Jordan Garner said he has plans for his team this week – more practice.
It’s not that he is upset with his team. It is just to push on to bigger things.
Vian (8-1) dropped its first game of the season on Saturday night in Sallisaw. The No. 9 Class 3A Wolverines came up a point short to Class 4A No. 20 Roland, 33-32, in the Sequoyah County Area Classic championship game.
Garner’s team was back at full strength for the final two games of the SCAC Tournament. Desiree Moon and Jennifer Hunter were sidelined with ankle injuries for the championship of the Mansfield Tournament, which the Wolverines won.
But even with all his team’s components on the court, the SCAC semis and final were low-scoring affairs. VHS got to the title game with a 38-36 overtime win over 4A Muldrow.
“Overall, early on it was a slow paced ball game,” Garner said of the contest with Roland. “Both teams had a hard time finding the basket. But in the second half, we came out and made some shots, they made some shots.
“It was just a good hard fought defensive battle. But Roland’s a really good ball club and Scott Lowe does a really good job with them.”
And Garner said he’s feels pretty good about his team at mid-season.
“Those were a couple of really close ballgames with some really good 4A competition. Any time you go up a class to 4A, that’s a different level. They’re always going to be physical and always have some good athletes.
“I feel pretty good about our girls right now. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well all through the tournament, but we played good enough defense that we were able to make it to the finals and come up just a point short.”
Moon scored only six points in the game, but her presence on the court makes a difference.
“She’s our catalyst,” Garner said. “She makes us go from the point guard position. She played really well against Muldrow in the semis.
“She had a good game, but she just didn’t put points on the board Saturday night. But she played really well defensively and got the ball to our scorers.”
Among those scorers was senior Nese Walters, who led her team and had a game-high 14 points. Walters and Moon were both named to the All-Tournament team.
But for now, it’s back to old grind. Vian doesn’t play again until Friday night with a trip to Warner, and then again on Saturday night, hosting Webbers Falls.
But Garner said his team will step it up in practice, at least for the first part of the week.
“We’re actually going to get after it. I know we’re nursing a couple of ankles, but they’re tough kids and they’re doing a lot better. Their ankles are looking better.
“And we’re actually going to get after it for a couple of days and maybe go a little bit lighter on Wednesday and Thursday and then get ready for the back-to-back.”