HUDSON, NC (By Colt Jensen – CCC&TI)…Caldwell Tech started their season on the road this weekend, as they took part in the Senators Tip Off Classic hosted by Walters State. The Caldwell Cobras (1-1) played two games, and the results were mixed.
The Cobras first game was a difficult one. The Cobras faced off against the 18th ranked Georgia Highlands Chargers (2-1). The Chargers currently have a 40 game home win streak, and had a 56 game total win streak until the middle of last year. Georgia Highlands only lost two games all of last year, and this year they have a roster that features three DI transfers.
The result of that challenging first match-up was a humbling 106-69 Cobras loss. That’s not how the Cobras wanted to start the season, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a valuable experience for the young team.
“After our preseason games, we knew we still had a long way to go to be able to compete with the top teams in the nation.” head coach Matt Anderson said. “I think Friday’s game was really good for our team to see what it takes to compete at that level, and it showed us we still have a long ways to go. We always like throwing our guys in the fire early in the season so we can get exposed and see what we need to work on.”
After passing through the fire of a 36 point blowout it was clear things needed to change, so adjustments were made.
“After struggling against Georgia Highlands, we knew what we had to improve on.” guard Omari Koffa said. “We had to be better on the defensive side, closing out on the shooters, not giving up offensive rebounds and staying in front of our man. On the offensive side we knew we had to get a lot of movement on the floor swinging the ball at least 4 times before looking for a good shot.”
Tactical adjustments weren’t the only kind of adjustments needed after a tough first game.
Despite leading his team in scoring with 18 points guard Jaylon Wray said “I think we could’ve brought some more energy in the first game.”
The tactical adjustments coupled with the increase in energy brought on by the big game one loss led to a quick turnaround by the Cobras. In Caldwell’s second game they were able to bounce back and beat Believe Academy (0-2) 92-82.
“We played for each other in the second game.” guard Jaylon Wray said. “We got better looks, and that made it easier for us to score.”
Scoring certainly was much easier for Caldwell in the second game. The scoring was led by Trevor Willis who had 27 points against Believe Academy. He led four Cobras who scored in double digits.
However, scoring wasn’t the only positive improvement for the Cobras.
“I thought in our second game we had a conscious effort to be better at the little things and the details. Which is what we as coaches have been talking about.” coach Anderson said. “I was really proud of our guys and how they responded, because we played a very good team on Saturday. The win was a result of us improving in a lot of areas.”
The Cobras will look to keep improving and keep winning as they take on Catawba Valley Community College this Wednesday at home at 7pm.