Bighorns fight to improve

Nathaniel Keener takes a shot at the net during an Oasis practice drill.

Nathaniel Keener takes a shot at the net during an Oasis practice drill.

Oasis Academy’s boys’ lacrosse team continued a winless season in its most recent matches, losing to Truckee and Spanish Springs.

The April 5 game against Spanish Springs ended in a 14-6 loss for Oasis. Tristan Rodarte and Trent Thorn each led the team by scoring two goals and grabbing eight groundballs. The final Oasis goals came from Joshua Carter and Trey Rooks.

On March 24, Truckee defeated the Bighorns 16-7. Rooks led Oasis with four goals with Carter and Trevor Wuth scoring the rest.

Brenden Leary was goalie for both games with a 50-percent save average.

Oasis coach John Keitz said the Bighorns fell behind early in both games. He recalled he’s told the players if they give up too many goals early, they’ll be playing catch-up all game.

“In both cases that’s what we did,” he said. “Gave them three or four easy goals … then it’s just fighting back.”

Keitz said the result was the Oasis players had to take more risks during plays, which the other team could exploit to its advantage.

The games did have positives. Keitz said once the players calmed down, they played well. He recalled Spanish Springs had a really good face-off specialist who was always able to take the ball. Thorn, though, was eventually able to match face-off wins.

Keitz also said there were issues with groundballs — the coach said the other team would have two or three players going after a ball, but the Bighorns wouldn’t have the same enthusiasm. There were individual players who grabbed groundballs well, but as a team the coach said he felt they were behind.

“They know how to do it, we do it in practice,” he said. “Sometimes they don’t approach and don’t come through with it.”

Keitz also said their defense played well; with players out for the season on injury, several roles were altered. Conner Keitz was noted for having a “lethal check” that could take the ball from most players. Coach Keitz also said Soine Otuafi’s size has been a benefit now that he can control it.

“The first couple games, he was freight-training guys and getting called for fouls,” Keitz said. “Now he’s got it just right, just dialed in under control so he’s putting guys down with the right amount of force and not getting penalties for it.”

Overall, the coach said the team is doing well. He said if they can play a strong start to a game, they would take a nice lead.

The Bighorns play Reed at home tonight at 5 p.m. at Churchill County Regional Park. Next week the Bighorns play at Reno on Monday, McQueen at home Wednesday and at Galena Friday.


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