MUNCIE, IND - Before the Owls’ first game of the 2023-24 campaign on Tuesday evening, first-year Burris head coach Blair Broussard talked to Frankton head coach Brent Brobston for a few minutes.
“He was very supportive,” Broussard said. “He knew I was a Burris graduate and congratulated me on the position.”
With that in mind, Broussard wanted his first game as the Owls’ (0-1) leader to set the tone for his culture. After every starter was introduced, they were advised to stop by Frankton's (3-0) bench to shake Brobston’s hand.
“For myself and the other coaches, that's something that I wanted to just embrace,” Broussard said. “[I want them] to respect officials, other coaches, and the opposing teams.”
When it came to the contest itself, the Owls took the lead in the opening minutes. However, the Eagles went on an 11-0 run, giving them a double-digit lead that continued for the remainder of the game. In the end, the Owls fell to the Eagles 76-33.
After the initial scoring run, Broussard called his first timeout of the game. He told the Owls this was a great test.
“We learned a lot,” he said. “We've learned that we need to see some improvement. We've got to learn how to get through those trials when the shots aren’t falling every night.”
The opener had many moments like that for the Owls. Things like turnovers, being out rebounded, and shots clanking off of the rim all went against the blue and white.
However, there was some success in the loss. Senior Asher Donahue recorded 14 points and showed some positive flashes. The Owls also had a few plays where multiple passes led to Burris buckets. Yet they could not claw their way back.
“There's a lot more work to do,” Donahue said. “Ultimately, [improving things] like fundamentals is going to put us in a good position.”
While Broussard wants the Owls to become a program that respects the game, he also wants something else. A place for his players to go and have fun.
“We want to build a positive environment for the kids,” he said. “Because of the stress they go through with everything like school and home situations, we want this to be a place where they can come in and relieve themselves.
The Owls will be back in action when they play Yorktown on Friday, Dec. 1. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
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