The Twin River boys basketball team hasn't had the hottest start to the season going 0-2 in the first two games on the schedule. In the first game on Nov. 29, Twin River lost to North Bend Central 73-42, and again last Tuesday to Lutheran-Northeast 49-46.
Despite the losses, the Titans are staying positive and hope to find strength in numbers.
"It's been a rough start to the season," said head coach Tod Heier before practice on Wednesday. "We're 0-2 right now, but we've played two pretty good teams. North Bend is a really quality bunch and Lutheran High has got a nice team. They're 3-0. The best thing I can say right now is we got better from Game 1 to Game 2, and we'll need to get better from Game 2 to Game 3 and as the year goes on.
"We're kind of feeling are way through things. We're playing a lot of bodies. We're playing about 12 guys during a varsity game right now. We're going to get better as the year goes on. We're going to get it figured out. We're going to be a good basketball team."
The Titans' philosophy this season, according to Heier, is to be high-tempo on offense and be unpredictable on defense.
Twin River wants to run the floor, hit perimeter shots and finish at the basket with the idea that if the Titans can do at least one of those, it will open up the other.
Defensively, Heier plans to utilize multiple looks as well as pressure to keep opponents guessing.
After the first two games, focus has been directed towards limiting turnovers and rebounding more effectively.
"We need to take care of the basketball," Heier said. "Our offensive possessions need to end in shots. Defensively we need to rebound better. We need to become more physical. We need to have the attitude that we're going to dominate the glass and get rebounds, and keep our opponents off the glass.
"If we fix those two things, a lot of other things are going to fall into place for us."
Believing they're a work in progress, the Titans want to play their best basketball late into the season. Even with the slow start, they believe they'lll be a force to be reckoned with in late January and February.
"We set very high goals," Heier said. "We're going to be playing our best basketball in February. We're going to put ourselves in position, with a chance to win games at the postseason level. That's always our goal.
"We're going to work hard towards that. Our kids will work hard for us. They're great kids. They have good work ethic. We've had a good tradition of basketball here and we're going to keep that going."
In order to achieve these high goals Twin River will not only rely on the large amount of varsity players, but on the leadership of seniors Joseph Zwiener and Brandon Miller.
"Brandon Miller has been on varsity for four years for us and been a three-year starter," said Heier. Joe Zwiener is back this year. He's a two-year starter. He's played a lot of varsity basketball for us. Then there's a group of about 10 others that have had some experience as well.
"Sometimes it's hard to play 12 guys in a game. It is hard to get some rotations and some rhythm down. Just through natural selection and how guys perform, we'll probably chop that down a little bit as we go through here, but I would say Brandon and Joe are probably our leaders."
The next game for Twin River is at 7:30 p.m. today at Logan View. The game was originally supposed to be played last Saturday, but was rescheduled due to inclement weather.
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org