FORT WAYNE – North Side coach Shabaz Khaliq came out of the locker room for a postgame interview Friday in a pro-active mood.
We are Jekyll and Hyde, Khaliq said, almost anticipating the question after the Redskins’ 80-63 home win over South Side.
A team loaded with talent, North Side (8-5) has lacked consistency this year after wins over SAC-leading Northrop and Concordia, but with losses to Wayne (twice) and Snider.
That’s what we are trying to figure out, Khaliq said of the search for consistency. Everybody will say it is the coaches’ fault, but if anybody has the recipe to coach effort then I would love to have it because when we give effort we are tough to beat. It has to come from within.
We have a team of mostly underclassmen, and the seniors have to say, Hey, this is my last run, and we have to suck it up and get it done.’ We have a bunch of followers, and we need a leader. If we would have one, that would change things.
The Redskins are now tied with Concordia and Wayne for second place in the SAC at 3-2 after the other teams lost Friday. Northrop leads the conference at 4-1.
We are trying to be the best team in the conference, so you have to play like it, said North Side senior Dwight Richards, who led the Redskins with 20 points. Losing to Snider and Wayne, we just didn’t show up. But we beat Concordia and Northrop, so we have to keep that consistency going.
Matching a season-best third straight win, the Redskins overcome a feisty Archers’ team (2-11, 1-4) that was playing better lately with two wins in their last three games. After trailing 19-15, North Side steadily got better and outscored South Side 65-44 over the last three quarters.
We didn’t do anything right in the first half, but in the second half we started to share the ball, Khaliq said, whose team led 37-34 at halftime.
Our ball movement was better, and we got the ball inside like we wanted it. As long as we play together, and we play hard then I am always satisfied.
We are not out of the conference race, but we need some help. When you play to stay in the conference race, that’s important. We are trying to get some belief we can win, but also some consistency.
Richards, a transfer from Bishop Luers, scored 14 points in the fourth.
We were thinking talentwise we were better (than the Archers), but they are going to play hard the whole game, Richards said.
We just had to keep our intensity up and keep playing hard, and we had to get back on defense because they were going to run up and down the court.
North Side also got 13 points each from Mike Davis and Trevion Crews. Davis also had 10 rebounds.
The Archers got a game-high 27 points from Domonique Gleason and 18 from Devin Jones.