There can be a variety of reasons as to why a team loses a basketball game.
The main ones are usually too many turnovers, a lack of boxing out, and missed free throws. And while all of those played a role in Jim Thorpe's loss Wednesday night, the fact that the Olympians had trouble scoring turned out to be the biggest problem.
Jim Thorpe made just four field goals in the first half, including a sole three-pointer in the second quarter, which led to a 14-point halftime deficit. The Olympians fared slightly better in the second half, but failed to make up any ground as they fell to Pine Grove in Schuylkill League play 56-36.
"It was just a complete breakdown tonight," said Jim Thorpe head coach Brian Carroll.
"That has been one of our biggest weaknesses this year. There always seems to be some spot in the game where we hit a drought and we just can't find one person to get us out of it.
"I thought early on our defensive intensity wasn't there either. Give credit to our younger guys coming off the bench. They played hard and kept battling. But once again it was the lack of offense that killed us."
Jim Thorpe mostly settled for jumpers early on and couldn't get anything going offensively. That, combined with Pine Grove's pick-and-roll offense, equated to a 12-4 Cardinal lead with two minutes to go in the first. After Carroll called a timeout, his team came out strong and began attacking the rim. The Olympians scored four quick points and found themselves down just five at the end of one.
The locals would draw to within three (17-14) at the 4:51 mark of the second quarter thanks to a Steven Principe three-pointer. Unfortunately for Jim Thorpe, the wheels fell off after that.
Pine Grove answered back with a 12-0 run while the Olympians went four minutes and 50 seconds without scoring a single point. Khadir Lindsey was fouled with 1.1 seconds left in the half and made one of two free throws to finally end the drought. However by that time the damage was done and the Cardinals went into the break up 29-15.
"We talked about getting the ball inside and starting inside," said Carroll. "For whatever reason we were very stagnant offensively. Then when we did look inside we made some bad decisions, not for a lack of effort, but it was just one of those nights where Pine Grove played better than us and deserved to win."
Jaquan Brown, who played in foul trouble most of the game, tried his best to keep his Olympians in the game with a six-point third quarter. It didn't help much though as Pine Grove still outscored Jim Thorpe in the frame.
Jordan McElmoyle then hit three triples in the fourth to account for nine of the Olympians' 12 points, but again it was all for naught as the Cardinals hit three treys of their own and cruised to victory.
Brown and McElmoyle led Jim Thorpe (3-16) with nine points apiece. They were the only locals to score more than three points.
Blankenhorn 1-3-8-5, D'Agostino 7-0-0-17, Rossi 0-0-0-0, Mars 1-0-0-3, Bressler 2-1-2-5, Wolfe 3-2-4-9, Fidler 0-0-0-0, Weinus 1-2-2-4, Kreiser 3-3-4-9, Keefer 1-2-2-4, Seiger 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-13-22-56.
Harleston 1-0-0-2, Heydt 0-0-0-0, Lindsey 0-3-8-3, M. Principe 0-0-0-0, Green 1-1-4-3, Smith 1-1-3-3, Snisky 0-0-0-0, S. Principe 1-0-0-3, McElmoyle 3-0-0-9, Micciche 0-2-2-2, Brown 4-1-4-9, Everitt 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 12-8-21-36.
Pine Grove 13 16 11 16 - 56
Jim Thorpe 8 7 9 12 - 36
Three-pointers: PG - D'Agostino 3, Mars 1, Wolfe 1; JT - McElmoyle 3, S. Principe 1.