Maumelle remain undefeated in conference play last week, but didn’t perform the way Coach Michael Shook would have liked in a matchup against Little Rock Parkview.
Two games in two days left the Hornets with a 3-0 4A-4 record but under .500 overall with a 4-5 mark. The Hornets defeated Waldron last Friday, 69-56 but lost to Parkview by 24 points, 83-59, last Saturday.
Fourteen out of 16 players scored against the Bulldogs, and Maumelle was led by Derayun Canada’s 11 points. In nine games, Canada was the sixth leading scorer. Shook said the Hornets never trailed against Waldron but the contest was closer than he would have liked.
“Everybody who is in gets a chance to score,” Shook said. “Waldron was able to get within single digits but then I would put in the starters, and they stretched it out to 14-15 points. I wanted to make sure to get the 13 points (if it comes to a tiebreaker, 13 points is the maximum points counted).”
Parkview was a different story. Shook was hoping to see how his Hornets matched up with one of the best teams in the state. Instead, he said they didn’t come to play. He said they were outrebounded, and the effort wasn’t there.
“Parkview is a great team and is a team you can’t come out and not play,” Shook said. “The positive thing is the end of the game out bench did better than theirs.”
Offensively, Shook said the Hornets weren’t very aggressive. He did praise the play of Ron McCuien for his performance in the half-court offense. As a whole, Shook said Maumelle lacked effort which didn’t set very well with him.
“It was very, very eye-opening,” he said. “In my speech after the game, I challenged the guys the next couple of days to self-evaluate and figure out where they are mentally.”
Shook has been using the non-conference games to figure out who his top eight to nine players are going to be. Opportunities are running out with only tournament games in the holiday Spa City Shootout in Hot Springs this weekend and a non-conference matchup against Clarksville when Maumelle resumes school after Christmas break. The Hornets play Clarksville twice as they open the tournament Friday at 11:30 against the Panthers.
“I know four guys who are talented and work hard every game and are for sure,” Shook said. “I have about four guys who aren’t as talented but do everything I ask of them. Then I have about four guys who are talented but don’t do what I ask of them. Of course, we want to win, but I will also use the tournament to figure out my personnel for conference play.”