By the Beacon Sports Staff
Despite the forces of nature and a leaking roof which lead to the Hutchinson Gymnasium’s floor buckling, the 2018-19 basketball season opened this past Thursday and Saturday for the SMCC squads. Prior to the home season openers, the SeaWolves squads traveled to Auburn to participated in the annual Can-Am Tournament hosted by Central Maine Community College.
The season officially opened for the SeaWolves squads two Saturdays ago when the Lady SeaWolves took to the floor to play St. Lawrence-Champlain. The Lady Wolves took the opener 79-65. The SeaWolves started slow falling behind the by three at the end of the first quarter (20-23). The Wolves would outscore the St. Lawrence-Champlain Lions by five in the second quarter taking a 42-40 lead into the half.
The Lady Seawolves would take offensive control in the second half outscoring the Lions44-29 while holding them to 13 points in the final quarter to secure a season opening win 79-65. Amanda Brett would lead the SeaWolves hitting the nets for 28 points on 13-15 field goal shooting. Brett would turn in another stellar scoring performance in Sunday’s game against University of New Brunswick-St. John by draining 29 points helping the SeaWolves to win the second game of the young season (76-55).
Returning starting guard, Abagail Ramirez would start the season off where she left last season recording a double-double by scoring 12 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and collecting six assists in Saturday’s action against Champlain.
First year starter, Nyakuoth Mach made her presence felt over the weekend as she hit for 18 against the Champlain Lions and 15 against UNB-St. Johns.
As has been tradition at the Can-Am the SMCC women’s squad opens up the tournament followed by the SeaWolf men. The men Wolves would open their season with a lopsided win beating the University of Prince Edward Island 82-28. The Prince Edward squad was hurt when five of their players were not allowed to enter the United States because of improper documentation. Considering the loop-sidedness of the contest all of the SMCC players were able to see game action.
In Sunday’s action the SeaWolves would see four of their starting five hit double-figures in scoring as the Wolves would bring home a 31-point win against the University New Brunswick-St. John (92-31). Third year veteran, Ryan Cloutier would lead all scorers with 22 points, as Atencio Martin would hit for 19, Anderson Kavutse scored 16 and Jacobee Burpee rounded out the double-figure scoring with 12.
After a successful Can-Am tournament then men opened the home season this past Thursday taking on Ben Franklin Institute of Technology as the Lady SeaWolves traveled to Thomas College for an exhibition game. It would be the first official game played on the new Hub’s new floor.
Ben Franklin would take advantage of SMCC’s sluggish start grabbing a three-point lead with a little over two-minutes of play. For the next ten-minutes Ben Franklin would hold a slim lead until Anderson Kavutse’s layup pushed the Wolves ahead 14-13 with a little less than ten-minutes to play in the half.
Atencio Martin, who played with the SeaWolves a few seasons back and as returned to SMCC to finish his academics in Communications and New Media, would score the next six-points pushing SMCC’s lead to 20-13.
After Ben Franklin cut the lead to five, first year guard Ian Regan and starting guard Gregory Trinidad would drop consecutive three-pointers padding the Wolves lead more (26-15). The Wolves would never have to look over their shoulder again as they would counter Ben Franklin with offensive momentum and defensive pressure The Wolves would build on their 12-point halftime lead pushing it to 28 points towards the end of regulation eventually walking away with an 81-58 win.
Leading the way for the Wolves would be Atencio Martin who recorded a double-double, 21 points and 10 rebounds. Gregory Trinidad net the net for 17 points and Jacobee Burpee would collect 13 assists in 29 minutes of play.
Team wise, the Wolves would shoot 47 percent from the floor (31 of 66) while draining 12 out of 28 three-pointers (43 percent).
This past Saturday, both Wolves teams would take to the court to take on Navy Prep. The Lady SeaWolves would survive a hard-fought contest outlasting Navy Prep 50-49, as the men would fall 81-59 to a disciplined and athletic Navy squad.
