Atoms Boys basketball defeated by South County

Dontae+Johnson+rises+up+for+a+jumpshot

Dontae Johnson rises up for a jumpshot

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The AHS Boys Varsity Basketball team hosted their first district game of the season on Tuesday, Dec. 15. Two fouled out players and a verbal altercation later, the Atoms lost 61-73 in a tough fight against the South County Stallions.

Leading scorers sophomore Matthew McKiver and junior Dontae Johnson had a combined 40 points, well over half the team’s total points.

“Individually, I think I could’ve had a bigger impact rebounding the ball and helping our team secure possession,” Johnson said. “As a team we need to do a better job of rebounding the ball, and get teammates open with a good pass, not over-dribbling.”

McKiver, similarly, had little to say about his overall performance and more on the team’s performance.

“I could have dribbled less and shared the ball more. We could have rebounded a lot better and we should have worked harder,” McKiver said. “This game was a lack of team effort and more of individual basketball, but we can improve from it.”

Head Coach Matthew Behne reflected on the game negatively, as he feels that it was not a sign of improvement.

“We need to be more physical and we needed to play a different style of basketball than we’re used to,” Behne said.

Lack of rebounding and foul trouble were two big problems that the Atoms had. Junior Jordan Adams and sophomore Ty-ree Anderson were both fouled out in the middle of the fourth quarter, while team captains Mohamud had four fouls and Johnson had three. This was a result of a scrappy style of play on the Atoms’ part and good ball movement on South County’s part.

A verbal altercation came three minutes into the same quarter after a scrappy rebounding play from junior Andrew Ours and South County junior Nate Avery led to an unfriendly exchange of words. Due to the abundance of foul trouble, Ours stayed in the game for the remainder of the period while Avery was benched following the quarrel.

Although it is still early in the season, district games are crucial going into district playoffs for home court advantage as well as the ranking of the opposing team. “I expect drastic changes and a much better result the second time we play teams like South County. When we lose to them [the first time], we expect to win the second time,” Behne said.