WILSON — When Smithfield-Selma’s boys basketball team begins its holiday schedule, the biggest challenge facing them will be the lessons that were learned during the Farris and Farris Holiday Invitational Tournament at Hunt High School.
Foremost, they will have to be more consistent - on both sides of the ball.
The lessons they learned started in a 62-39 drubbing Thursday at the hands of the host Warriors in the opening round of the 35th annual holiday affair.
SSS’ tournament run concluded Saturday in a disappointing 54-48 loss to Beddingfield in a consolation game.
January will become a month of practice for a SSS team that has practiced just eight times since the season began after a 14-game pre-Christmas schedule. The Spartans are scheduled only five times in the month, with its next game not until Jan. 10. That will give the Spartans plenty of opportunity to try and fix what ails them.
They will get real tired of practice, Robinson said of his team. We will have to find different things to keep them fresh.
Robinson was at a loss to explain what happened to the Spartans against the Warriors, a team that thrives on up-tempo games, just like unbeaten Wilson Fike,which has beaten the Spartans twice this season.
“We just didn’t show up at all against Hunt,” Robinson said. “But Beddingfield tried to press us, but it really didn’t phase us because we executed.”
Little things like boxing out, holding inside position on the boards and fighting for the 50/50 balls will be key for SSS in the next month.
“We give up inside position too often,” Robinson said. “And we tend not to get a better percentage of them (50/50 balls). We just have to keep working to get better.”
Despite their shortcomings Saturday, the Spartans were able to stay in the game with the Bruins, cutting Beddingfield leads to 39-38, 46-43 and 49-48.
But the Bruins’ Adam Dunn was there when Beddingfield needed him, draining 3-point bombs from 25 feet out, off-setting all three Spartan threats, the third providing a 52-48 lead the Bruins never gave up.
Smithfield-Selma got balanced scoring, led by Quantez Leach with 11 points and Tony Hobbs with nine, rallied from a 12-5 first quarter deficit to take a 19-18 second quarter lead on a bucket from D. J. Williams.
Jeffrey David, who canned eight points, hit a triple to give the Spartans their final lead at 29-28, but the Bruins used an 8-2 run to take control of the game.