Though he's feeling good about where his team is at after the first six games of the season, Ridgerunners head coach Zach Trimble can't help but focus on the one that got away.
In their final game before the Christmas break, the Ridgerunners allowed 21 fourth quarter points as the Hilldale Hornets overcame an 8-point deficit to win 47-42 on December 17.
"I would feel extremely well if we had won [against Hilldale]," Trimble said. "If we had gone into the break 4-2, I think that would've been pretty nice. But 3-3 doesn't sound near as nice as 4-2, especially after the way we lost on Saturday. Everything being new, and having all these guys that haven't played, not having much experience, I guess 3-3 is ok. We gave that game away."
Part of the problem for the Ridgerunners in that final game may have been fatigue. A team that has relied on defensive intensity to win games ran out of gas during that fourth quarter comeback.
"We've played real hard," Trimble said. " I don't think we played as hard as we needed to on Saturday [against Hilldale]. I guess we'll just chalk that up to having played on Friday, then having to make a long bus ride and playing again on Saturday."
All in all though, the first year coach is pleased with his team's progress after the first month of the regular season.
"We've had good leadership. I think our guys are starting to gel together. They're extremely unselfish."
The centerpiece for the Ridgerunners on both ends of the floor has been forward Kyle Summerfield. The 6-3 senior is averaging 12.3 points per game so far this season.
"When he's the biggest guy on the floor like he was at Hilldale, it's just a matter of getting him the ball," Trimble said. "Our offense needs to go inside out because we're not shooting very well as a team from the outside."
In addition to his team's lack of outside shooting, turnovers and free throws are also on Trimble's list of improvements.
"We have to eliminate some of the silly turnovers. There's some turnovers you can live with but the unforced turnovers are the ones we need to get better at. We're shooting 37 percent from the free throw line. That's bad. As a team we need to be around 70 percent."
Overall, despite a good start, the Ridgerunners remain very much a work in progress.
"We have some guys that have some ability," Trimble said. "I think they don't know it yet. Once they do they'll kind of start to come into their own. We haven't been able to have three or four guys on at the same time. Right now we're just not scoring nearly enough. We've got to find more guys to play. We need to become deeper."
The Ridgerunners will host Jay in their first game after the Christmas break on January 3.