PLAINFIELD — The Plainfield Quakers boys’ basketball team is in the midst of growing pains that many young squads must endure and Saturday night the Quakers learned that hard lessons can be picked from the rubble of a tough loss.
Visiting Bloomington North rolled to a 67-47 victory but the final score wasn’t indicative of the way Plainfield played. Saturday night left a lot of promise on the floor for the 1-3 Quakers as the season continues.
“I thought we really battled,” Plainfield coach Andy Weaver said. “Bloomington North is a seasoned veteran team and we’re an awfully young basketball team. To be in the situation we were in at half time and then come out and get (Max) Kurkowski a three ... ultimately their pressure got to us and they got a lead, and once they get a lead with those veteran guards, it’s hard to turn them over.”
Bloomington North attacked Plainfield in the first quarter with swarming defense that suffocated the Quakers’ offense.
Despite the pressure and the struggles, the Cougars only led the Quakers 16-11 at the end of the quarter leaving a manageable deficit for Plainfield.
Plainfield kept scrapping in the second quarter and took a 32-31 advantage at the end of the half on a Max Kurkowski 3-pointer.
Another Kurkowski three made it 35-31 to start the second half. The score marked Plainfield’s last lead of the night and Kurkowski finished with 10 points.
The Cougars went on to outscore the Quakers 36-15 in the second half after a 15-4 run in the third quarter buried Plainfield.
Plainfield’s James Mayberry’s two points were the only points of the fourth quarter for the Quakers.
“We were down and that was enough, they started holding the basketball against us and during that whole stretch once we got done we could never get any closer,” Weaver said. “Because we’re a young basketball team trying to find success, it’s easy to lose a little belief at that point in time and they get that feeling of ‘can we get back in it or stay in it’ and you get a little bit quiet.”
Weaver addressed the loss with a silver lining to his roster of five juniors, five sophomores, one freshman and only two seniors that centered on lessons that are vital for a young team striving to better itself.
“We tried to tell them you battled with them at half time, now we have to take a 16-minute game and eventually stay with a team like Bloomington North for 32 minutes, that’s the next step,” Weaver said. “We have to continue to work against pressure and get a little better with decision making.”