Cyclones find identity at half

Katie Brickman
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Young Spirits struggling with confidence

After the coaches for the Central Cyclones left the room and forced their players to figure out their issues at half time, they came back a different team.

Tori Beattie from Vanier splits between Ashton Tyerman (9) and Hana Zymberi from Central as she drives to the hoop during senior girls high school basketball action on Thursday evening. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

“Definitely in the second half we came out as a different team. I think mentally it was a big thing,” said Jocelyn Wigmore, head coach for Central. “We just loosened up at half time and just went with it. We worked more as a team and there was definitely a lot more ball movement and more relaxed out there.”

The Cyclones started out slow, but used a strong second half to pull ahead and finish with a 69-39 victory over the Vanier Spirits in senior girls high school basketball action on Thursday evening.

“In that first half, we were just blank,” said Wigmore.

The Spirits continue to struggle offensively. They show flashes of what they are capable of when they drive to the net and take contact. Other times, they look afraid to shoot and continue to pass the ball around until the shot clock is low and a player has to throw up a bad shot.

“We have been working a lot on our offence in practice,” said Tori Beattie of the Spirits. “They played some hard defence, so our shots just didn’t drop and our plays didn’t go the way we wanted them to.”

Both teams seem to battle their inner critics and that brings down their confidence, resulting in turnovers and bad decisions.

“We are a fairly young team, so I think confidence is a big thing with us,” said Beattie. “I think when we come off a really good game, like the game against Assiniboia, that really boosted us. Individually, we just have to gain confidence.”

The Cyclones are also a team that struggles with confidence and the coaches are hoping to build momentum off what they saw from everyone after this game.

“It is like they don’t believe what they are capable of. There seems to be a lot of people that do, so it is just about getting them to realize that they are a good team,” said Wigmore. “We see them every day in practice and see what they are capable of. It is disappointing that they aren’t getting to see that on the court.”

The Cyclones stayed strong defensively in the second half, allowing the Sprits to score 10 points in the third and another 10 points in the fourth quarter.

“Before the game, we set some defensive goals,” said Wigmore. “In the first quarter, we met our goal, but we didn’t in the second quarter. We just focused at half time and came out and just wanted to make sure we limited their chances on offence.”

The Spirits continue to learn and grow this season and try to take losses in stride by setting little goals during the game.

“Since the beginning of the season, we have totally seen lots of improvement in our team. That is good,” said Beattie. “Little goals will get us to where we want to be.”

All teams will take a break from the court next week as students write first semester exams. Action resumes on Feb. 4 with Peacock at Vanier and Central in Caronport.  

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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