Atlantic Boys Drop One to Creston

Though they outscored the opposition in the second half, the Trojans lost to the Panthers by a three-point deficit, 60-57.

The+Atlantic+boys+pay+close+attention+to+Coach+Ebling%27s+instructions+during+Friday+night%27s+competition.+Junior+Tyler+Moen+netted+the+most+points+with+18.+

Emma Templeton

The Atlantic boys pay close attention to Coach Ebling’s instructions during Friday night’s competition. Junior Tyler Moen netted the most points with 18.

The Trojan boys’ basketball team fell to Creston last Friday night. Although the Trojans lost, they finished strong and stayed close throughout the entire game. The crowd was on the edge of their seats, eagerly waiting to see how the game would turn out.

Leading up to the Creston game, the boys focused on their defense, rebounding, and “the basic fundamentals we need to do every game to be successful,” head coach Jeff Ebling said. Ebling’s plan for guarding senior Kylan Smallwood–Atlantic’s biggest threat of the night–was “to make sure to keep him off of the glass” and “slow him down a bit.” Ebling thought the first half did not go as planned but “the second half was much better” in relation to defending Smallwood, who ended the game with 38 points.

Ebling enjoys cycling players throughout games. He “doesn’t really go over seven usually.” Ebling put in ten players in the matchup with Creston. “Tyler Moen played very well, as well as Chase Mullenix,” Ebling noted. Moen and Mullenix were the two leading scorers, as they finished with 18 points and 17 points, respectively. “Everyone gave us something when they got in,” Ebling said. Moen said the plan going into the game was to execute on defense which “didn’t work out the best.” Moen’s self goal heading into the game was to “step up on the offensive end” and “score more points than last year.”

After a hard first half, someone from the Trojans needed to step up. Moen said he brought “leadership when the game was rough” during the Creston game. The Trojans never gave up and performed better in the second half. The boys play many games during the season, and can’t focus on a certain game’s outcome. Ebling does a good job of telling them “to focus on the next game” after a tough loss.

Tight games can lead to a lot of pressure, but the Trojan boys prepare in practice so they are ready for any situation that comes up. “We were resilient and didn’t give up,” Moen said. Shooting free throws and limiting the amount of turnovers made were some of the things the boys did well during the game. Ebling plans to continue working on shooting throughout the rest of the season.

The focus after the Creston game is to “clean up the areas we need to work on, offensive movement flow, and a better offensive mindset,” Ebling said. The boys are “not the biggest team,” so focusing on the other aspects of the game is their main focus. Every team is very different, but “we are who we are, we might adjust a little bit but not much, the philosophy stays the same,” Ebling said.

Next up for the Trojans is Glenwood on Tuesday, Dec. 11. “Glenwood has a couple very good basketball players,” Ebling said. Senior Christian Stanislav averages 29 points per game and sophomore Ryan Blum averages 18. Ebling said they have to watch out for those two but came back to “we are who we are.” The season is going “pretty well” overall. “I know everyone wants to be 4-0, but we’ve seen some ups and downs, we have to keep going and growing,” Ebling said.