Carroll Christian coach sees better days ahead

January 09, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

Carroll Christian boys basketball coach Randy Peterson knew going into the season that his young team would go through some growing pains.

After all, the Patriots lost five of their top seven players from last season's 15-11 team to graduation and seven of this season's first nine games were on the road.

The team's 2-7 start doesn't have Peterson fazed a bit as the Patriots begin to get in the thick of their new Potomac Christian Athletic Conference schedule.

"They're hustling and working very hard and that's all you can ask for," Peterson said.

"If we keep working hard it will all come together, and I think we can be a .500 team by the end of the season."

The Patriots opened the season with what Peterson described an "animal schedule," and he hopes the stiff non-conference competition will pay off in the long run.

They participated in the St. Mary's Tip-Off Tournament in Burlington, N.J., in early December and more recently traveled to Martinsburg (W. Va.) Christian Academy -- a team that last year won the American Association of Christian Schools Regional Championship.

"We wanted to play a tough non-conference schedule to get us ready for conference play," Peterson said.

"The big thing is getting them to play smart and they are getting better and better. They are really hustling, but lack the court savvy that comes with experience. It limits you with what you can do, so we started with fundamentals and are adding things as we go along."

Juniors Ben Lieb and Matt Good are the only players who returned from last year's team with game experience. Lieb anchors the middle for the Patriots at center and is averaging around 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Good is a versatile player who can play guard and small forward. He's averaging nine points.

Peterson said freshman point guard Casey Davis "is still learning, but doing a lot of good things for us."

Seniors Ryan Martin, Josh Breathuer and Mike Waddel all are contributing along with sophomores Steve Rill, Chris Darling and Josh Mied. Freshman Jeremy Rodriguez also is improving as the season progresses.

"The defense has been pretty good all season long and the offense is starting to catch up," said Peterson.

"It's more of a mental thing with the offense. They were very passive at the start of the season and not attacking the basket. We're working hard on that and they are playing much more aggressive offense now."

The Patriots dropped out of the Mason-Dixon Christian Conference because of the extensive travel involved and now are competing in the seven-team Potomac Christian Athletic Conference.

They are 2-1 so far in conference play with home wins over Calvary and Clinton. Their only conference loss was a 57-54 decision to Granite, which is 5-0.

"I've seen all the teams but one," Peterson said.

"It looks like the top teams aren't as good [as the top teams in the Mason-Dixon Christian Conference], but they're better from top to bottom. It looks like it will be wide-open."

The first round of the conference tournament will take place on Feb. 15 with the final four round on Feb. 18-19 in Frederick.

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