freshman who made the steal that essentially won the game for the team.
“I’m happy so far with guys stepping up, especially younger guys, and just kind of pushing the older guys a little bit,” Mawhirter said. “The Meade game is definitely a positive, it was just good to see guys contribute and rise to the challenge a little bit in a pressure situation, so that was really good.”
The girls basketball team, meanwhile, is 3-4 overall.
Head girls basketball coach David Ediger said the Lady Jays have played some strong competition, and that their losses haven’t come to opponents that were by any means “weak.”
“We’re getting better, our girls are playing really hard we just have to play a little more carefully at times,” Ediger said.
Playing carefully has been one of the issues for the team, as have some of the basic challenges.
“We’ve just gotta start making our easy shots and our free throws,” Ediger said.
The team, however, is improving. Over the winter, the priority is simply to keep improving what the team does already, Ediger said. So is cleaning up some of the little things that can seem simple but make a big difference, like free throws.
There are some really good positives though about how the team is playing, Ediger said.
“They’re starting to realize how to put what we work on in practice into games,” Ediger said. “They’re working really hard so I’m really liking their physical effort.”
The Bluejays basketball teams return to action Jan. 5, 2018 when they head to Dodge City, Kansas to take on the Red Demons.