By MEL SUITER, Hernando Sun sports reporter
Photography by Alice Mary Herden
New Port Richey, Fla. — Patience is a virtue!
Watching this season’s edition of the Pasco Hernando State College basketball team, is going to require a great deal of patience.
For the fifth time this season the Bobcats felt the disappointment of losing, falling to Hillsborough Community College 76-59, Tuesday night Nov. 12, inside the home of the Bobcats-the Gymnasium.
Pasco Hernando State College basketball coach Micheal Jones said after the game, his team is making progress. He said that some of the progress is becoming evident, big steps made and in fact against the Hawks the Bobcats actually had a lead.
Jones also said that there was some improvement with his team keeping and valuing the ball, the Bobcats only turned the ball 11 times against the Hawks. Pasco Hernando State College going into the game against Hillsborough Community College averaged 23.7 turnovers per game.
Leading the Bobcats against the Hawks in scoring, Antoino Tucker with 12 points followed Rodney Adderley with 11 points and helping his team with 10 points Tobias Compton.
Jones also knows that his team needs to improve on the defensive side of the ball, slowing down to look at the entire court and playing the entire game, not just in spurts.
“Better effort tonight, we still have a lot of growing to do. We have a lot of freshmen we got guys on the bench getting more minutes but they are getting experience,”Jones said. “We are getting better and we just have to get through December and peak at the right time, we will be okay.”
There are times during the game when the Bobcats lose focus and panic on the offensive zone. There are passes that have no chance of being completed, there are shots that are forced up and against the Hawks; those shots seemed to rebound long and the Hawks would be in position for the offensive rebound.
Hillsborough Community College basketball coach Tommy Jones said his team didn’t quit and played hard against the Bobcats. He said, he thought that it was a struggle for the Hawks for the majority of the game.
“We shot the ball well early in the year and the zone got pretty wide,” Jones said about his team’s ability to take advantage on the offensive glass. “When we are shooting we should flood those holes and get to the glass; that’s how we got a lot of them.”
Pasco Hernando State College plays a 2-3 zone defense that takes advantage of the speed that the Bobcats have on their team. It is also designed to help get rebounds.
The execution of the zone defense did not help the Bobcats as they out rebounded by the Hawks 45 – 27, which includes 17, offensive rebounds by the Hawks against the Bobcat’s defense.
Hillsborough Community College forward Michael Cole led all scorers in the game with 14 points, he also pulled down nine rebounds and blocked one shot.
The zone defense is a solid defense for the Bobcats, it is a good fit for the Bobcats, it will give them a chance to use the quickness of the team and execute traps of the sideline.
The offense for Pasco Hernando State College needs to find a personality, some team chemistry because it will help in producing points from the field.
The offense can control the tempo of the game, which would help the Bobcats to slow down and according to Jones that is all in the process of his team improving.
PHSC nearly pulled out a win on Thursday Nov. 14 against Trinity College. At the end of the first half they led 37-30, but allowed Trinity a narrow victory with a final score of: PHSC 69, Trinity 70.
Pasco Hernando State College next chance on improvement will be away at State College of Florida, Manatee- Sarasota, Nov. 19 at 7PM.
Jones said, it is just a matter of his team remaining passionate about the process of improvement, keeping the excitement about the journey of the basketball season. Jones and the rest of the fans that follow the Bobcats will just need to be patient.
The lineup this week:
November 19/ 7:00pm
at State College of Florida, Manatee- Sarasota
November 22 / 7:00 pm
Trinity Baptist College
New Port Richey, Fla.
November 23 / 6:00 pm
At Oxford College of Emory University