Archive for Wednesday, January 19, 2005

PRHS Rams improve under new boys coach

January 19, 2005

The Pleasant Ridge boys' basketball team entered the 2004-05 season with visions of drastic improvement after posting a 3-18 record last year.

So far under first-year coach Pat Battle, the Rams have made plenty of progress. They enter the Tonganoxie Invitational Tournament with a 3-4 record (0-1 Delaware Valley League) following a 61-54 loss to the Troy Trojans last week and a 50-43 loss to Silver Lake on Friday night.

The Rams returned just two starters -- juniors Chris Barnes and Jacob Hendee -- from last year's team, and so far both have paved the way nicely. Both have averaged double-figure points this season, and Chris Langley and Brad Heim also have helped carry the offensive load. Barnes, Heim and Austin Trentham all scored in double-figures against Silver Lake. That balanced attack has made it difficult for opposing teams to focus on stopping just one or two players.

Still, despite the all-around contributions, scoring has been Pleasant Ridge's primary problem. The Rams have been scoring - just not enough. They've received almost no points from anybody but their main four. In their four losses the Rams have averaged just 44 points per game. In their victories they've averaged almost 64 points. They've struggled to find any middle ground in that gap, however.

Despite struggling to score, there have been plenty of reasons to cheer at Pleasant Ridge this season. First, the Rams have won a few games. Second, PRHS has been competitive in most of their losses. Third, the Rams are young.

They needed just five games to match last year's win total of three - a feat they achieved by compiling a three-game winning streak with victories against Oskaloosa, McLouth and Perry-Lecompton.

They were close the entire way in seven-point losses to Troy and Silver Lake, and they hung with Jackson Heights for some time before dropping their season-opener by 17 points.

Finally, with just three seniors on their roster, they have numerous underclassmen receiving valuable varsity experience. Among those underclassmen are top scorers Barnes, Hendee, Heim and Langley -- all of whom will be back next year.

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