PELLA — It didn't take coach Craig Douma long to zero in on the issue that led to a 65-61 Central College men's basketball loss to Waldorf College Wednesday night.
"The thing I was most disappointed in was the easy shots we missed," he said. "We got the shots we wanted. We had the right guys shooting. We just didn't finish."
The Dutch (0-2) were off the mark all night but especially in the first half, hitting just 24.1% from the floor (7-29). That improved after the break but Central finished at 35.1% and made just 2-of-12 3-point shots.
Down 30-22 at intermission, Central trailed by as much as 50-37 with 7 minutes left in the game before pulling within 60-57 at the 1-minute mark.
"In that run, though, we got some defensive stops," Douma said. "We got every rebound down the stretch. We had some great transitions. We shared the basketball and we found the open guy."
Forward Keaton Rodgers (junior, Peoria, Ariz., Sandra Day O'Connor HS) bucked the trend, going 5-of-5 from the floor and scoring 10 points with four rebounds and an assist in just over 10 minutes of action off the bench.
"Keaton had a good night tonight," Douma said. "He shot the ball well."
Forward Caden Mauck (senior, Kansas City, Mo., Blue Springs South HS) had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
"Caden's really stepped up," Douma said. "He's playing like the Caden we know. He's playing aggressive, he's attacking the hoop, he's taking care of the ball and he's being a senior leader.
Sophomore post Joshua Van Gorp (Pella, Pella Christian HS) was again a force on the glass with a game-high 15 rebounds along with nine points.
Douma also praised Central's defense, noting the Dutch held Waldorf (2-2) well under its scoring average.
"Our message after the game was still positive," he said. "We're outplaying our opponents in many ways. It's coming down to scoring the basketball.
"We've got to continue to believe."
Central travels to Jacksonville, Illinois for the Bill Merris Tournament hosted by Illinois College this weekend. Friday at 5:30 p.m. the Dutch meet Blackburn College (Ill.). The Beavers are 0-3 after suffering a 68-52 loss at the University of Dubuque Tuesday night.
"Blackburn is an athletic team," Douma said. "It's a game we can win but we're going to have to play well."