CALEDONIA — Galion head coach Bobby Gossom’s team is looking for some consistency in this year of constant uncertainty.
“We started out the game well. We came out flat our first game, but did a better job tonight. We did a good job defensively,” he said after falling 80-35 in an MOAC contest at River Valley Friday night.
The Vikings (3-1) took a 10-7 lead on a Rece Payne 3-pointer and only trailed 15-12 after one period. Payne had 10 of his team-high 12 in the quarter.
“We told the kids they were going to turn up the pressure and that’s what we struggled with,” Gossom said.
The Tigers (0-2) committed turnovers and the result was several lay-ups for RV, which built a commanding 37-18 halftime lead.
“We missed some shots we should have made and that let them get out in transition. We struggled to put the ball in the hoop,” he said.
“We’ve got to defend and be patient offensively. Any time we get sped up, that’s when things kind of start spiraling out of control.”
A pair of juniors, Jaxon Oswald and Andrew Sparks, added 8 and 6 points, respectively, coming off the bench. Troy Manring had 4, Hanif Donaldson 3 and Caleb Branstetter 2.
Ethan Bell pumped in 23 for River Valley and Dylan Johnson added 21. Jahki Henderson, 6-foot-6 pivot, added 7 points and 6 rebounds.
Gossom said it’s been a series of fits and starts for his club coping with the impact of COVID-19.
“I’m hoping we got it out of the way early. We were quarantined for two weeks right at the beginning of the year.”
As a result, Galion managed just one scrimmage.
“We were working in new guys. It’s tough. It’s tough for anybody, but for a team that’s trying to change the culture and get in shape and in a groove, it’s hard,” said the second-year coach.
“You feel like you’re doing something … and then you kind of take three steps back.”
Gossom missed the first couple of weeks.
“My son (Riley) was in a car accident; so I’m not there. Then I come back and I’m there two days and everybody gets quarantined,” he said.
“We never got in any rhythm.”
Galion will look to find some as it hosts another MOAC opponent, Marion Harding, Thursday at 7:30 p.m.