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T.F. North coach Tim Bankston rarely is at a loss for words.
Even he, however, was perplexed at this team’s play Friday during its first-place showdown against Hillcrest. The Meteors lost 68-47, falling to second place in the South Suburban Blue.
“We didn’t play with our normal zest for the game,” Bankston said. “Hillcrest played way harder. They were hungry and we weren’t. I’m at a loss for words.”
The Meteors struggled in all facets of the game, but none more than at the free-throw line, where they finished 6-of-23.
According to Bankston, it’s going to take more than just practice for T.F. North to overcome its struggles at the line.
“When you have a big crowd in the gym, you have to step to the free-throw line with a certain amount of confidence,” Bankston said. “There’s no one in the gym when you’re practicing free throws during practice. It’s more about confidence. It’s lonely up there (free-throw line) when the game is tight.”
While the loss was ugly, Bankston stressed it was just one game, and he’s confident T.F. North (16-6, 8-1) can remain a Top 10 squad.
“We’ve got to regroup and get better,” he said. “If they want to be good, they can be. If not, they’ll lose early in the playoffs. But losing to Hillcrest is not the end of the world.”
Bloom in no hurry to replace Williams
Bloom coach Jasper Williams will retire at the end of the season.
The Blazing Trojans, however, will take their time naming his successor.
“We haven’t even started the process,” Bloom athletic director Joe Reda said. “We still have a basketball season to play. Once the season ends we’ll start the process. The most important thing is we find the right person.”
Whoever the new coach is, he will not have the privilege of playing in the Rich South McDipper Holiday Tournament in December. Bloom decided to exit McDipper and head to Pontiac.
“Five of our six conference teams are in the McDipper,” Reda said. “We love the McDipper, but going to Pontiac gives us a chance to see some different teams.”