Basketball struggles with inexperience

Basketball struggles with inexperience

Helping Hands: Dan Zehner (12) offers encouragement to teammate Jaron Henderson (11) during the district championship game against the Vianney Griffins @ Lindbergh Feb 25. The Tigers fell to the Griffins, 48-43.

Last season, the boys basketball team finished second in state, losing in the state championship game to Springfield Hillcrest. This year, they did not have as much success.

The Tigers made it to the district championship game for the fourth year in a row on Feb. 25. The past three seasons, they have won districts. This season, OHS lost to Vianney 48-43, ending their season with a 16-11 record.

“What we lacked was the experience,” guard Javier Duren (12) said. “We were a very young team and we had to focus on the fundamentals of basketball. Experience is something you can’t teach.”

Even though the Tigers did not repeat past success, head coach Nick Traxler believes there are many positive things OHS did to ensure a successful future.

“I thought we improved the ability level of our inexperienced players,” Traxler said. “We also developed a freshman center that will be good for years to come.”

This season was also highlighted by solid performances in tournaments. On Dec. 30, the Tigers beat Chatham Glenwood 44-38, to win the consolation championship at the Collinsville Tournament. OHS also placed third at the Webster Groves Tournament on Dec. 9-11.

“Coming in we knew it was going to be a struggle,” Duren said. “We have to be thankful for the accomplishments we did have.”

Traxler added, ”With the schedule we had and the amount of inexperienced players we had a successful season.”