DALEVILLE — When any program is in the rebuilding process, it’s natural for a team to undergo ups and downs.
The Daleville boys basketball team is no exception. Going up against Elwood on Saturday night, the Broncos fell 63-52. Just one night earlier, they knocked off a Monroe Central team that won 12 games last year.
One hallmark of rebuilding teams is inconsistency. Daleville coach Daniel Hanson said his team shot better against Monroe Central, but shots fell flat against Elwood.
“Our effort just wasn’t there, and there’s no excuse for that,” Hanson said. “You have to rise up to the challenge, the second night of a doubleheader and be ready to go. We were a step slow tonight.”
If anything, they were a step slow closing out on Elwood’s Will Dailey in the first half.
Whenever the Broncos went on a run to close the gap, Dailey would knock down a 3 from the left side of the arc. He had four 3-pointers in the first half.
With Daleville cutting Elwood’s lead to 14-10 with 6:40 left in the second quarter, the sharpshooter nailed one of his 3s, ending the short Bronco run.
“We lost (Dailey) in transition a few times and didn’t sprint back,” Hanson said. “He had a few early and it’s not excusable for us to lose one of the best shooters on their team.”
The Broncos’ lack of size caught up with them, unable to move the ball inside against the bigger Elwood team. The result was a plethora of outside shots, many not falling and leading to quick Elwood buckets. Daleville’s TJ Price forced passes to the inside where they were intercepted, the Broncos committing 13 turnovers.
Being a perimeter-oriented team, the Daleville offense went through major hot and cold spurts, including a stretch in the third quarter when Jacob Knight (team-high 14 points) knocked down consecutive three-pointers, followed by another from Keaton Shipley.
“When they run a zone, we’ll reverse the ball and try to penetrate and kick,” Price said. “We didn’t shoot the ball all that well tonight, and it cost us.”
With 4:41 left in the game, Price jumped a pass and outran the Elwood defense for a layup, cutting the Elwood lead to 46-39. Elwood quickly moved the ball through the paint and converted on several layups and free throws to seal the game.
Contact prep sports reporter David Polaski at (765) 213-5848 and follow him at @DavidPolaskiTSP.