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As the Season Winds Down the Elite Eight is Eyed

By The Beacon Staff

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With the YSCC post season-tournament just over the horizon, the Lady and Men’s Seawolve basketball teams have been battling it out on the YSCC hardwood floors trying to secure a berth into the tournament that has been branded The Elite 8. As of this

writing, on the women’s side of the court: Central Maine Community College (11-0) and SMCC (11-1) sit atop of the Eastern Division while Vermont Tech (5-4) and St. Joseph’s of Vermont (6-4) are found atop the leader board in the Western division.

On the men’s side of the court: Central Maine Community College (10-0) and SMCC (12-2) would represent the eastern division as, St. Joseph’s of Vermont and New Hampshire Technical Institute would be the top 2 teams from the western division.

However, before the tournament starts there remain plenty of basketball to be played, as well as games that have been played and need to be covered here on these pages.

Over the course of the past 2 weeks, the basketball fortunes have been on the brighter side for both teams as they have compiled a 7 and 2 record. The Ladies have battled it out and collected victories against

University of Maine – Augusta (69-61), University of Maine – Machias (80-42) and Unity College (91-24) with their sole lose coming at the hands of University Maine – Presque Isle (72-54).

Over the past 2 weeks the Men Wolves have compiled a 4 and 1 record with wins coming at the expense of Northern Maine Community College (115-67), University of Maine – Augusta (114-89), Unity College (121-84) and University of Maine – Presque Isle (86-75). The only blemish during this span came against University of Maine – Machias (78-63).

The Lady Seawolves remaining games include games at New Hampshire Technical Institute (February 4th) and Central Maine Community College ((February 12th), with home games against University Maine – Machias (February 6th) and the regular season ending game against Vermont Tech (February 15th). The men’s schedule follows suit with the exception that the men will be playing Northern Maine Community College on the 4thn here at SMCC. Tip off is planned for 4pm.

In Saturday’s loss to the Lady Owls of University of Maine – Presque Isle, the Lady Seaswolves never really shook that car with a few square wheels look after falling behind in the opening minutes. The Ladies did score first, only to find them selves trailing 10-4 at the 13:47 mark. The remainder of the first half saw the teams trading baskets while the Lady Owls started to build a 10pt half time lead.

Aiding Presque Isle in the first half was their perfect shooting from the free throw line, sinking 13-13. Through the course of the first half SMCC committed 13 personal fouls to Presque Isles 5, thus giving the Owls the opportunity to pad what should have been a lead that could have been surmounted. The Lady Sewolves also committed 14 turnovers, while shooting 30% from the field including 25% form behind the 3pt arch.

The 2nd half proved to be much of the same for the Lady Seawolves as Presque Isle continued to build on their 10pt lead and the Lady Seawolves could never find their groove. At the final buzzer, Presque walked off the floor with an 18pt victory behind 50% shooting from the field and 67% shooting from 3pt land, and draining 85% of their shots from the free throw line.

The Seawolves were lead by Maria Veino’s 11pts, Nylieb Deng’s 8pts and 7 rebounds and Zyrah Giustra’s 11 rebounds.

In previous games against Unity College and University of Maine – Machias a different L

ady Seawolves team took to the floor. Against Unity College the Lady Wolfs forced Unity into committing 52 turnovers that greatly aided their 91-24 victory.

On the Seawolves offensive side, one could call this a total team effort as the scoring column found every Lady Seawolf listed. Danielle McCusker drained 18pts while grabbing 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Esther Palmieri came close to a double double by adding 14pts to the score and dishing out 9 assists. Forward Nylieb Deng did rack up a double double with 11pts and the like in steals. Right behind Deng and Palmieri was Zyrah Giustra who posted 10pts and worked the boards for 7 rebounbds while Chandler Waterman, Jaimi Poland and Maria Veino missed double figures in scoring with 9pts each.

Two games earlier SMCC found themselves in a hotly contested game against University of Maine – Augusta surviving to hold onto a 8pt win on the Lady Moose’s home court. At half time the Lady Wolves trailed by 1pt, 30-29.

The hard work and perseverance of the first half paid off in the opening minutes of the second half as SMCC went on a 15-0 run opening grabbing a 44-30 lead. During that run, SMCC forced the Lady Moose to commit 8 turnovers, which helped to build a 20pt lead at the 10:52 mark. By as is the nature of competitive sports, the Lady Moose kept fighting pulling within 8pts at the end of the game.

Individual efforts that should be noted are: Danielle McCusker’s 20pts, 5 assists, 5 steals and 5 rebounds along with Jaimi Poland’s 15pts and 6 rebounds, Maria Veino’s 14pts and 8 boards and Roberta Trafton’s 9 rebounds.

In Saturday’s game the men faired better coming away with a hard fought victory over University of Maine – Presque Isle. The first 10 minutes of the opening half was a physical contest as both teams stayed close to each other in scoring, as well as refusing to back down from each other. The play under the boards was rough and tumble, soliciting a “that’s enough guys, or knock it off fellows” from the referees periodically throughout the game.Hoops Highlights

With 41 seconds remaining in the first half and SMCC holding a 6pt lead, two plays transpired that are ESPN high light worthy. With approximately 40 seconds remaining Jose Nouchantanvong drove towards the basket along the baseline from left to right. With two Presque Isle players blocking the lane to the basket, Jose put a behind the head “how do you like this crisp pass” on the numbers of Jacob Loveridge who gathered the ball laying it in for 2 easy pts as the Presque Isle players followed Nouchantanvong along the baseline.

After a missed 3pointer by the Owls and with 8 seconds left the Seawolves inbounded the ball under the Owls basket, again it was Nouchantanvong who went the length of the court dipping his left shoulder as if he were to drive the lane, immediately backing off and pulling up for a 3pt shoot that found the bottom of the net, all with 2 defenders draped all over him. What was a 6pt lead had built into an 11pt halftime lead with in 11 seconds.

The second half saw both teams grind away at each other with physical play as SMCC maintained its lead never seriously being challenged by the Owls even though they managed to crawl within 6pts at the 18 minute mark.

With 5 games remaining for the men and 4 games for the ladies, the up and down thrills that accompany all basketball teams, whether it be during a game or throughout the season has proven one thing, the Seawolves are a fun lot to watch as a interested fan

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