MORRIS – On Tuesday, Coal City girls basketball coach Brad Schmitt said his team has 17 games on the schedule for this week.
Make it 18.
After beating Serena, 20-14, in their regularly scheduled 5 p.m. game Wednesday, the Coalers got word that Waubonsie Valley's scheduled 6 p.m. opponent, East Aurora, had only brought six players and two of them got hurt in their 4 p.m. game. Schmitt agreed to play against Waubonsie Valley.
"It's been a busy week," he laughed. "What's one more? Waubonsie wants to play, and we are already here. We like to play as much as we can, so if we can help out and we get another game, great."
It helped that the Coalers were coming off their first win in the tournament, having gone 0-3 on the first day and losing to Interstate Eight Conference rival Plano before beating Serena. However, the Coalers and Schmitt don't get too caught up on wins and losses over the summer. He said Coal City went 0-3 on the first day in Morris last year and finished the regular season 26-2.
"It's not just about getting wins over the summer," he said. "What we are looking to do is get better, both individually and as a team. The kids are working together and becoming more confident. We are putting in a new offense, so they are working out the kinks. The more games we get to play in order to work those out is better for us.
"That's what we want to use the summer for."
The Coalers and Huskers played a low-scoring first half, with Coal City taking a 9-4 lead at halftime. The second half was tight, as Serena scored the first three points to make it 9-7. Coal CIty then got a 3-pointer from Nicole Borgetti and a basket by Madyson Bunton to make it 14-7. Serena rallied to make it 16-14 with 5:50 to play, but Coal City countered with a basket by Alicia Matusiak and one by Carli Pavlis to close it out.
"We lost a lot from last year and we are looking for some leadership," Schmitt said. "Borgetti, Bunton, Rebecca Cash and Pavlis, our four returning seniors, have been doing real well with that. We have four freshmen and four sophomores up with the varsity, so we are going to need leadership. I liked what I saw in this tournament from our girls."