By: Nick Kieser
TULLAHOMA, TENNESSEE — In a one-day conference road outing the Vol State Pioneers (Saturday, Dec. 1) did not end the game fortunately with the score in their favor. Instead, the Motlow State Bucks who ended last season the number one team in the conference came out heavy and pulled ahead of the Pioneers early on in the contest.
At the halfway point of the game, the Bucks were ahead 36-18. Nothing that wasn't expected happened but for the Pioneers game plan to play an opponent like this too much happened for the Bucks that went more for them than what the Pioneers wanted.
"We just did not execute our set game plan. We had three players in mind to guard on Motlow that can shoot and we let them shoot all game long," said head coach Rusty Melvin on the team's effort against Motlow.
One player that Melvin mentioned postgame that stood out more than any other player on his team and made a difference in his play was Heston King. He was a force to get past and try to take the ball away from when inserted into the game.
"They were more physical than us, more hype than us, and we didn't have any intensity whatsoever against them. We had to stop their shooters and they had some heck of some shooters," said Tim Goodrich.
"I knew it would be a harder game to play in with Motlow getting all of the offensive rebounds. I need to play my best defense and that's just how I am," said Devlin Chapman.
Handed the loss Saturday night, the Pioneers dropped to seventh in the conference and to (1-2) in conference play this season. The next crack at a chance to win a conference game(s) is next weekend when the first overnight stay is for the Pioneers in Chattanooga, Tennessee where they'll face Chattanooga State and Cleveland State.
On Tuesday the Pioneers have one game at home as more or less a tune-up against the Cumberland JV squad (7 p.m.)
After the game, both Chapman and Goodrich both agreed that there was a lack of communication on the court against Motlow and that will need to change to have a different result in the following games.
"We need to have a better mindset coming into games like this one. Also, we need to bring each other up and not down while we play games as well," said Chapman.
"I believe for the whole team it's going to be coming back to this game we had tonight because we wanted this win coming in. I believe we're going to play every game knowing how bad we did tonight and see Motlow again one day," said Goodrich.