Toledo St. John’s Titans must be in the midst of them. For the past two
weeks the Titans have played like a team on cruise control: little
emotion, no creativity and just enough execution to get the job done.
Last night, the pattern continued but the Titans continued to win as
they downed Toledo Woodward, 45-32.
TOLEDO – If there is such a thing as the “dog days” of the basketball season the Toledo St. John’s Titans must be in the midst of them. For the past two weeks the Titans have played like a team on cruise control: little emotion, no creativity and just enough execution to get the job done. Last night, the pattern continued but the Titans continued to win as they downed Toledo Woodward, 45-32.
Titan head coach, Ed Heinstchel, has watched his young team struggle in recent games but has no answers.
“I don’t know,” Heinstchel said. “We’re definitely not in a direction that we want to be but, historically, when we have had good tournament runs we have even lost in February so I am not ready to push any panic buttons but its tough to watch at times. Real tough to watch.”
Despite playing poorly St. John’s was never seriously challenged by the Polar Bears.
The Bears, under first year coach Darrel Dorn, played hard throughout the entire contest but suffered through a cold shooting night that saw them shoot only 22-percent (4-of-18) in the first half and 28-percent (10-of-35) percent for the game. The result was the Polar Bears could never get themselves into an offensive rhythm and found themselves falling farther and farther behind the Titans.
“It was actually a cold night for us,” Dorn said. “We executed to get off good shots but we just couldn’t nail them. You can do that against anyone especially against St. John’s. I think our defensive intensity was there and the effort was there all night but offensively we just went cold. We just couldn’t get some shots in.”
The Titans were more aggressive offensively as they took far more shots than the Polar Bears (60-35). Shooting even more poorly than the Polar Bears, 26% (16/60), the Titans simply put the ball up more often than the Polar Bears. Fortunately, this proved to be enough as the underdog Bears matched the Titans in every other statistical category. Each team committed 11 turnovers and pulled down a total of 23 rebounds.
On a less than impressive night for the Titans as a team there was a bright note. Junior forward Tim Simmons has been struggling lately but Tuesday showed signs of coming out of it. Simmons just missed a double-double as he led all scorers with 16 points and pulled down 8 rebounds.
Heinstchel was complimentary in speaking of Simmons’ effort.
“Today he gave us a huge lift, a huge lift,” Heinstchel said. “The kid was a key to the game no question about it. Both ends of the floor and especially on the boards. He rebounded real well.”
Only one other Titan reached double figures in scoring as junior Michael Taylor added 11.
The Polar Bears had only one player in double figures as sophomore Brandon Underwood used a hot second half to put up 14 points. Senior forward Rashean Gordon, however, did pull down 8 rebounds.
With their victory, St. John’s improves their overall record to 10-5 and 8-1 in the City League. Woodward falls to 2-13 and still looking for their first league victory of the year (0-9).