Playmaker Grizzly Sterling White (No.14) overtakes two Coffeyville defenders in the home opener of the season in November. (Photo MSU-WP)
The Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) Grizzly basketball team entered the field without two of their main starters last weekend, and it showed.
The Grizzlies (6-10) have abandoned both of their games at the Hy-Vee Classic hosted by Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa. On Friday, they fell to a team of Hawks from Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska, 87-73. On Saturday, they abandoned a 73-58 decision at Lake Region State College in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota.
The Grizzlies lacked sophomore guarding skills Byron “Tre” Breland and first year care Kevon Eskridge. Breland missed games to attend a funeral and Eskridge missed the action with an ankle injury, Grizzly Basketball head coach Jared Phay said.
They also went to court without second-year goaltender Donovan Freeman, who has been treating a hamstring injury for a month. Phay expects Freeman to be an impact player when he returns.
“I thought we had a fight this weekend,” he said. “Some guys who haven’t played a lot have had the opportunity to play more.”
Other Grizzlies escalate
First year care Isaiah Lewis took advantage of extra time on the field to lead the Grizzlies on Friday with 22 points. Before second year Mehdi Pissis, first year leader Sterling White and first year care Taylor harrison each contributed 7 points to the count.
White led the Grizzlies on the scoreboard on Saturday with 13 points, and the first-year forward Luka Novakovic added a season 12 top.
“We really need the break ahead to get back into shape and regroup,” added the coach. “The important thing is that we are currently 1-0 in the conference, and that is our goal.
The Grizzlies close out the fall portion of their home season on Thursday when they host United Prep from Nixa. The postgraduate program is led and coached by former Grizzly Basketball star player Robert Yanders. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. in the Joe Paul Evans Arena at the West Plains Civic Center.
For more information on the Grizzly Basketball program, visit www.msuwpgrizzlies.com or dial 417-255-7991.