Cary Phillips has been the head coach of the North Central boys’ basketball team for all of five games. But he already knows his team needs to get off to better starts to avoid beginning behind the 8-ball.
For the fifth team in as many games, the Knights struggled from the field in last Friday’s 47-31 loss to visiting McBee at The Castle in Boonetown.
NC (0-5) trailed 14-7 after the first quarter and was on the short end of a 32-13 score at halftime.
"Once again," Phillips said, "we got off to a slow start, going 4 for 19 from the floor in the first half.
"We have to find a way to start games with the same intensity that we come out in the second half with and find a way to limit teams on offensive rebounds but after watching the game film we are making progress but we just couldn't knock down the open shots when we had the chance."
The visiting Panthers led, 40-24, at the end of three stanzas, after NC cut the lead to single digits at nine points with three minutes to play in the third quarter. "But we couldn't sustain the progress," Phillips said of not being able to get any closer on the night. "The guys never gave up, though. They fought ‘til the end.
"Defensively, we played really solid minus a few open looks we gave them, but that’s going to happen."
The Knights did not help themselves from the free throw line as they hit on eight of their 21 chances from the charity stripe.
Senior guard Jay Parks paced the Knights with 10 points. Leading scorer, senior Will Jenkins, was held to one point but grabbed 11 rebounds while sophomores Jeremiah Jenkins and Zach Jones had seven and six points, respectively, with Jones collecting a team-best seven rebounds.