By now, the Alleman boys' basketball team is replicating its losses in familiar ways.|
An inability to put the ball in the basket combined with rebounding issues plagued the Pioneers in their 61-32 loss to Peoria Richwoods at Don Morris Gym on Saturday evening. In falling for the sixth time in seven games, Alleman failed to exceed 35 points for the third consecutive time.
"To be quite candid, the mood is down," Alleman coach Pat Rangel said. "It's also a time where this challenges everybody's character. We've got to buck up and raise the level of our game."
A recurring trend since the Pioneers lost their winning touch are scoring problems that last quarters, not minutes. Alleman scored 14 second-half points with six field goals.
During that same stretch, Richwoods (10-8) scored 31 points.
"Right now, we're not playing with intelligence," Rangel said. "I know they can do it. It's up to me to try to get them to believe they can."
For a time in the first half, the Pioneers believed. Staying close early, they attacked the basket and constantly scored in the paint as they trailed 21-16 midway through the second quarter.
After that, Alleman hit seven of its final 23 shots and committed eight turnovers.
"When we find something that's working, we have a tendency to go away from it," Rangel said. "We were taking it to the hole and scoring. We stopped doing that for whatever reason. We've got to get all these guys on the same page."
In Rangel's mind, the scoring issues are easy to pinpoint.
"Lack of patience, lack of ball movement and a lack of knowing who our go-to guys are throughout the game," said Rangel, whose team is averaging 44.1 points in its last seven games. "We're not patient."
Nor can the Pioneers, who received 11 points from Adam Hoogerwerf and nine from Alec Diab, consistently grab rebounds. Alleman was outrebounded 37-22 as Richwoods had 21 second-chance points.
The challenge now awaiting Alleman is fixing the offensive and rebounding woes that have lingered in the last three weeks. Next up is a trip to Rock Island on Friday night.
"Yes, we can right the ship," Rangel said. "They have to start digging deep and find something in their game to help each other out."
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