Fans in Platt Arena were on the edge of their seats for most of the Jan. 17 game against Grace College that resulted in a 71-68 loss for the Foresters.
Taking an early 10-point lead, Grace kept the Foresters at bay until the final minutes of the first half. Sophomore Daniel Woll would land back-to-back baskets, sinking a sweet two and then banking another two-point shot. Senior Alec Peterson would lay down a dunk and after freshman Kyle Platt swished three shots at the charity stripe, the team pulled within five at the end of the first half.
Peterson had 17 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Derek Hinen had 16 points and a team high four assists. The Forester young bloods had a significant impact on Saturday’s game as the bench contributed 14 points.
Freshman Trevor Lucas saw playing time in the loss.
“Getting playing time means a lot for anyone on our team because we are so young,” Lucas said. “It was great to get an opportunity to compete in the game. [Our team] has played very well, but we are far from where we could be.”
Daniel Woll said head coach Ty Platt keeps the team focused.
“Coach Platt does a great job keeping us focused and believing in ourselves and each other,” Woll said. “I just tried to give a spark on both ends of the court.”
Platt said there is a “fine line between winning and losing” as his players are still learning what it means to compete in the Crossroads League.
“We have been right against that line,” Platt said. “Our guys will continue to strive to get over that line and win.”
Huntington (12-8 overall, 2-6 in conference play), now on a four-game losing streak, falls to eighth in the Crossroads League conference.
While the team has not experienced the same success as last season, Woll said he believes in this year’s squad and its abilities.
“Last year was a great year for our team, but this is a new year and a new team,” Woll said. “I couldn’t be happier with the group of guys that we have. We are trying to represent Forester basketball the best we can day in and day out.”
Platt said the team will need to focus on rebounding and defense specifically.
“We need to continue to improve on our rebounding and our attention to detail on the defensive end of the floor,” Platt said. “Our conference is loaded with great players who have a lot of experience. We need to match their intensity from the start of a game and continue to improve on defense.”