The Battle Ground Tigers boys basketball team had the chance to control their own destiny but went on to suffer two losses last week.
The Tigers had the opportunity to knock out the Union Titans by sweeping the season series but instead fell in the second half of their Tuesday, Jan. 30 game. At halftime, the game was all about defense with the Tigers down 21-18.
The Tigers did not improve in the third quarter. The Titans outscored Battle Ground 23-9. The game finished 55-35, with the Tigers allowing Union High School a chance at a postseason appearance.
On Thursday, Feb. 1, the Tiger squad hoped to bounce back and split the season series with Skyview High School, but the Storm quelled those hopes by defeating the Tigers, 79-39.
Following the matchup against the Storm, Tigers head coach Brett Johnson said turnovers by not making simple passes have played a part in his team’s losses.
“I know they can play. I’ve seen them play but it’s just up to them,” Johnson said. “I mean, I did what I could do, and as far as running stuff, it’s up to them. I think it’s mental because when we practice they’re playing really well. They’re practicing well, [but] then we get in the games and we are averaging 18.5 turnovers a game basically.”
Johnson added that his players are great kids, but that isn’t going to win basketball games.
Another challenge the Tigers have faced is that, on some days, they are not able to practice on their home court, Johnson said. The Tigers have been displaced by Junior Officers Reserve Training Corps practices, rented events and other happenings in the Battle Ground High School gym. As a result, the boys basketball team has had to practice at various middle schools.
“It’s part of the creating chaos, right? It should be smooth sailing,” Johnson said. “ ‘Hey, we are practicing from 6 to 8 let’s go,’ not, ‘Hey coach, where are we going to be practicing this week?’ ”
Despite the rough patches, as of Friday, the Tigers still have a chance at making the postseason. On Monday, Feb. 5, the Tigers finished the regular season against the Camas Papermakers, but results were unavailable by press time. If any teams tie in the 4A Greater St. Helen’s League of four schools, a tiebreaker game will be played.