Longhorn boys basketball coach Jared Swanson is leaving no doubts he’s unhappy with his team’s play in a 60-55 loss to St. Johns.
Following the defeat Jan. 30 in St. Johns, the coach bemoaned, “I am extremely disappointed with our effort. I can’t believe the difference in our efforts from the win against Snowflake to tonight’s loss against (St. Johns).”
A day prior to the loss to the Redskins, Payson broke a nine-game losing streak beating Snowflake 67-56.
As disappointed as Swanson is, he’s predicting better things with more commitment.
“When we play hard and give 100 percent effort, we have a chance to win any game we play,” he said. “Unfortunately, neither the hard work or effort was there (vs. St. Johns).”
Evidence the Horns might not have their collective noggins in the game surfaced early when Payson fell behind 21-12.
Payson made a mini-comeback in the second quarter closing the halftime deficit to 33-26 thanks to 14 points from Cody Waterman who eventually finished as the game’s leading scorer with 26.
Throughout the third quarter, the Skins managed to cling to their single digit lead, but went on a late run to take a 51-33 cushion early in the fourth stanza. The Horns may have been down, but they were not out.
Relying on a full court pressure defense and outside shooting by Ever Figueroa and Waterman, Payson closed the Skin lead to three points with less than a minute remaining. The Horns had their chances to pull even closer and possibly tie the game, but each attempt went for naught despite the fact the Skins didn’t revert to a slow down, run the clock strategy.
“We couldn’t capitalize on a few surprising quick shots by the Redskins,” Swanson said.
Individually, Waterman corralled seven rebounds to go with this 26 points and Figueroa finished with nine points while dishing out nine assists.
Senior forward-center Dakota Marshall hammered his way inside for 15 rebounds — a mark that helped the Horns out-rebound St. Johns 42-29. Marshall also had seven points, as did Tanner Hintze.