Several of the Bremen High School boys' basketball team's games didn't end in the fashion it wanted to throughout the first half of the regular season.
Blue Devil head coach Josh Carter is confident that will change as the January sprint gets underway.
The Blue Devils (4-8, 2-3 Region 6-AAA) return to the court Saturday at 3 p.m. when they travel up to Model for non-region action.
While their record through 12 contests isn't ideal, Carter and his Blue Devil players aren't exactly worried as a new year unfolds.
Five of Bremen's losses have come by seven points or less, allowing for the team to understand that with a few breaks here and there, the numbers in the win-loss column could easily be flipped.
"We really think that we're better right now than what our record shows," Carter said. "We've been in several close contests, including two where we lost by only a basket. If you look at the stat book and everything else, we feel like we've outplayed almost everybody. We just have to do a better job at closing some of these games out."
This year's Blue Devil squad features several versatile players returning to the hardwood as upperclassmen. That includes the likes of Jason Houston, Charlie Crafton, Will Roth and point guard Austin Stanford.
While this year's Bremen team has gotten positive offensive outings from its best players, it's the defense that Carter has been the most impressed with thus far. Allowing 54.1 points per game, he believes that aspect is what will determine the team's success through the most important stretch of the season.
"Our defensive effort has been unbelievable with guys getting into the right spots at the right time," Carter said. "It's our best attribute, for sure, and I'm looking forward to seeing our guys get even better at it moving forward."
Following Saturday's trip to Model, the Blue Devils will have eight games remaining on the 2017-18 docket in the regular season, including five of those being Region 6-AAA contests.
Carter and his players are fully aware that if they want to make a strong push for the region tournament in February, then the time to kick the season into high gear is now. They know that they have the tools to win, it's just all about finishing."
"Our confidence is there and we know that we can play, but it feels good to get some wins under your belt and create some momentum for yourself. The game is 32 minutes and just playing good for 30 minutes isn't going to cut it," Carter said. "If we can close games out better and turn those close losses into wins, that will be huge for us."