Struggles continue for OHS boys basketball

Struggles continue for OHS boys basketball

Ervin Sarajlic (10) looks to receive a pass in a game against Webster Groves. Sarajlic scored 11 points as the Tigers lose 65-43. He is currently leading the team in scoring, averaging 12.3 points per game.

Heading into the Belleville East tournament, the OHS boys basketball had struggled through a miserable 2-13 record. They played three games in tournament and lost all three.

Despite the three losses, the Tigers’ biggest defeat came by ten to Belleville West, 63-=53. All three games were close contests, especially in their third game against fifth ranked Collinsville. The Tigers battled every minute of that game, but came up short, losing 56-53.

“We’re improving in every aspect of the game,” head coach Nick Traxler said. “In the Collinsville game, we were winning with under a minute to play and we let it slip away. We’re still learning how to win.”

One of the lone bright spots for the struggling team this season has been their big man, Austin Gillmann (10). Gillmann performed well enough to earn a spot on the all-tournament team. He averaged 15.3 points, and 10.7 rebounds per game including a 20 point game against Belleville East. Ervin Sarajlic (10) also played extremely well for the Tigers, averaging 16 points per game in the tournament.

“We’re looking forward for that strong play from those two to carry over into the rest of our season,” Traxler said.

The Tigers rebounded from the Belleville tournament with a loss to Rockwood Summit on Jan. 24. The Tigers led by six points after the first quarter in that game, but were outscored 24-9 in the second quarter. Through the next two quarters both teams were even, scoring 30 points apiece.

“Rockwood Summit is having their best season in ten years,” Traxler said. “We only played three quarters in that game, and it cost us the win.”

Most recently, the Tigers defeated Farmington 54-48 on Jan. 25. In that game, Gillmann, Sarajlic, and Tommy Breunig (11) all scored in double figures for the Tigers. There were only three games prior when three OHS players scored double figures in points all season long.

“Again, we’re still learning ‘how’ to win,” Traxler said.