Basketball, like life, is about adjustments and the Huron boys’ basketball team is being asked to make a big adjustment just a few weeks before starting postseason play.
The River Rats walked into Skyline HS last Friday as the top-ranked team in the state. But they also came into the big city rivalry game with a few players under the weather and one of their key starters on the bench with a cast on his wrist.
And, to be fair, they also arrived at Skyline facing a very good, very well coached and very hungry Skyline basketball team. It all added up to an impressive win for the Eagles and the first loss of the season for the River Rats.
It was Huron’s first game of the season without junior Julian Lewis, who fractured his wrist the previous Tuesday and is expected to miss up to four weeks. It was a big blow for a team that appeared to be on cruise control.
“It’s a huge adjustment,” said Huron Coach Waleed Samaha following his team’s loss to Skyline on Friday night. “Everybody moves up a spot in the rotation and even into a different position and out of their comfort zone. We made some uncharacteristic mistakes and some bad decisions with the ball that we haven’t been making.”
The River Rats bounced right back on Tuesday as they knocked off a strong Saline team 57-48 at Saline. Devin Womack scored 10 of his team-high 17 points in a big third quarter for Huron. Tyson Edmondson and Kingsley Perkins each had 12 points for the River Rats, who improved to 15-1 overall on the season.
Huron is 8-1 in the SEC Red, two games ahead of Skyline and Pioneer (both at 6-3).
“Going undefeated was never a goal of ours,” Samaha said. “We have bigger goals than that. We just never had it from start to finish (against Skyline). But you have to keep grinding and keep competing.”
Some people believe that a loss in the regular season isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Samaha is NOT one of those people.
“I’ve never subscribed to that kind of thinking,” he said. “We try to win every drill in practice and that’s our mentality. We talk about winning practices. Losing a game is never a good thing. But you can learn from wins and you can learn from losses and we will keep learning and getting better.”
And making adjustments.
Huron plays at Pioneer on Friday as part of a girls-boys doubleheader. The girls tip off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys at 7 p.m.