The start of a new year marks a time for reflection and change.
For high school basketball in Florida, this is when the limits are tested as the final month of the regular season begins this week.
But what happens just before the season resumes – a two-week break in December – can be a real defining moment for how a team faces the rest of the year.
“It’s hard to start, then get to the Thanksgiving break, then get back into play,” Deltona head coach Hjalmar Suarez said. “Then Christmas comes back… it’s hard to gain momentum with these breaks. “
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To avoid losing momentum during the break, some teams decide to participate in holiday tournaments or play a game or two to hone their skills. It’s easier said than done for some teams, however.
In Deltona, the team was not fully assembled for either of the two weeks.
“It’s a challenge to navigate, but that’s how it is,” said Suarez. “We’ve had a good year and are seeing growth every day, but the rust was clear when we faced Vanguard on Tuesday.”
Wolves bounced back on the road Wednesday, beating Seabreeze 48-45.
Rust is bad. However, the free time allows the team to get back in shape before returning for the stretch race.
At first, injuries hit the New Smyrna squad with several key elements sidelined with ankle injuries and concussions. The ability to continue to readjust and not be in play situations was a bonus for the squad, head coach Geraldine Fuhr said.
“We are much better health now,” she added. “A senior who missed five games with a concussion came back from that. It was a good thing for them.
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: High School Basketball: New Smyrna, Deltona Rested, But Rusty