His team may have won only four of 24 games so far this season, but give Coach Lawrence Tiller some credit.
He has become very adept at finding silver linings in dark clouds.
In a 46-38 loss to Jackson County last week, Tiller was heartened by the fact Jackson came into the contest on a five-game win streak, and the Engineers held the visitors to such a low point total.
Against Oneida Baptist, Tiller’s team was impressive in coming back from eight points down to take a five-point lead into the locker room at the half.
An inability to maintain consistent play against a zone defense was a thorn in the side against Jackson County.
“We didn’t get any ball movement, no movement off the ball, and we stood.
“We also did not get enough shots up, and that was a symptom of us standing and getting no movement in the gaps and standing against the zone.”
Estill came into the game averaging 34-35 rebounds a game, but was soundly whipped on the boards, pulling down only 18.
“Their effort was far superior to ours in this game,“ said Tiller.
Oneida Baptist had won only three of 15 outings this season, two of them against Red Bird and the other over Riverside Christian, but they were apparently saving their best effort for Estill.
Good as they were, however, they had no one who could match up with Kenton Roberts. His superior effort in the first half resulted in 18 points and he finished the game with 21.
Tiller gave Oneida credit for switching to a traditional zone to stop Roberts, prompting his team to return to an old bad habit of standing around.
Tyler Williams turned in what Tiller called “maybe the best game of his career all around,” scoring 10 points and handing out six assists in the 59-46 loss.
The Engineers are scheduled to wrap up regular season play this week by hosting 10-11 Owsley County tonight (Wednesday) at 7:30, and traveling to Menifee County on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. tip.
Owsley owns a 61-55 victory over Estill this season, and Menifee comes into the game with a record of 14-6 and hopes of winning the 16th Region tournament.
Tiller hasn’t given up on his team’s chances of making a good run in tourney play, but knows he’ll have to have everyone playing healthy and focused.
Two or three players are attempting to come back from injuries.
“It seems as if lately we have had two players playing well and two having off nights on any given night. In the second season (tourney time) you have to have every player clicking at the same time to do special things.”