It's been a challenging start for first-year David City boys basketball coach Todd Schulze. The Scouts entered last week with an 0-7 record every game but one decided by double digits.
But with two opportunities to find the win column, David City halted its losing streak in victories over East Butler on Jan. 4 and Twin River on Friday. Although the week ended with a loss to Milford, it was a step in the right direction for the Scouts.
David City 51, East Butler 32: "It feels really good to get the monkey off the back," Schulze said following the Scouts' first win of the season.
David City led 12-11 after one then blew the game open in the second. The Scouts outscored East Butler 17-4 and led 29-15 at halftime.
The Scouts were up by as many as 25 in the fourth en route to a 19-point win. The first win of the season was a learning experience, Schulze said, as he the team lacked discipline late in the game.
"Guys, I think, were a little selfish, more concerned about getting their points per game average up than playing the game the right way and finishing it out," he said. "We're still learning. That's a totally brand new situation for us - how to handle a big lead late in the game."
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Caden Denker and Brock Dubbs tallied 13 points each, and Jack McKay recorded eight. In total, eight Scouts recorded points.
"I thought we had pretty good balance. We did a good job of inside in and around the basket," Schulze said. "That was a pretty big point of emphasis for us that East Butler didn't have a whole host of height and size inside, so we wanted to crash the offensive boards. We wanted to try to get the ball inside to our posts, so pretty happy with that."
The Tigers, on the other hand, struggled to make shots. They shot just 24% from the field. Ten of 32 points came at the free throw line.
Alex Pierce was the only Tiger in double-figures with 15 points. Carson Borgman contributed with seven and Logan Buresh had five.
East Butler head coach Greg Jahde was pleased with the defense given the size limitations, but the offense just couldn't get anything going.
"That's kind of been the story for us all season long. I think we're getting good looks at the basket when we execute the offense the way we're supposed to, we get good looks," Jahde said. "We're just not making shots, and that's kind of why we're sitting at 3-6 right now - just a lack of ability to put the ball in the hole right now."
For Schulze, it was a relief to finally get in the win column. Seeing a zero in the win column for more than a month was certainly frustrating. After a one-point loss to Aquinas Catholic a week prior, it was nice to bounce back.
"I'll be curious to see what practice is like (tomorrow)," Schulze said. "Winning some games seems to put a little bit of a pep in your step and get your excitement and your motivation back under us. Hopefully it's something that fuels us."
David City def. Twin River 42-29: David City earned its second straight win on Friday against the winless Titans.
After a strong first quarter, Schulze said the Scouts started to settle for outside shots which allowed Twin River to cut into the deficit.
However, they got to the hoop more often in the second half and got to the free throw line. The Scouts shot 11 of 14 from the stripe to seal the win.
Denker led the team with 18 points as Dubbs and McKay scored nine and six points, respectively.
It's the first multi-game winning streak for the Scouts since Jan. 14-18, 2020, when they defeated Raymond Central and Malcolm.
Milford 63, David City 22: On Saturday, David City fell to the seventh-ranked Eagles and tied a season-low in points. Following the third quarter, Milford led 57-14.
After balanced scoring efforts in the two previous games, David City's scoring came from just three players. Denker scored 11 points, Dubbs had six and Reese Svoboda ended with five. The team shot 31% for the game.
"I felt we continued to battle all game long and really improved our ability to attack a 1-3-1 zone during the second half," Schulze said.
David City's record stood at 2-8 entering Tuesday's game at Raymond Central.
Sam Ficarro is a sports reporter with The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net.