NEW ULM - New Ulm Cathedral boy's basketball coach Alan Woitas said that his team's current 1-4 record is due in large part to an almost completely different look than the Greyhounds had last season.
"We have a lot of new kids getting their first crack at the varsity scene," he said. "Right now it is kind of tough to judge because each game we are learning something new - trying to improve in different areas. We have different kids that are seeing new things for the first time. Ideally we would not like to be 1-4 but that is where we are at right now."
Cathedral's 68-29 loss Monday to Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop may well have been an aberration if you consider the following.
Cathedral defeated Cedar Mountain/Comfrey 39-30 earlier this year. GFW then lost to CMC 64-44 but turned around and beat the Greyhounds by 39 points.
"That game [[against GFW] was one where nothing went right for us," Woitas said. "We may have lost our composure at times and we cannot afford to do that, especially when we are not the most talented team out there. [GFW] knocked down a lot of shots and we had a hard time making our shots."
Woitas said that right now, the Greyhounds are struggling on offense.
"Defensively with the exception of the GFW game we have played solid defense," he said. "We are just having a hard time getting going consistently. We need some players to step up and put the ball in the hoop on a more consistent basis."
He said that part of the offensive struggles maybe due to a change in the offense.
"We are doing some things for the first time and anytime you change something - and we have a younger group of kids - it takes time," Woitas said. "We are playing basically sophomores and juniors right now against more experienced teams. They are seeing a lot of things for the first time and when you see things for the first time you have to adjust to it. We need to work on some of those things in practice.
"We are going to stick with what we have been doing because I am confident that it will work," Woitas said.
Woitas said that his starting five is not the same each game.
"The lineup is never set throughout the year," he said. "We have players getting different opportunities - we are looking for players who are going to help us both on defense and offense. We want to be a good defensive team because that is where our strength is right now but our biggest concern is offensively and finding a way to score points more consistently. But we do not want to change the identity of our team as being a good defensive team."
CHARGERS WIN SECOND STRAIGHT GAME: The Minnesota Valley Lutheran Chargers boy's basketball team won its second straight game on Tuesday.
"But even in our last loss (an 80-66 loss to GFW) we had a lead at halftime," Chargers coach Craig Morgan said. "But we did not make our free throws. We were 14-of-40 from the free throw line. We made some mistakes but that will happen early in the year."
In Tuesday's 80-69 win over Springfield, Morgan said his teams free throw shooting was better.
"But we have really stepped up our defense," Morgan said.
Morgan said that Chad Lease has been consistent for his team in their first four games.
"But against Springfield, DeAndre Parker and sparked us - he did the same thing against BLHS. Parker hit two 3-pointers for us. Night in and night out we have different people stepping up. In our last couple of games we have had three players in double figures."
Morgan said that he does not have one point guard on the team.
"All of our players are point guards - it just depends on who is in the game," he said. "With how hard I am asking them to play defense, we have to be versatile and switch people around."
He said that his team's defense has been the team's strong point early in the season.
"It does not show with the scores but our defense is creating our offense," Morgan said. "Everybody is going to have more possessions so our scores will be a little bit higher."
If you are a basketball junkie, you can head up to Martin Luther College on Friday and Saturday as the Chargers, West Lutheran, St. Croix Lutheran and Arizona Lutheran Academy from Phoenix will play games.