Nowhere to go but UP…

The MML U15 season started out Easter weekend at the Flint’s Finest tournament Hoops Classic tournament in Swartz Creek. After only 4 practices (only 1 with the full squad), it was time to turn the lights on and see what we had. Well, what we saw is that we have a lot of work to do. For the first time as a coach in MML history, my team finished a weekend without a win. For a 7-team bracket, the competition was really high which was great preparation moving forward.

The first game was a hard battle against the team that eventually finished in 2nd place, the Tri City Heat. Thomas Cook and Matt Buschman had strong starts to take us to halftime in a battle. Tyler Rose came off of the bench to spark the team in the second half, but turnovers proved to be the team’s demise in the 39-47 loss. Cook and Buschman led with 9 points and Rose chipped in 8. Trevor Bland led a rebounding effort that kept it close as well.

The second game saw us matched up against a former MSU Flintstone Morris Peterson sponsored team appropriately named the “Flintstones”. Unfortunately for us, they had an experienced and big group that jumped on us with their athleticism. There weren’t many bright spots, but ours had to be when Bland dove for a loose ball, came up short, but was somehow then able to knock it from the opposing player’s hands, collect the ball, then pass it out to a teammate to start the break all while ON THE GROUND! The game didn’t finish in our favor 36-66, but that hustle showed signs of a heart developing. Buschman and Bland had 10 points apiece, while Rose tossed in 9 of his own.

The next morning brought with it a team from Ann Arbor in DSO Sports. The MML squad seemed more determined than ever to fight and claw their way through the game. At halftime, we found ourselves buying into a brand new defensive strategy and down only 3 points to a heavily favored team. Unfortunately, the grind of a tough weekend and tough game caught up to us in the second half and we ran out of gas and managed only 9 points losing 22-38. Bland and Buschman threw in 5 points, and Devonare Vaughn had 4.

A couple of weeks off will help the team gel and allow some work to be done on ball control. The next tournament will be the Michigan Warriors Jam Fest May 2-4.

The good: MVPs Buschman and Bland. Both guys showed a grit and determination that started to rub off on the rest of the guys. Leading the team in scoring and rebounding, they did what they could to lead the Lakers. I expect bigger and better things.

The bad: Our offense. Execution was at a minimum this tournament and must get better. Ball control, passing, cutting, and shooting are some of the determining factors.

The ugly: TURNOVERS!! We set a record I am sure for the number of times we gave the ball away for free to the other team. Execution will help, but an understanding of how important ball control will help even more…and we WILL take care of the ball better!

Unsung hero: Rose. I admit it; I didn’t know what he had in him. He showed me a heart that is threatening to burst out his chest. He scored, hustled, defended, played out of position at times, and just gave everything he had.

~REMEMBER~ Payment is now due.

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