When you lose a game by 3 points, it’s easy to look at things that happened at the end of the game to decide the defining moments of the loss. No matter if someone missed a shot or turned the ball over late in the game, it’s easy to point to one play and say a certain player lost the game on his own. There are, however, many more factors that go into a loss besides 1 play in the last minute of the game. One of those factors is a teams ability to close quarters. Closing quarters efficiently can greatly effect the outcome. Let me give you an example. We lost by 3 a few weeks ago and had a shot to tie at the end of the game. Despite everything else that happened throughout the game, we failed end of quarter situations twice in the first half.
We took a contested drive with 10 seconds to go, then allowed our opponent to hit a three before time expired. 5 point swing.
We turn the ball over with under a minute to go, then allowed our opponent to knock another three down after an offensive rebound. Again, 5 point swing.
So because of how we closed 2 quarters, there was a possible 10-point difference not in our favor. Even if we didn’t score, by ensuring that we took the last shot, we could have took away 6 points. And in a 3 point game, that means all the difference.