Burch in the paint, pt. 2
By Ethan Burch, Sports Editor
It was game one for me— a match-up with Berry College at home in Young Harris College’s Valley of Doom. On that Saturday I would get my first glimpse into what college basketball was all about.
The day started with a shoot around that morning, in which the team would get loose by doing some drills in preparation for the game they would play later that evening. I had participated in practices such as these in high school, so all of this felt fairly normal. It was interesting, though, to see how college teams prepared for a game that was set to be played a few hours later; but it was the game that I was anticipating most.
In just a few hours, I found myself making my way back through the halls and into the locker room to get ready for our game. This was a part that was new. How do college teams prepare for a game? What goes on in the locker room? How does a coach explain the game plan? While some of those answers are kept strictly between college coaches and their players, I can tell you that it is all about focus.
Coach Pete Herrmann wants one thing from every player that steps on the floor for him and his team, and that is focus. It is for this reason that he and his coaching staff work to be sure that each player knows his responsibility prior to game time and throughout the contest.
After each of our roles were explained and the game plan had been administered, we made our way to the court for pre-game warm ups.
The team went through some shooting drills and stretches to prepare for the game. Then when the buzzer sounded it was time to play the national anthem, announce the starting line-ups and get the game underway.
That game was an experience that I will not forget. I was a part of college basketball for the first time, and I saw the work that was put in by the coaching staff and each of my teammates. The never-quit attitude that I saw from every player on that court let me know just how competitive the game is at the college level.
We lost the game against Berry by a score of 83-70, but Coach Herrmann never told us to carry ourselves like we had lost the game. He made it a point that we carry ourselves the same whether we win or lose and to always hold our heads up.
It was advice such as this that the team would take in as we went through a stretch of losses on the road until we returned home on Jan. 29 to face Tennessee Temple University.
We would win over Tennessee Temple thanks to five Mountain Lions scoring in the double digits. Steve Viterbo led the team in scoring with 22. It was the defense, though, that Coach Herrmann praised the team most for in this winning effort.
After the game, Coach Herrmann was pleased with our team defense, and he was excited about the win at home. The team, however, was almost too exhausted to celebrate the victory.
The team was working hard and had finally reached the victory that they had been fighting for late in the season. This was a time for a stopping point, though. The season was far from over, and there were still games for us to play.
How would the team take this momentum into the final games of the season? Keep reading to find out.