By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Practice was very tense in Gym A and B for the North Salem Girls Team Saturday morning following their loss to West Salem High School on Friday night.
Running when they missed a free throw, defensive sitting and then a free throw followed by some more running.
The premise of the practice was to work on their free throws and shot selection. To improve from making two of their 14 foul shots against the Titans.
“I told them yesterday after the game, we went 2-for-14. That’s horrible,” said Vikings Head Coach Brent Turner. “So I told them, listen, we’re going to do free throws come practice Saturday and if you guys miss, you guys will not like it. You will not be happy.”
Turner went on to say that the seriousness of the practice and him pushing the team to the next level as they then turned to some contact ball control and practicing their shots.
“I think we need to keep stepping it up and not quit on our team,” said Jenny Garibay. “All of this conditioning will help out at our games.”
All of this running and conditioning work is in preparation for 5-2 Reynolds who are riding a three-game winning streak and a 43-39 victory over Hood River Valley Friday night in Hood River.
The game plan is to follow their yearlong philosophy of ‘Defense, Rebounding and Not Turning it over’, while limiting the Raiders to one shot per possession. Something that was successful against McNary on Tuesday.
“If we come and play that solid defense we did against McNary, (by) holding them to one shot (and) holding Reynolds to one shot for the majority of the game, I think we can play against them,” said Turner.
.As practice wrapped up a fun little shooting drill called “Olympic”; where the girls and even the coaches took part in, a little competition to lighten the mood of practice.
Turner admits that they could’ve gone another 30 minutes, but he knows how the drill ended with positive vibes and good cheer, that it was good to end practice on that high note entering Monday’s shoot around.
“It does wonders for the girls,” said Turner. “We know losing isn’t fun, and when you lose there’s a lot of bickering, there’s a lot of finger pointing, then there’s frustration.
“So we’re trying to mend those riffs that are starting to happen and really let them know that, ‘hey we’re family’ and family means that we’re dysfunctional sometimes.”
For Garibay, she admits that practice can be intense, but the drill is very beneficial for North.
“It can get pretty intense,” said Garibay on practice. “But we need to take some time with our shots and shoot right and not force a shot that we don’t have.”
The Viks-Reynolds game will be held Monday afternoon at 2pm at North Salem High School.
Jeremy McDonald is a professional sports journalist in the Salem/Portland area and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalist in Oregon with B.S. degrees from Southern Oregon University in Journalism (2011) and Health/PE (2013). Got a story idea? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @J_McDonald81!
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