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PREP FOCUS: Central Catholic points to league season


by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Central Catholic's Cameron Scarlett (right) blocks Jesuit's Reid Bucy's in the first half of Friday's non-league game at Jesuit. The Crusaders won 40-35.Unfortunately for the Central Catholic boys basketball team, the success of the Rams' football team has taken a toll.

The Rams won the football state title on Dec. 7, which meant that Central Catholic’s basketball team had to wait a long time to get many of its players onto the floor.

“The reality is we’ve had about 24 days together as a team, and it’s hard to get a lot of reps and touches in that amount of time,” Rams basketball coach Dan Munson said Friday, after a 40-35 loss at Jesuit.

"And with this being our 13th game, we’ve only had about 12 days of actual practice, and that’s tough," Munson said. "But it is what it is. We played really hard tonight, and all of our mistakes are correctable.

"With time, focus and we’ll get there.”

The Rams' defense has given up 58.9 points per game. Central Catholic’s offense can be good at times, and has scored 60 or more points in six games, but it also can be inconsistent.

“We’ve gone back and forth this year,” Munson says. “With our football guys coming out so late, we’ve had some tough times scoring. We’ve also had games where we scored in the 80s, depending on our lineup and what’s going on.”

The Rams are 4-9 with one more non-league game, against Kent-Meridan (Wash.) before they start Mt. Hood Conference play.

Football may have set a precedent for winning, but the basketball team made it to the state championship game last season.

“The guys have been successful,” Munson said. “A lot of these guys were part of the team last year and won the football championship this year. These guys have high expectations. They’re frustrated about themselves, and they know there’s a lot on it.

"But, you can’t play tight. You’ve got to continue to play aggressive, and I just keep telling them it will come with time.”

While the Rams are not nearly where Munson wants them to be, he said the good news is that the team still has time to get better in conference play before the playoffs roll around.

“This team has a ton of room for growth,” Munson said. “There’s a lot of young, really talented guys, and our issue has been playing 32 minutes. We play really hard in spurts, and we look really, really good. It’s just the consistency piece in finishing.

"That only comes with experience. That only comes with time and repetition. The nice part is we have 11 more games before we get into playoffs, and we’ll continue to clean a lot of things up in that time.”