Reaching new heights

Posted on 05 February 2013 by admin

STLCC Archer’s look to finish year strong

By: Spencer Gleason

-Sports Editor-

STLCC Archer freshman forward Brandon Hannah leaps above Wentworth Military Academy defenders on Feb. 2. The Archers defeated the regional opponent, 67-56, for their first regional win this season. | PHOTO BY: DAVID KLOECKENER PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY: HANS STEINERT

In the STLCC Archers first half of the season, prior to Winter Break, the basketball team went 12-1, with half of those wins coming against junior varsity (J.V.) teams. However, since the break and resuming basketball play in the New Year, the Archers have gone 5-6.

With regional opponents such as Three Rivers Community College and Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley coming away with home wins against STLCC, the Archers looked to take care of business on their home court. Finishing January with two victories against J.V. teams, the Archers started February off with a Groundhog Day win against regional opponent Wentworth Military Academy, 67-56.

“Our issue with this particular team is, ‘Can we take the next step,’” Archer Head Coach Randy Albrecht said. “We need more poise, more mental toughness. We don’t need more jumping, more quickness, more size and more depth. You can always be more skilled than we are, but our skills are good enough if we were mentally tough enough.”

With the victory against Wentworth, the Archers have turned a five-game losing skid in January into a three-game winning streak.

“I thought it was a fairly even game,” Albrecht said of the Wentworth bout. “I thought our bench was stronger than their bench and it probably was the difference in that game.”

The bench players against Wentworth combined for 28 points. All season long, Albrecht has kept the bench and starting lineup a revolving door, hoping he picks the right pieces of the puzzle for that day’s game.

“I think it depends on your team. At this level, you want to keep the competition for the positions going, and then you have to let guys have a chance to play,” Albrecht said. “Some of it is dictated by being late to practice, so maybe they don’t start. Or somebody’s in a shooting slump, so you take the pressure off of them and bring them in off of the bench. It’s about finding the right guy.”

“Finding the right guy” is something Albrecht has been able to do throughout his career, which expands across three decades. The mind inside of the 15th winningest men’s basketball coach in National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) history is full of organized statistics.

Before each game, Albrecht and his coaching staff set goals for their team. The numbers prove that if the team meet certain goals, theoretically, they come away with a win.

“It’s the things we want to do,” Albrecht said. “We want to shoot 50 percent on twos, over 33 percent on threes, 70 percent on our free throws. We want to keep below 12 turnovers. Then offensive rebounds, we want to get a third of our missed shots as a goal.”

Over the course of the season, the Archers’ field goal percentage sits just shy of 50 percent. However, in their win against Wentworth the Archers shot 35.9 percent from beyond the arc and just missed their 70 percent free throw shooting goal, hitting 68.8 percent from the line.

The Archers have out-rebounded their opponents, 1038-447 overall. Just on the offensive side, STLCC nearly ties their opponents’ rebounds total number, with 408.

While keeping an eye on the stats, Albrecht’s Archers have cracked the Top 20 in the NJCAA twice this season. The week of Jan. 8, the Archers ranked 11. Two weeks later, on Jan. 23, the Archers ranked 18.

With six games left in regular season, the Archers head toward the home stretch with four of their six games played on their own hardwood floor and two against J.V. teams. With eight of their ten January games  on the road, Albrecht is looking forward to the upcoming home games.

“January we were on the road all [of] the time,” Albrecht said. “I’m tired of being on the road.

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