MT. VERNON —
The Rams basketball team has experienced a compressed schedule this week.
Saturday night will mark the third game in five days for the Rams. The week started with a Tuesday night loss at Cahokia. Now Mt. Vernon host Marion on Friday and travel to Waterloo the following night.
“My hope is that (Tuesday) night's game is only going to help us for Friday (against Marion),” Mt. Vernon coach Scott Gamber said. “There's no way in a practice that we could have simulated what we got (Tuesday) night.”
Mt. Vernon was bothered throughout the game by Cahokia's fast break abilities and size. The Comanches also racked up several offensive rebounds in the opening half.
“Even though we lost and even though there were negatives, I think we took a lot of positives from last night,” Gamber said. “And I think it really showed us what we have to spend more time on in practice getting better at.”
Mt. Vernon will try to bounce back from the loss with its first home game of the season Friday night against Marion.
“I think we're two teams that are very, very evenly matched,” Mt. Vernon coach Scott Gamber said. “We played very well the first game of the year. They did not play real well.”
The Wildcats and Rams faced once already this season at the Herrin Pyramid Plus Tournament to open the season. Mt. Vernon won the game 74-62 and opened with hot outside shooting.
“We have to make sure our kids realize that they're much better than what they played against us in the pyramid, and that it's going to be a completely different game,” Gamber said.
Gamber said the Rams would have to contain the quickness of Marion point guard Moe Jackson. The guard finished with 19 points in the first matchup.
Saturday night the Rams make a long trip to Waterloo before breaking for Christmas.
“No matter what happens (Friday), we have to be mentally tough enough to go over to Waterloo Saturday night and try to take care of business,” Gamber said.
Friday's home game starts with the junior varsity matchup at 6:15 p.m. Saturday's tipoff is a bit early with JV in action at 6 p.m.