The Lady Wolves would jump out to a 12-8 first quarter lead behind Amanda Brett and Nyakuoth Mach’s six and five points. Brett would score the first four points of the game for the Wolves, as Mach would add the next five with a pair of foul shots and a three-pointer.
The second quarter saw Navy Prep out score SMCC 17-10 to grab a three-point lead at half. Navy Prep would score eight straight points before the Wolves would get their offensive clinking again. Again, it would be Brett and Mach that supplied the scoring for the Wolves asx they tried to keep pace with Navy Prep.
With just under a minute left Priscila Berdeja would drain a three-pointer tying the game at 22. Navy Prep’s Branyelle Carillo would counter with her own three giving Navy Prep a three point advantage at the half.
SMCC’s Brett and Mach would go to would at the beginning of the third quarter as Brett would start the scoring off for the SeaWolves with a layup pulling SMCC to within one. Mach would follow with back to back bombs from downtown keeping SMCC in the lead.
Lauryn Fagan and Adrianna White would come off of the bench scoring six opportune points keeping the Wolves in the lead. Berdeja’s bucket with a little over a minute and a half left in the quarter would round out the SeaWolves scoring securing the Wolves a 38-32 lead at the quarters end.
After a pair of free throws were sunk by Navy Prep cutting SMCC’s lead to four, Ramirez, Brett and Mach picked up the scoring for the Lady Wolves as Ramirez, hit on a free throw, Brett with a layup and Mach draining consecutive three-pointers. SMCC’s scoring could not build any type of significant lead as Navy Prep hung with the Wolves eventually tying the score at 47 apiece with three-minutes left in regulation.
The score stayed knotted at 47 a piece for the next minute and a half when Berdeja sunk a three-pointer giving the Wolves their winning points. The Wolves had a chance to ice the game with free throws by Ramirez and Berdeja, however both players were not able to find the bottom of the net.
With time running out Navy Prep hit on a layup and while there was contact on the play the referees did not see cause to blow the whistle giving Navy Prep the opportunity to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Nyakuoth Mach lead the scoring for the Wolves with 17 points and 11 rebounds as Amanda Brett scored 12 and pulled down 11 boards. Priscila Berdeja finished with 11 points as Abagail Ramirez pulled down 12 rebounds.
In the men’s game against Navy Prep Gregory Trinidad, Atencio Martin and Anderson Kavutse lead the scoring for SMCC with 14, 12 and 11 points respectfully.
After spotting Navy Prep the opening points of the game, Gregory Trinidad gave SMCC a slim one-point lead when he drained a three-point shot. The teams would trade baskets over the next few minutes as neither team could build any space between them and the opponent.
Three-point shooting and three-point plays would be the name of the game as Trinidad, Martin and Kavutse would hit them keeping SMCC close, or grabbing the lead for the Wolves.
With a little less than eight minutes to play in the half Ian Regan’s three-pointer gave SMCC a seven-point lead (24-17). Navy Prep would outscore the Wolves 17-2 in the final seven minutes of the first half, with the Wolves points coming on an in-bounds alley-op dunk by Ryan Cloutier.
The Wolves would pull within one (34-33) on Kavutse free throws, a Burpee three- pointer and a Trinidad layup. With eleven minutes left the Wolves would grab a one-point lead on an Ian Regan three-pointer (42-41), which was followed by a Sean Bowering layup (44-41). The next few minutes of play were as exciting as any basketball fan could wish for as Navy Prep and Sean Bowering traded three-point shots.
With the score knotted at 50, Navy Prep went on an 24-11 scoring burst that SMCC could not find a way to counter. Navy would walk out of the Hub Gym with an impressive 81-58 win. The night before SMCC hosted the Navy Prep University of Maine-Augusta games with the Navy squads taking both games. The SeaWolves return to the Hub on the 14th as they host Unity College. The ladies tip of at 6pm and the men at 8pm.