That was the message Villa Angela-St. Joseph coach Babe Kwasniak said for his team following an 89-75 loss to MacDuffie School (Mass.) at the Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout at Walsh University on Jan. 24.
Less than 24 hours after taking down rival Cleveland Central Catholic at Viking Village in a performance that also had a few bumps on the way to victory, the Vikings lost for the second time this year to fall to 10-2 overall against a big, physical Mustangs squad.
“We played our two worst games of the year after playing two of our best games of the year against St. Thomas Aquinas and Oak Hill. No offense to Central Catholic, but this team tonight was a little better, longer and it was a tough matchup for us,” Kwasniak said. “We are a no excuse program. I told the guys maybe I let up a little this week and let some things go, but we will get it fixed.”
MacDuffie School led almost the entire game, jumping out to a 23-14 lead at the end of one quarter and taking a 10-point lead at halftime. The second half started out equally frustrating with several missed layups and the Vikings were forced to play from behind.
VASJ had a rough shooting night, converting 21 of 62 shots from the field, but it was the 89 points the Mustangs posted that Kwasniak pointed to as the problem for the Vikings.
“I can deal with that (shooting performance), but what I can’t deal with is playing two poor games in a row. And 75 points should be enough to win, but you have to be able to guard somebody,” Kwasniak said. “I don’t know if we played particularly hard. We just didn’t play well, but no excuses.”
Simon Texidor hit seven 3s and led all scorers with 27 points. Carlton Bragg and Brian Parker each finished with 18 for VASJ.
The Vikings made 10 of 28 3s.
“We could have come down here and played a local team, but I think in the long run this will be good for us,” Kwasniak said. “They are a talented team.”
Unique McClean led MacDuffie with 25 points. Former North Royalton standout Omari Spellman added 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Mustangs.