2018 FBA Season/17.10.26/AZW@MON/Capsule
Preseason: Arizona at Montana
Monday night’s preseason game proved two things: Montana is still a powerhouse despite summer lineup changes, and Arizona still has an uphill battle in the Western conference. Ren Inoue and Kresta Renstill scored 22 points each while Wescot Yobia stepped up with 13 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Howlers coach Frank O’Neill says he’s pleased with the lineup. "The lads and lasses are in good form for the season. We worked with a season ready lineup this evening and the results were really good. The team is ready to leave last year behind and work hard this year."
Meanwhile, Arizona hit stumbling blocks as Morgan McCarthy and several other players couldn’t stay out of trouble. They gave away 21 points in free throws alone, and the Whips’ starting center fouled out early in the fourth quarter and headed to the lockers while the Howlers ran up the board. Rookie J.C. Golde didn’t help matters any when he started arguing with official Wesley Wasilowsky over the call that threw McCarthy out of the game.
“I think the officials weren’t on our side, and some of the Howlers got away with murder while drawing their fouls. Still, I shouldn’t have been a complete bell-end tonight,” Golde said of the incident. “I caught up with the official after and apologized.”
Whips assistant coach Ryan Shiraishi echoed the sentiments of their first round draft pick. “Yeah, this game showed we’ll have to look out for ourselves a lot more. We can’t be giving away the game at the free throw line.”
“We learned some lessons tonight, for sure. Our guys know better, and we’re not going to chastise any of these guys. We’ll have another chance to gel against Plymouth.” Arizona coach Gary Wells said.
There was also a noticeable undertone to Monday night’s game: Tension among rookies. During combine trials over the summer, it was reported Valeriy Smolov of the Howlers had gotten into a scuffle with J.C. Golde of the Whips. Both players had minutes on the court Monday, and it was no secret words and looks were exchanged. Neither team seemed to be worried too greatly.
“These guys pour their souls out. It’s no secret many players have beef with other players, but they know how to keep it in check. We spoke with Smolov about the issue when we signed him, and we’ll keep an eye on all our players throughout the season,” Howlers assistant coach Andy Raine said.
Whips: Host Plymouth on Saturday
Howlers: Host Tallahassee in their Howlerween Season Opener