After an 83-38 loss at Orme on Friday, the Williams High School boys basketball team wanted to come out Saturday with an improved effort.
Although the team's losing streak reached seven games on Saturday with a 63-50 loss to St. Johns, there were positives.
"I thought we played a much better, under-control ballgame," WHS coach Dave Green said. "The team play was there."
Steffen Eikenberry, Curtis Bardsley and Ryan Barnes hit the boards strong, Gil Pacheco penetrated the St. Johns defense and others like Ryan Muhr, Vishal Patel, Ben Gushee and Carl Nelson all contributed.
But the Redskins had too much fire power.
"They got us on a few backdoor plays," Green said. "I think they had pretty balanced scoring. They didn't have one person that hurt us."
The two teams played fairly even in the first quarter, trading baskets through the opening four minutes. Eikenberry, Gushee, Pacheco and Bardsley each scored early to give the team an 8-6 lead. But the Redskins finished the quarter with a 7-2 run and led 13-10.
In the second quarter, Williams had some breakdowns on offense to score just five points. Pacheco made the only two baskets in the quarter. In the meantime, St. Johns built a 24-15 lead.
The Vikings played much better in the second half. The team made a few runs and pulled to within nine points early in the fourth quarter. Late in the third and early in the fourth, the Vikings scored four unanswered baskets on field goals by Bardsley, Barnes and Pacheco.
But in the fourth, St. Johns regrouped and maintained the lead to garner the victory.
Bardsley led with 15 points, Pacheco pumped in 14 and Eikenberry finished with 12.
Green praised his team's play, mentioning Bardsley's effectiveness inside and Eikenberry's consistency in the post.
The coach was not thrilled with the Friday loss at Orme, however. The Warriors capitalized on rebounds, scoring several points after offensive boards.
"They just flat killed us on the boards," Green said. "They had too many second shots."
The Warriors took a 21-11 lead by the end of the first quarter and upped the advantage to 44-22 by halftime.
The clincher came in the third quarter when the Vikings scored just seven points.
"They didn't seem to work the offense effectively at all," Green said. "On offense, we're not moving the ball."
Barnes was one of the few players, Green said, who put in a good effort vs. Orme. Barnes was the team's top scorer with 10 points. Bardsley and Pacheco were held to nine points each.
Williams goes to 0-3 in the region, 3-9 overall. The team hosted Mayer on Tuesday in a game played after deadline.
The Vikings have three games coming up in the next six days. Williams will play at Mogollon Friday, head to Seligman on Saturday and then host Orme this coming Tuesday.
All three of those games are scheduled for 7 p.m. starts.
The team's final home game of the season will be Jan. 25 vs. Mogollon.