Troy High boys basketball looks to turn close calls into victories

By: Christian Davis | Troy Times | Published February 2, 2016


TROY — A bounce here or there, and the record looks much different.

The Troy High boys basketball team stands at 5-6 overall and 0-4 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division. Of the six losses, four have come by five points or less and two were in overtime.

“It’s close to us being 8-3 or 7-6, or even 9-2, but it is what it is,” Troy coach Gary Fralick said. “Then you find out how tough you are, how committed you are and the experience learned from defeat. Are you going to turn that into a positive thing and be able to win that close game?”

Fralick hopes the close losses are a thing of the past and that the second half of the season sees more games fall in their favor.

The coach added that part of the struggles have stemmed from inexperience. Junior Isaiah Smith is the lone returning starter. Seniors Matt Pienta, Austin Sonnenberg and David Robinson return, but saw limited time last season.

“It takes a while to gain that experience and make the right decisions down the stretch and be productive and confident,” Fralick said, noting that confidence comes from experience. “It’s kind of a Catch-22.”

Sophomore Jason Dietz leads the team with 18 points per game, and classmate Leon Ayers is contributing nine points per contest.

Despite the close calls, Fralick said the team isn’t down.

“This is a good group of kids; a nice group,” the coach said. “They like to be in the gym and are working to get better. They’re fun to coach. It’s just as a coach, you get impatient and you want the results. You want the wins. Sometimes they are a little slower.”

Fralick recently gave his players a homework assignment to list their top three goals for the team. It could be anything like holding opponents to 50 points or less or shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.

After Fralick collects them all, he’ll list the top five entries for the team to try to accomplish.

“We want to look at it as, we have nine games left in the regular season, plus at least one tournament game,” the coach said. “Where do we want to be at the end of the season?”

Catch the Colts against Troy Athens at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at home.