Ron Garren isn’t going to sugar coat it.
The Winder-Barrow High School varsity boys basketball coach said the team’s 6-10 overall record going into this week is “disappointing.”
However, despite the team’s struggles at times (the Bulldoggs are also 1-7 in region play), the veteran coach believes things are going to improve eventually.
“I understand where we are,” Garren told the Barrow Journal Sunday. “I am proud of our guys. They are doing what we ask and are playing hard. We are struggling from the standpoint of scoring.”
To try and make the most of his team’s scoring opportunities, Garren has changed things up, both offensively and defensively of late.
“It’s something we felt we had to do in order to have a chance to be successful,” the coach said.
In recent outings, WBHS had a non-region win against East Jackson, but then struggled from the floor the following night against Monroe Area.
While the Bulldoggs defeated the Purple Hurricanes earlier in the season, the rematch saw WBHS score just nine points in the first half en route to a 54-40 loss.
Last Friday, the team was back in region play and gave Loganville a battle before falling 58-53 in overtime.
Trailing by four points with 13 seconds remaining, the Bulldoggs forced overtime before falling by five points.
“We had three or four good looks in overtime, but we couldn’t put it in the basket,” Garren said.
While the record is not where the team would like at this point in the 2013-2014 season, there have been bright spots.
Garren praised the play of Chandon Sullivan, crediting his leadership for the team.
“Chandon has done a tremendous job in his leadership role,” the coach said.
In addition, the play of freshman Bryson Hamilton has been a bright spot.
Currently, the team has a freshman and three sophomores on the varsity roster. Garren said it’s a process that will take some time to get the program back to its winning ways.
“With inexperience comes inconsistency,” the coach said. “We are competitive, but we have to put ourselves in more positions to win.”
The setback to Loganville on Friday was a tough pill to swallow for the team. Garren is hoping to move into the No. 6 seed for the upcoming Region 8-AAAAA tournament. He said it would take at least two more region wins to move into that spot
“This will be a huge week for us,” Garren said. “We play Salem and Flowery Branch and if we can find a way to get a win or two, we could move into the middle of the pack.”
In a sign of perhaps better things down the road for the program, the WBHS junior varsity team has a winning record and the freshman team was 11-2 going into this week.
“As we move forward, we should be able to do the things we’d like to do to begin playing up-tempo on offense and playing a pressure defense,” Garren said. “Right now we are disappointed but not discouraged.”