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In his words: New Haven coach talks on victory at Leo

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Gooden felt defensive effort lagged early

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 12:36 am

LEO — It took two overtimes, but New Haven beat Leo 82-75 behind a strong defensive effort in the final four minutes. The News-Sentinel spoke with New Haven head coach Al Gooden following the game:

On his team's defense:

“The defense before the OT, you know we didn't play any. Bad defense. Let them penetrate and kick and not guarding the shooter, and like that, that's what got us in trouble.”

On defensive adjustments that forced late Leo turnovers:

“We sat down in our defense, we played straight man-to-man and helped out on those shooters.”

On his team's transition play:

“You know, we know we have good team speed. We did create and that comes from sitting down in our defense, which we didn't do very good.”

On his team's inside advantage:

“You know, we got some bunnies we didn't put back. We know we can rebound, that's one of our strengths. Then in that one, we were hesitant to shoot some shots and when we were shooting, which we can shoot, we get that second chance shot. That's important. We have to

put that back, that's what we are banking on.”

On adjusting to Leo's 3-point shooting:

“You know, we go through practices all the time, doing our defensive drill where if someone beats you, you have to help. Naturally the kids (we) tell them, 'Don't leave him,' but naturally they are getting off and helping him. That's what they have been taught and they (Leo) got

those spot-up shooters that are knocking them down. So, you know, we got in trouble. Hard when all year long tell them to do something, then say don't help.”

On the 24-4 run in the second quarter:

“We adjusted to that zone. You know, we've always been an inside-out team, that's in our DNA. In the first quarter we were looking so hard to go in and out, you can't do that with a zone. So, we need some dribble penetrationg and some guys to spot up and hit some jumpshots.”

On playing in a double overtime game:

"You know in double overtime, you learn how to sit down and we had our back up against the wall for awhile, but they worked through it and won the game. When we needed to grind out it, we did, and we ground it out (to win).”