Coming off a loss to the Capital City Go-Go in their home opener on Thursday, Nov. 10, the Delaware Blue Coats returned on Saturday evening to face the Go-Go yet again in Wilmington, Deleware. A similar result awaited the team, as the Blue Coats dropped their second consecutive game by a final score of 119-110.
There is no doubt that the star of this game on both sides was Julian Champagnie. The 6’7” forward had a career night, blowing his previous career-high of 15 points out of the water with 39. Champagnie was firing on all cylinders, shooting 57% from the field while also cashing five three-pointers and tallying six rebounds.
After the game, Champagnie explained what allowed him to put the offense on his back, as well as his teammates’ impact on his big game.
“They were going under screens,” Champagnie said. “That’s why I was able to get into a rhythm with shooting threes tonight. But I would say transition is what got me going with my teammates, they were telling me ‘run, run, run’ and they were finding me.”
The Coats’ leading scorer from Thursday night, Jaden Springer, was unavailable on Saturday due to being recalled by the Philadelphia 76ers. However, Champagnie claims that did not have an impact on his aggressive offensive mindset heading into the game.
“I just thought ‘we’re down a man, a guy that’s valuable,’” Champagnie said. “Just next man up. Whoever started in his place, it was ‘get going just like he was going.’ I wouldn’t say it was an emphasis, but we definitely had to come together and do a little more in the scoring department with him gone.”
Following a collapse in the fourth quarter on Thursday evening that led to a Go-Go win, the Blue Coats had a bit of a slow first half on Saturday, with Capital City leading Delaware 57-46 at the half. However, the Blue Coats were able to make adjustments and came out firing in the third, kickstarting the quarter with a 9-0 run and outscoring the Go-Go 40-25 overall.
Michael Foster Jr., who followed up his 23-point game on Thursday with 15 on Saturday, explained what was working for the team coming out of the halftime locker room.
“We just played hard and played together,” Foster said. “Coach [Coby Karl] wrote a statement on the board, it was ‘fight for the next player, look for the next pass,’ and that’s what we did in the second half. We made a push for it, but couldn’t get the win.”
Champagnie had a similar outlook when talking about how the team was able to put together their strong third quarter.
“We just played harder,” Champagnie said. “We just kept playing hard, trusting our teammates, trusting the pass.”
Unfortunately for the Coats, another fourth-quarter let down was in order. Delaware couldn’t roll their third-quarter momentum into the fourth, with Capital City outscoring the Coats 37-24 in the quarter en route to the win.
Foster spoke about the late-game problems that the defense ran into against Capital City, and how they can tighten it up for future games.
“Just us playing together,” Foster said. “Not letting teams make a fool of us. That’s pretty much all that it is.”
Overall, the Go-Go offense rode a very balanced attack offensively on Saturday, with a whopping eight players scoring in double-figures, led by Kris Dunn’s 24.
“It’s for sure harder to stop a whole starting five that knows what they want and is getting what they need,” Foster said. “It was tough, but it’s a game of runs, and they had more runs today.”
The Blue Coats will now look to rebound from their second consecutive loss when Raptors 905 come to town on Friday, Nov. 18.
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