Boys’ Basketball lose first game

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The AHS Boys’ Varsity Basketball team lost their first game of the season at Fairfax High School 62-75 on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

The Atoms led the Rebels 17-13 in the first quarter, but the Rebels soon caught up and lead the Atoms 34-29 at the end of the first half. The Atoms, looking for momentum, caught up in the beginning of the second half. Sadly, their effort was not enough.

The Atoms leading scorer was junior Jordan Adams who scored a career-high 29 points to go along with his two assists. Defensively, the starting guard had two rebounds and two steals

“It’s nice, it’s a career-high for me, my previous career high was eight on varsity,” Adams said. “It felt really good, achieving another accomplishment, something I can look back on and do better next game to win.”

Third-year varsity starter, junior Dontae Johnson, also gave the team a spark of momentum offensively as well as defensively.

Johnson was the second highest scorer with 11 points with three assists. Defensively, the guard had three rebounds, two steals and one block. But he was called for his fifth and final foul almost two minutes into the four quarter, leaving the team without one of their most consistent players.

“Individually, I think I could’ve done a lot better, staying out of foul trouble more, keeping myself on the floor. If I’m not on the floor I can’t help my team,” Johnson said. “But I could’ve done a lot better offensively, getting involved with the offense.”

As a whole, the team’s better areas were rebounding and free throws.

“I think we did decent on offense but we have to work harder on defense,” Johnson said. “Bumping cutters, jumping to the ball, just little things we have to work on; getting back on defense, they scored way too many points.”

The Atoms outrebounded the Rebels 13-2 and had a 15 percent higher free throw percentage.

Conversely, the team’s two weakest areas were turnovers and fouls. The Atoms had 15 turnovers while the Rebels had four. With the abundance of turnovers came foul trouble. AHS had 14 fouls while Fairfax had only eight.

“Weaknesses on the team were just man defense and man principles,” Adams said. “Everyone got beat backdoor, they don’t jump to the ball and [there was] just no help defense.”  

The team’s drastic change in membership was a big factor in  their playing style this season.

“This year we’re a lot smaller, we have different personnel. We like to run more, we’re a quicker team this year and that affects how we play,” Adams said. “We like to run up and down the court more and speed the game up.”

The Atoms’ high-tempo style offense puts them at a ‘large risk, large reward’ situation: fast breaks tire out your opponent while building momentum but also could lead to sloppy passes and poor decisions overall.

Coach Matthew Behne, in his fourth season of being varsity head coach, continues to maintain an optimistic attitude about the season despite the tough loss.

“We hope to be competitive every game and give ourselves any opportunity to win as many games as possible,” Behne said.

The Atoms’ next home game is on Thursday, Dec. 10 against Marshall High School.