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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • Tigers back on hardwood after Shootout, community service

  • A wounded Waynesville Tigers squad crawled out of the weekend's Route 66 Shootout, Pulaski County USA with a 1-2 record, both losses by a combined 4 points.
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  • A wounded Waynesville Tigers squad crawled out of the weekend's Route 66 Shootout, Pulaski County USA with a 1-2 record, both losses by a combined 4 points.
    Three games in three days prompted Waynesville coach Chris Pilz to give his team a day off from practice Monday. Instead, the unit travelled to Good Samaritan Resource Center to help organize and pack donated food for needy families.
    "Any time you take a couple days off [practice], it's a little rough getting going again, but we needed a little time off." the coach said.
    Pilz said the boys were back on the court Tuesday and, despite the Shootout's heartbreaking losses, remained mostly focused and competed in a very upbeat practice.
    "Our guys always seem to have a good time," the coach said, grinning. "When these guys get into the gym they're able to practice pretty well. They play had and can keep coming back," after tough losses.
    The disappointing last-second losses on Friday and Saturday prompted Waynesville to practice late game-type situations this week, including inbound passing to create a good last shot, among other fundamentals.
    "We are a work in progress," Pilz said. "There's still a long way to February."
    Before February, however, the Tigers will compete in approximately 10 games, including two tournaments of at least three games. The first of those games will be a Thursday night contest against defending Ozark Conference champions Rolla.
    Rolla defeated Waynesville twice a season ago en route to a league championship, but the Tigers finished atop last year's Rolla Tournament bracket.
    Thursday night will not only mark a grudge match between the rival schools, but it will also serve as the last time Waynesville will play at home in 2012.
    "We're a lot better than we were last December," Pilz said, before admitting that he expects his Tigers unit to play hard in an attempt to knock off Rolla. "I think our guys will be ready to play."
    Assessing the Rolla team, Pilz said he expects the opponent to shoot a lot of three-pointers, which Waynesville had trouble defending in Friday's loss to Chicago Ridgewood (Ill.) – Ridgewood sank 11 three-point shots and finished the game just below 50 percent from behind the line.
    At the second game of the Rogers, Ark. Hoopfest, Waynesville's opponent knocked down 9 treys.
    "We're going to have to do a better job covering [shooters] and make them a little more uncomfortable.
    At 5-4 overall, Waynesville hopes to have its way with the 3-1 Rolla squad (according to MaxPreps.com), which has won two straight match-ups, including a 17-point victory over Springfield Central.
    Thursday's games will begin at 6 p.m.
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