Coaching entails making adjustments on the fly. For Roncalli’s Joe Rux, those adjustments started before the season began.
Rux, the 2014 HTR Media all-area boys basketball coach of the year, was dealt a blow by losing junior Sam Scheer and senior Alex Deets during the tail end of the football season. Scheer missed the entire season with a torn ACL while Deets was able to return towards the end of year after his wrist healed.
The Jets were highly ranked entering the year, coming in at No. 2 in Division 3 according to the WisSports.Net preseason poll, meaning the pieces were in place for a special run despite the losses of Scheer and Deets.
“When you lose a scorer like Scheer it causes an immediate change to your offense,” Rux said. “We had to had to slow down our pace while losing Deets limited our aggressiveness defensively.”
Roncalli finished the year 25-2, including a perfect 18-0 in Olympian Conference play, before falling in the WIAA Division 3 State semifinals to eventual D3 champion Brown Deer 48-45.
For the Jets to accomplish that, Rux just altered his gameplan.
“We still had shooters, they just had to take their time and find their shots,” Rux said of his offense. “We really preached patience, that if we moved the ball well enough a shot will eventually present itself.”
The final piece of the puzzle was Roncalli’s defense.
“We sort of hung our hats on our defense,” Rux said of the Jets’ strength. “We made sure people didn’t score on us to help offset out loses offensively.”