by Steve Peterson
Akron-Westfield boys’ basketball team’s struggles on offense continued as the Westerners were held to under 20 points in a 42-18 loss to South O’Brien in War Eagle Conference (WEC) play on Jan. 5.
The Westerners’ record dropped to 0-9 and 0-6 in WEC play.
Tavian Banks, who made the first A-W basket after a 16-1 first half deficit, led the way, but had just five points. Kevin Carlson had four points and Jacob Neubrand added three. Banks “made” a three-point buzzer beater to end the first quarter, but officials ruled it was too late.
“I thought the kids worked hard for the most part and ran the basic offense well but some are still struggling with the sets. We don’t have a lot of confidence now because we’re struggling,” said A-W Coach Jon Harris. “The first half I thought we played well defensively.”
A-W trailed 25-7 at halftime, and it was 39-13 Wolverines in the fourth quarter.
South O’Brien, which had downed Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn, 66-42, the night before, was led by senior Kody Nelson’s 10 points. Bret Puhrmann, the South O’Brien leading scorer at 13 points per game average, had nine points; Matt DeVos had seven and Sam Weber six.
The Wolverines did not have a great night on offense either as they did not reach a “running clock” status of a 35-point lead but did improve their record to 5-5 overall.
“Each game we’re undersized but we’re battling,” said Harris.
A-W will host Spalding Catholic at 6:00 p.m. in a girls/boys WEC doubleheader on Jan. 11. The Westerners face Westwood in Sloan at 5:00 p.m. in a girls/boys non-conference game Jan. 12. The Westerners host Remsen Union back in WEC play on Jan. 15. A-W is at Alcester-Hudson, S.D., on Jan. 17 and at South O’Brien in Paullina on Jan. 18.