PRC basketball using defense to win games

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 12, 2019

PRC plays an altogether different brand of basketball from the college and NBA level.

Shut down defense combined with a low number of turnovers has been the Blue Devils’ calling card this season and it has translated to success.

PRC is 7-2 and gaining momentum with each game.

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In recent games against Greene County and Pine the team had large enough leads to empty the bench and give players extra minutes on the court.

Head Coach Scott Stephens said he liked his team’s performances overall, even if there were some things to be improved upon.

“For the most part I thought we defended pretty well. I would’ve liked us to rebound better, but we executed on offense well,” Stephens said.

The players understand the team’s strengths and weaknesses and defense is a big strength.

In order to be successful the team has learned to lean on those strengths.

The maturity and self-awareness of the team to know what it takes to win has benefitted the Blue Devils this season.

“We’re understanding what we have to do to win games. We’re just kind of understanding what we’re capable of,” Stephens said.

It’s been a successful start to the season for Stephens and his players, but that doesn’t mean the athletes are getting carried away.

Each player understands the importance of staying grounded during the season.

Stephens said his athletes enjoy a win, but come practice time the next day, it’s time to focus on the next opponent.

“We have to do the same thing every day and have a consistent approach, if we can do that we’ll be successful,” Stephens said.

An aspect Stephens stresses to his team is the necessity of cutting down on turnovers.

With players like Tyaon Terrell, Connor Tynes and Kelton Seal, the Blue Devils will be able to score. Terrell is averaging 11 points per game this season, Tynes 9 and Seal 8, but if the team turns the ball over those offensive outputs can be negated.

“We’re trying to make plays that are unnecessary instead of just taking what’s given to us and executing from there. We just need to let the game come to us,” Stephens said.

Stephens said the goal is to get the turnovers down to about seven or eight a game, which isn’t far from what the squad is currently averaging.

A few tweaks and better communication could easily see the Blue Devils reach that goal.

PRC’s next game will be against the West Harrison Hurricanes.

It’ll be an away game for the Blue Devils and PRC’s only two losses occurred while on the road.

However, the team is getting used to the travel and Stephens said the key is making sure his team comes out with intensity to start the game against West Harrison.

“If you do enough right things getting prepared it sets you up for a win. Getting off the bus and having that energy and intensity from the tip is what I want to see,” Stephens said.

The game against the Hurricanes will take place on Dec. 13 with opening tip taking place at 7 p.m.