It’s not often a coach looks at a loss as a positive turning point in a season. But that’s what first-year Lehman head coach Tim Gleason is hoping for.
The Cavaliers had two strong opponents last week and lost to them both. But on Saturday, they hung with the Sidney Yellow Jackets throughout, causing Gleason to be effusive in praising his team.
“The kids were so ready to play,” he said. “It was just beautiful. The only thing that would have made it better is a win. But they played so hard, they made the extra pass and they were sound fundamentally. So you hope it translates into a turning point for these guys. If we played every night like we did against them, we would be a force.”
The Cavs dropped to 2-11 with the setbacks, but are likely itching to get back on the court and follow up on their Saturday performance. They get that chance this weekend, of course, but neither game will be in the friendly confines.
On Friday, they make the trip to Upper Scioto Valley to face the 8-6 Rams in Northwest Central Conference play. Then a night later, they make the short trip up the interstate to take on the Anna Rockets, who are coming off a big win Tuesday night over Russia. Anna has the night off Friday.
“Those two teams actually remind me a lot of each other,” said Gleason. “Both have great size, and both have very good shooters. Upper Scioto has a freshman who is just lighting it up. Our No. 1 priority this weekend is to rebound against both those teams, and that does allow me to focus on making that a big part of our practice this week.”
Lehman’s effort against Sidney was made even more impressive by the fact that the Cavs had to play without leading scorer Dylan Arnold, who reportedly suffered a concussion in Friday’s game against Lima Perry. Gleason is still uncertain as to his availability this weekend.
“He did not practice Monday, so he’s pretty much day to day,” said Gleason.
In this day of “next man up,” however, Gleason liked the way other kids stepped in to fill the void last Saturday.
“Preston Rodgers came in and played well, and he brings another dimension to our team,” Gleason said. “He has great floor vision, can handle the ball and is an excellent scorer and defender. And he’s just a sophomore.”
With him in the lineup, the Cavs had three sophomores on the floor for the opening tip, the other two being Michael Bunker and Kam Lee, who had 14 against Sidney.
Reach Ken Barhorst at 937-538-4818