It has been a long season for the Toledo Libbey Cowboys. They have gone through a tortuous regular season in which they have played some of the best
teams regionally and nationally. Through it all they have usually played well
but Friday night was a disappointing one for coach Leroy Bates as his
beloved Cowboys did not give their best effort in a 60-49 victory over
It has been a long season for the Toledo Libbey Cowboys. They have played a tortuous season in which they have played some of the best teams available.
Through it all they have usually played well but Friday night was a disappointing one for coach Leroy Bates as his beloved Cowboys did not give their best effort in a 60-49 victory over Toledo Rogers.
For most of the evening the usual execution present in the Cowboy offense was not present and their defensive intensity was non-existent.
“At this time of the year every team gets better,” said coach Bates. “Tonight we proved that we need to get better. Until they take it upon themselves to come out every game and play like it is the city championship or state championship we will be a mediocre team.”
The Rogers Rams played hard all night and actually enjoyed periodic leads in the first half. Both their own coach, Earl Morris and opposing coach Leroy Bates were appreciative and complimentary of the Rams’ efforts.
“The kids played well and played hard and I can't ask for anything more than that,” Morris said.
“Give them (Rogers) credit. They played well the entire night,” said Bates. “As far as I'm concerned we took a step backward and Rogers took a step forward.”
The statistic that likely reflects most accurately the lack of focus by the Cowboys is their foul shooting. Typically a good foul shooting team, the Cowboys made only 8 of 18 (44-percent) with many of those misses being the front end of one and one situations.
“That is a big concern of ours,” said coach Bates. “We shot plenty of free throws this week. It’s not like we don’t spend time practicing free throws. It is a clear cut indication that they took the team lightly and they took the game lightly and I don’t like that.”
Without the efforts of William Buford the outcome might have been different.
Buford, who scored 29 points, seemed to make a basket whenever the Cowboys needed one and it was his impressive dunk in the game’s final minutes that put the game out of reach for the pesky Rams. No other Cowboy managed to reach double figures in scoring.
For the Rams, the result of the game might have been a disappointment but the future looks bright as two of their biggest contributors return next season. Coming off the bench to lead the team in scoring was freshmen guard Damon Powell. Powell, who finished with 13 points, played with unbridled enthusiasm and made several outstanding plays.
Inside 6’7” Dante Heard finished with 12 points as he went elbow to elbow with the more experienced Cowboys.
Libbey improves their record to 16-2 as they prepare for next week’s City semi-finals. The Cowboys will face fourth seed Waite.
Rogers’ record will fall to 4-14. Their next appearance will be in the state playoffs against Northern Lakes League member Northview.