“I certainly don’t think we’ll lack the motivation to play them.”
Those are the only words Churubusco head coach Michael McBride could give for his team’s second chance against Garrett Friday night.
After pulling away from Fremont Tuesday in the opening game of the class 2A Garrett sectional, the Eagles go back to the site of one of its six losses on the season.
The Railroaders were the better team Feb. 15 when the two sectional foes met in the regular season. A 47-40 score caught ’Busco (14-6) on an off night but that will be a forgotten memory when the semifinal round tips off 6 p.m. Friday.
Garrett (7-12) was on the sidelines watching as the first round Tuesday with a bye.
Despite every coach wanting the bye, McBride sees their first-round play as an advantage.
“I think it’s a little bit to our advantage that we already played in this tournament,” McBride noted. “When you play in a sectional there is a little bit of nerves. There just is.”
A big part of the Eagles first-round win came from the 14-point second-half performance of junior center Tyler Arrowsmith. Along with 13 rebounds, Arrowsmith was able to work against a 2-3 zone defense that McBride expects to see against Garrett as well.
“We’re going to see a lot of 2-3 zone again,” McBride admitted. “I think the fact that we were able to execute a lot against the Fremont zone, hopefully we can come back and execute against Garrett’s 2-3 zone.”
Churubusco’s demise in the first meeting came down to free throws. Leading 29-23 at the half, the Eagles went 3-for-12 at the line down the stretch.
The door opened for the guards of Garrett with Drake Landes leading the way with 15 points. For ’Busco, that’s where the focus is directed.
“We have to contain penetration,” McBride said. “We have to have good early help. We had breakdowns defensively against them last time.
“We’re really going to have to contain Landes, (Brandon) Porter and (Todd) Frickey.”