After a rocky start Saturday against West Frankfort, Harrisburg got its train back on track just in time to steamroll West Frankfort 72-41 at the EHT.
It took a while for things to materialize for the Bulldogs (12-0) as they found themselves down by two at the end of the first quarter 15-13, but Harrisburg came out cooking in the second quarter, holding the lowly Redbirds to just one field goal as they outscored them 31-9. West Frankfort managed just 1-of-5 shooting from the floor as they turned the ball over 11 times.
Tyler Smithpeters led the charge in the first half, scoring 21 points en route to a game-high 30 as he shot 8-of-15 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
Harrisburg head coach Randy Smithpeters believes the bad start Saturday can be attributed to his guys not putting their best foot forward.
“We’ve had so many games where the pressure and the intensity isn’t there, that we get into some bad habits and it’s something that we have to work on and be prepared to come out every night with the intentions of doing everything as well as we can.
“It’s a very difficult thing to deal with when you have had as many games as we have had and you’re able to survive and survive well without having to do those type of things.”
Smithpeters added that he doesn’t believe the events that transpired Saturday will reveal themselves again as Harrisburg prepares to take on Massac County Monday, starting at noon. A win against the Patriots would pit the Bulldogs in the championship game for the fourth straight year at 9 p.m., as they go for their third straight title.
“The pressure is now there, the intensity is now there, the competition is now there and if we do come out and start like we did against West Frankfort, we may very well get beat.”
Smithpeters was also glad to see his club rebound against West Frankfort, just as they did in the second quarter, but continued it into the third when Harrisburg outscored West Frankfort 22-12, holding the Redbirds to 6-of-17 shooting .
“We stepped it up and it was a good lesson, hopefully, to understand this is what happens if you don’t do things correctly. I understand how difficult it is as coach to stay on that edge all the time when you really get the impression you don’t have to be. We talk about our competition in practice is something that is sometimes better than our competition on the floor and that’s going to be true in some weeks and some instances. We have to use that to make us better.”
Page 2 of 2 -