Going forward, the Carbondale boys' high-flying hoops show will see a lot of what they confronted this past weekend -- opponents downshifting their offenses to low gear to counter the Terriers' fast-break ability.
The Terriers split a pair of games this past weekend, defeating Highland 43-32, but losing an in-conference game to the Centralia Orphans 57-48. The Orphans were able to slow the game down, but the talent level is still there.
The first quarter against Centralia reflected the grind-it-out style of the Orphans. Halfway into the eight-minute quarter the score was 8-4 Centralia and the first quarter ended at 11-10 Orphans. It was a 23-15 Orphan lead at the halftime break.
Both teams combined for a total of 25 first-half attempted shots. And it was the Orphans who set the shooting pace with only 10 attempts in 16 minutes of first half play.
However, Carbondale head coach Jim Miller was not accepting any excuses.
"We have the athletes to counteract the slowdown," Miller said. "Our game is to pressure the ball and score in transition. We didn't do that much at Centralia."
Putting pressure on a team that moves the ball as well as Centralia is easier said than done. The Orphans controlled the tempo the whole game.
Carbondale guard Darius Beane scored only nine points on the evening. Wing player Kani Acree had 18 points, but those while running half-court sets.
Carbondale center James Baltz was again steady underneath with eight points for the game. Baltz also had 12 points in the Terriers win against Highland.
"James has been the most consistent player on the team," Miller said. "And I mean the most consistent on both offense and defense."
The Terriers responded to the disappointing loss to the Orphans Friday by getting their transition offense chugging in the second half of Saturday's win against the Bulldogs.
After nursing a five-point lead at halftime and a four-point lead at the end of the third quarter, the Terriers found their groove in the last eight minutes of play against Highland.
CCHS went on a 17-10 run in the fourth quarter, by following Miller's game plan of putting pressure on the ballhandler and causing contested shots by putting a hand in the face of every shooter.
"In the first part of the game we had no pressure again and didn't keep our hands up," Miller said. "But we finally showed poise and patience late in the second half."
Beane had another low scoring game at four points, but Kani and Baltz were back to normal, scoring 21 and 12 respectively. Miller also liked the play of sophomore guard Clayton Greer.
"Besides Baltz another sophomore, Greer, looked great against Highland," Miller said. "In the future, Greer is really going to be an offensive threat."
Carbondale has back-to-back games again this coming weekend, but no travel will be involved as both games are at Bowen Gym in Carbondale. Friday night, the Terriers host Mount Vernon at 7 p.m., and then turn around and welcome Waterloo for a 2 p.m. Saturday tipoff.