Sometimes, the best player on the floor ends up on the losing team, and that was exactly the case for Terry Herman and Candeska Cikana Community College Sunday afternoon.
Herman, a 6-2 freshman and Four Winds graduate, finished the game with 47 points along with 13 rebounds and seven assists for Candeska Cikana, but it wasn’t enough to give his team the victory as they were defeated by Turtle Mountain, 107-100.
The game was hotly-contested throughout with both teams going blow-for-blow, bucket-for-bucket. But it wasn’t meant to be for Candeska Cikana as they were simply unable to keep pace with Turtle Mountain.
But that’s likely a result of the team’s evident lack of squad depth, something that can wear on players, particularly late in the second half.
Candeska Cikana, who was without a number of players due to academic ineligability issues, had only six players in uniform on Sunday afternoon. Turtle Mountain had far more than that, and in the end, that proved costly for the home team.
“We’re low on numbers, but we do what we can,” Candeska Cikana head coach Herb Hofer said. “We want to get to the point where we want to take advantage of what the defense gives us, and it’s hard to do that when you can’t practice against five guys. So, it’s going to take them a while to learn how to read defenses, but once they do, it’s going to be fun.”
It certainly will be entertaining to watch, as was Sunday’s game.
While Candeska Cikana is an admittedly thin squad, the talent within the group is unquestioned especially with players like Herman, who had a game-high 34 points at the halftime break.
Kyle Ironhawk also had a good game for the home team, finishing with 36 points of his own along with seven rebounds and six assists.
If the team can get some of their ineligable guys back on the floor, guys that can come in and give players like Herman and Ironhawk a breather, then Candeska Cikana has the potential to make some noise.
Hofer credits his team’s work ethic and their ability to make the best of their situation.
“They’re working awfully hard,” Hofer said. “They’re working their butts off. We’re scoring a lot of points. We’ve just got to keep getting better defensively.”
Candeska Cikana certainly does score their fair share of points.
The team has played three games this season, and while they’re still searching for the season’s first victory, their offensive output has been bountiful all year.
Page 2 of 2 - They scored 85 points in their season opener on Friday night, another 96 on Saturday and now 100 in the loss to Turtle Mountain on Sunday afternoon.
It seems that the team’s defensive effort is its primary concern at the moment, but if they’re able to clean things up on that side of the ball, they’ve already proven that they can score enough points to get wins consistently.
“We know there’s talent out there,” Hofer said. “We’ve just got to get that talent to be in college and go to class. And when they do that, we can be awfully good.
“There’s great basketball talent out there, but they’ve got to go to school.”
Candeska Cikana will hope to gather its first win of the 2013-14 season this weekend as they’ll compete in the NHSC shootout on Nov. 8-9.