By Joe Mellenbruch
Last weekend’s competition for LRSC Men’s Basketball was nothing compared to the test they’ll face on Friday night.
The Royals (2-0) defeated Turtle Mountain and Fort Berthold last weekend with relative ease, and now, the team will put it’s unblemished record to the test when No. 8 Iowa Western comes to town.
The Reivers enter Friday night’s match up with an equally perfect 2-0 record, and head coach Joe Kittell knows that a massive effort from his team will be required if the Royals are to finish the game out with a win.
Kittell credits his players’ attitude in preparation for this weekend’s non-conference tilt.
“I think our guys are in the right mindset to compete, to play with energy and toughness,” Kittell said. “Hopefully, that will shine through and help give us a chance.”
The Royals will certainly need every bit of positive spirit they can muster for this weekend’s game, because Iowa Western will likely be the most skilled opponent they face all season.
The Reivers are led by freshman point guard Deshawn Munson, who is the team’s top scorer, averaging 19.5 points per game. Munson also leads the team in assists and is aggressive when driving toward the basket.
Iowa Western also likes to shoot the three, and they have the players to do it effectively.
Sophomores Dinjiyl Walker and Ryan Bowie have shot a combined 10/18 from behind the arc through two games, and if the Royals are to win, they’ll also need to limit the number of open looks those two players get.
Perhaps the most daunting task ahead of LRSC on Friday, easily the largest task, will be defending sophomore center Ty Haughton, who stands at 6-9.
One of the biggest concerns Kittell has for this weekend is the teams ability to rebound, and Haugton will certainly pose a threat to that.
“I’m concerned about defensive rebounding and our turnovers, particularly the unforced ones,” Kittell said. “We’re also heading in to play the No. 8 team in the country, and it’s going to be the first time we’ve played against a man-to-man defense. Friday is going to be a big challenge for us.”
Tip off for the game is at 7 p.m. on Friday night at the Devils Lake Sports Center.