According to Lewis and Clark basketball coach Doug Stotler, there are several common denominators among teams at every collegiate level. But one of those stands out above the rest.
“Every play matters in college basketball,” Stotler said. “It’s no different if it’s junior college or NCAA Division I. Every play matters.”
Therein lies the rub for Stotler, whose Trailblazers dropped a 75-59 decision at Kaskaskia Monday night in Centralia. It was a play-in game for District 16 Tournament that begins Wednesday at Rend Lake.
The Trailblazers’ loss came in a game that was tied with six minutes to go, but became quickly untied and turned into a Kaskaskia romp in less than 90 seconds. A Kaskaskia basket gave it a two-point lead. But three quick LC turnovers that were turned into quick 3-pointers at the other end by Kaskaskia put the Devils ahead by 11 with less than five minutes to play.
Game, set, match - and season.
“Less than 90 seconds and the game turned from a tie game to an 11-point deficit,” Stotler said. “The ability to focus on every single possession and every single play is something that has to be learned in college. I think with more sophomores stressing that to the younger kids might have made a difference this season.”