GOOSE LAKE — Prince of Peace boys basketball coach Gerry Murphy walked out the visitors’ locker room Tuesday night with a puzzled look on his face.
He’ll be the first to admit that he’s crazy for still coaching basketball after many years, but this time around, he’s not sure what else to tell his guys after a loss in which they could have played better.
Northeast defeated Prince of Peace 72-44, remaining unbeaten in the early season. The Rebels, ranked ninth in Iowa Class 2A, started by outscoring the Irish 16-7 in the first quarter, and that was with the Irish not scoring a single point for the first 6:02 until Lucas Laufenberg hit a layup on which he was fouled.
After winning the season opener, the Irish have dropped five straight.
“We didn’t come out and play a full 32 minutes tonight,” Murphy said. “We have to start from square one once again; we can’t play 16 minutes a night and expect to win.”
Murphy says the team does not have the right mindset coming into each game.
“Every possession is important, and we don’t have that mentality from one to 11 on our team right now,” he said, “and until we get that, we will get the same results.
“It comes down to pride and wanting to be a competitor every time we step out on the floor.”
Meanwhile, the Rebels had two separate streaks where they scored a combined 27 unanswered points. In the first quarter, it was 14-0 before the Laufenberg basket, and a third-quarter run featured guard Eli Kaczinski scoring nine of his 13 points in the quarter. The team scored a total of 24 in the third quarter.
“Our coaches said that if we were open to take the shot, and I felt good shooting, and the coaches told us to pour it on them in the second half,” said Kaczinski, who ended up with a game-high 23 points.