RUSSIA — The Russia boys basketball teams closed the regular season with an 82-66 loss to Anna Tuesday night.
Anna won the SCAL with a 20-2 record overall and 11-1 in the SCAL, while Russia is 14-8 overall and 7-5 in the SCAL.
“I was a little disappointed in our start tonight,” Russia coach Dave Borchers said. “We didn’t execute some of the things we wanted to execute as far as slowing down their transition game. They’ve been doing that all year and doing it well all year. I thought that was something we were able to (stop) better the first time we played them (a 58-52 loss on Jan. 22).
“Give Anna credit. They’re a very nice team and well-coached. They do a good job.”
Borchers hopes Russia, which is taking a two-game losing streak into the tournament, can find more consistency heading into the postseason.
Before the Raiders lost to defending Division IV state champion Marion Local last Saturday, they had won five-straight games. The Raiders were 9-6 before that winning streak.
The biggest area he’s hoping for consistency in is rebounding. The Raiders start three players over 6-foot-2 but struggled rebounding against Anna, especially early on the defensive end. The Rockets were often able to capitalize on second- and third-chance looks.
“We have the ability to rebound pretty well, and for reasons I can’t put my finger on, some nights we do (rebound) really well, and some nights we’re a little lacking in that area,” Borchers said. “It’s not that we’re not trying to rebound, it’s that sometimes we get caught up in what’s going on in the game and maybe we don’t have our heads in the right spot.
“It’s something that’s been a battle all year long and something we’ve got to get better at. …We’ve had some games like tonight where it gets away from us and it lets the opponent score a lot. We’ve just got to keep focused on it.”
Russia senior forward Jordan York led the squad with 15 points while Mason Dapore scored 14. Will Sherman and Carter Francis each added eight.
Russia, the No. 3 seed in the Piqua Div. IV sectional, will open tournament play on Saturday against No. 10 Mechanicsburg at Piqua’s Garbry Gymnasium.
“We just talked about that in the locker room, that we’re 0-0 right now,” Borchers said. “It’s time to go and it’s time to focused. Mechanicsburg has been playing very well and just beat (Springfield) Emmanuel Christian, who is the No. 3 seed in the Troy bracket. We’re hoping to have three good days on practice, get focused on Mechanicsburg and get ready.”
Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip and Mechancisburg will bring an 11-10 record into that game.
SIDNEY —- The Lehman Catholic boys basketball team closed the regular season with a 42-39 loss to Mechanicsburg Tuesday in non-conference play.
Lehman Catholic is 8-14, while Mechanicsburg improved to 11-10.
Lehman will open Piqua D-IV sectional tournament play Saturday against Fairlawn,11-11, at 4:30 p.m.