Paonia girls basketball coach Scott Rienks said he's not too concerned about last Tuesday's non-conference 31-26 loss at Olathe. "I'm not reading anything into this," said Rienks, now into his seventh season at Paonia.
Olathe has won all but one time. "It's one of those games that we love to play, because Olathe is a very solid program, year in and year out."
After years as a fast break and run-and-gun offense, the Lady Eagles are slowing the pace a bit, working on controlling the ball, looking for more sure shots as opposed to forcing the shot, and reducing turnovers.
They were so focused on ball control, said Rienks, but in controlling the ball they missed scoring opportunities. Both teams had single-digit scoring in the first three periods; Paonia scored just one point in the third period.
"We were a little impatient at times," said senior point guard Carson Pipher. "When we were patient, we weren't as intense. We're still working out the kinks. Our goal is to have it at the end (of the season) ... It's ok to have some losses. We're going to learn and hopefully keep getting better and better."
Taylor Polson saw a lot of positives in the loss. "We learned a lot from that game," said Polson, a senior post player. "While we're trying to be patient, we still have to look for everything that's open, too, instead of just running it like a stall."
Polson said the team still has a lot to improve on. "But every practice we do something better than the day before. And that's helping us a lot."
In Saturday's 43-39 win over Rifle, a 4A team that finished second last season in the Western Slope League, things went a little more smoothly. This is the second year the two teams have faced off. Last season Braiden Clement sank a last-second field goal to give Paonia a two-point win.
Paonia held Rifle to single-digit scoring in the first two periods to lead, 22-15, at the half. Rifle led in scoring in the final half, but fell shy of making up for the first-half deficit.
For the second year Paonia will compete this weekend in the Holy Family Tiger Tip-off, a largely Class 3A tournament. Class 4A Wheat Ridge won the tournament last season, and Paonia placed third in the eight-team tournament. They open the tournament against Valley (Gilcrest) High School.
Other 3A teams competing at the tournament include Grand Valley, St. Mary's and Alamosa; Class 4A Manual and Northridge also return to the tournament.blog comments powered by Disqus