By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Mental toughness for a basketball team can be acquired in several ways.
One of them is coming together to finad a way to pull through a rough patch in a season.
Just such a rough patch has arrived for the Goshen boys basketball team, as the Redskins — after opening the season 6-1 — have dropped the last two games: A 78-34 loss to Penn in the NIC-NLC Challenge Dec. 29, and a 54-30 loss at home to Concord last Friday night.
The loss to Concord last week was especially disappointing to Redskin coach Brian Bechtel, who said his team struggled taking care of the basketball and communicating on the court.
The Redskins (1-1 NLC) have had a week off to regroup a bit before they resume NLC play this Friday night at home against Warsaw (8-4, 2-0).
Coach Brian Bechtel said the Redskins have had some good practices this week as they prepare for the Tigers.
“We’ve had a couple of games in a row against some teams who were bigger and more physical than us,” Bechtel said. “I feel like we match up a little better with Warsaw.”
The Tigers will come to Goshen winners of seven of their last eight games.
“They play under control, they don’t panic, and they are very fundamentally sound,” Bechtel said.
The Redskins have good senior leadership, Bechtel said, and those players have been making their presence felt in practices this week.
Offensively, the Redskins are scoring 53.0 ppg. and giving up 51.9. The battle of the boards is nearly dead-even, with opponents outrebounding the Redskins, 165-162.
Senior forward Sam Stegelmann is the Redskins’ leading scorer, with 15.6 ppg. Senior guard Jesse Good is contributing 10.3 ppg., and freshman pont guard Brady Bechtel is scoring 7.56 ppg.
On the mental toughness angle, Bechtel said that begins with not liking to lose — and he has seen that from his team this season.
“Our guys don’t take a loss well,” Bechtel said. “It comes down to how you play the game, and translating that into controlling the things you can control: Intensity, defensive position, and being strong with the basketball.
Tipoff Friday night at Goshen is slated for approximately 7:45 p.m.