GREENWICH, NS – The Horton Griffins’ boys basketball team is growing stronger as their season moves forward, with another win under their belts.
The varsity team had home court advantage as they hosted the Prince Andrew High Panthers Jan. 20 and were led to a 81-57 victory by coach Mark Clarke.
He was happy to see a win, and says it’s a definite positive for the team that’s improving each week.
“We competed well, but still had some mental lapses where we hit a wall. The goal is to get them to always be in that mind,” said Clarke.
“Offensively, we do have some gifted athletes, so the ball does get put in the basket. Defensively, can we keep it out of our own – that’s the question.”
His team is also young, so it’s a year of learning for everyone. The season kicked off Nov. 22, and has seen the team move up and up as they find their stride.
“It took us a little while to get into the swing of things, but we’re getting stronger each game, and had a great tournament in Fredericton last week, and now we’re trying to build for March,” he said.
Before Clarke came on board with Horton, he coached U14 minor basketball and also worked with Acadia’s Axemen team.
He and his players will be working on keeping that focus and drive to constantly keep the pressure on as the season advances.
“We need to be at that compete level. Defensively, making sure we can be in those right positions the whole time, especially competing against some of the top teams in the province,” he said.
He says his team is becoming increasingly cohesive, bonding on and off the court thanks to the right drills, and the right ideas.
Clarke and the other coaches even went to far as taking away the players’ cell phones for a chunk of time, to get them to really bond with each other.
“That one definitely worked – they’ve been playing better ever since,” said Clarke.
Their next match is back in Horton this Monday, Jan. 22 when they will host Dartmouth, currently ranked third in the league.
“We played them last time, and had them within five points. It was a tight game, and most likely will be again this time,” said Clarke.