VHS boys unable to solve Altamont press

Published 2:57 pm Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A team can learn a lot about its makeup from playing an athletic opponent, even if it results in a loss.

That was the case for Verbena’s boys basketball team during a 61-35 defeat at home against Altamont on Dec. 19.

Altamont’s pressure defense gave Verbena fits throughout the game.

Getting the ball across half court was something that the Red devils battled with from the opening tip until the final horn sounded.

Verbena attempted both dribbling and quick passes, but nothing seemed to be a consistent solution to break Altamont’s defensive approach.

“That’s a good basketball team that is athletic with high basketball IQ,” Verbena head coach Scott Doss said. “We’re young with only two people with any varsity experience.”

As the game moved along, there was a visible frustration that began to show from the Verbena players.

Careless passes and turnovers were often times side effects of the pressure defense.

“I didn’t like the way we played in the first half,” Doss said. “We weren’t very physical as far as blocking out, but we made some adjustments at halftime and I like the way we fought.”

Verbena’s offensive output did not match the team’s potential and was non-existent at times, such as when the Red Devils went scoreless in the fourth quarter.

“When you can’t knock down open shots, it really stresses your defense and your mentality,” Doss said. “They’ve got to realize that they have to match or exceed the other team’s intensity. That’s the whole reason you schedule good teams, is to help yourself get better.”