Potters Get Thumped By Zanesville

63-30 was the final score last evening at Potter Fieldhouse.  The loss drops East Liverpool to 3-6 on the season.

More than that the pathetic performance (the Potters scored 4 points in the 1st quarter and 2 in the 3rd) spotlights a few things that have irked me about this team all season:

1) What is up with Jason Dickey?  Aside from Marky Thompkins he is the best player on this team, after being THE man last season.  He’s not producing on offense at all.  He’s not looking for his shot very often and he’s not doing anything to help Marky initiate the offense.  More to the point, he has, in practically every game I’ve attended, taken 2 or 3 of the dumbassest fouls in the 1st half, usually 2 of them very quickly in the 1st quarter.  Its like he doesn’t want to be out there.  Is there something wrong with him physically?  Is there something not right with his mindset?

2. Why does Andrew English get so much playing time?  At the risk of sounding overly harsh, why does he get playing time period when the game is in doubt?  I would assume he’s a nice young man, probably practices hard and is a good teammate and all that good stuff.  But he’s a liability on the court, especially on offense.  He seems to be in the wrong place more often than most and he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with his shot.  And yet he starts.  Frankly I think Cashdollar should be starting Travis White and Christian Kyle, putting Willie Leavell on the bench but giving him meaningful minutes.  English on the other hand should play sparingly at most.

3. Cashdollar is over-playing Michael Blankenship.  I know he’s the only starter worthy forward on the team, but you can’t expect a low post player to play entire 1st halves without wearing down, and certainly not being as much of a force on offense as they otherwise could be.  You have to trust his backup, Thompson, at least enough to play 2-3 minutes around the quarter breaks in each half.

On a brief aside specific to the Zanesville game, did Coach actually think sitting Marky, Dickey, and Blankenship the first couple minutes of the 2nd half was a good idea?  That unit out on the floor had no chance at offense.  The 12 point half time deficit didn’t get much worse before he got them in there, but any chance at building momentum was shot, and instead Zanesville had more than they needed to run away and hide.  There has been a lot of negative talk in the direction of Coach Cashdollar in the community basically since he was hired.  I have given him the benefit of the doubt and have been willing to defend him against some of that criticism.  The teams we’ve had since his tenure began were hardly state title contenders.  And this year’s team has been hurt by Da’Neill Prentice’s transfer to Martins Ferry and Brian Beverly’s injury during football preseason.  But the team’s play has been far more awful than the talent level would indicate.  Whenever this season ends in late February or early March I think Mr. Shansky and the rest of the high school administration has a decision to make, a decision to move in a new direction with the basketball team.

In the meantime, the Potters have 3 presumably winnable games on the schedule this week, Tuesday at home with Youngstown Chaney, Friday at Beaver Local in a girls/boys varsity doubleheader, and Saturday hosting Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, a game which was postponed by the weather on January 8th.  A perfect week would actually get them back to .500.

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