By The Beacon Sports Staff – Photos by Jacob Clowes
With the official arrival of winter this past Friday, basketball season in New England and especially in South Portland is heating up, and how it is heating up at SMCC. The SeaWolves women and men’s basketball squads had compiled an 11-1 overall record prior to their Saturday games at Hampshire College.
In Saturday’s action the Lady Wolves handled Hampshire College easily, posting an 85-18 win. The men followed suit, collecting 95-37 win.
Last Wednesday the SeaWolves squads took on Yankee Small College Conference opponent Unity College in the season opener for conference play. The Lady SeaWolves would coast to a 77-23 win, as the men would post a 28-point win over a disciplined Ram squad, 86-58.
The dynamics of this year’s squad is highlighted by the returning players from last year’s team with the addition of Antencio Martin, who returned to SMCC to finish his Communications and New Media degree. Martin would finish the contest against Unity with his fourth double-double of the young season, find the bottom of the net for 10 points and grab a solid dozen rebounds.
The Wolves would grab a 6-2 lead in the opening moments of the game as Unity would fall into a zone defense trying to slow down the taller SeaWolves squad. Anderson Kavutse would score first with a wide-open layout from behind the zone and curtesy of a series of beautiful inside/outside passing.
Martin would follow with a layup and cap of the first six points for SMCC with a baseline two-handed, arms fully extended, sleek dunk which followed a spot on bounce pass from Kavutse.
Unity would hang tough through the first ten-minutes of the game, as they only trailed by three (24-21) with 9:36 left to play. The final nine minutes of play would see the Wolves outscore the Rams 20-8.
Highlights from the first half include the Wolves draining seven three-point shots out of 19 taken and the inside/outside passing attack that left the Rams’ defense out of position opening a clear look at the basket for the SMCC sharp shooters.
Ryan Cloutier would connect on three three-pointers, as well as end the first half scoring for the Wolves with a standing two-handed dunk. Gregory Trinidad would hit for two three-pointers as returning guard Jacobee Burpee and freshman DeSean Cromwell hit for one apiece. Cromwell’s three would mark the beginning of a seven-point scoring spree the freshman would go on over a three-minute stretch (9:48-6:30).
The second half saw SMCC outscore the Rams 42-29, earning the Wolves their second YSCC win. Five SeaWolves would score 10 or more points. Senior captain Ryan Cloutier led all scorers, hitting for 16, including four three-pointers. Junior captain Anderson Kavutse added 14 points on 7-13 shooting, as Martin and Trinidad contributed 10-points apiece. The double-figure scorers included first-year forward DeSean scored a season-high 11 points.
Rounding out the SeaWolves offense was second year guard Jacobee Burpee who collected eight assists.
To date the SeaWolves are averaging 81.1 points per game overall and 85 points per game in YSCC play. In Wednesday night’s game against Unity, SMCC’s bench scored 31 points.
On the women’s side of the court, the SeaWolves remain undefeated, having compiled a 7-0 record. To date the Lady Wolves’s are averaging 77.1 points per game while allowing 38.1 points per game. Other team statistics to take note of are the rebound margin that SMCC holds over their opponents (10.3 overall and 7.5 in conference play) and steals per game (13.2 overall and 15.5 in conference play).
In Wednesday’s action against the Rams, all but one SeaWolf made their presence felt on the scoresheet. Junior Nyakuoth Mach lead all scorers with 18. First-year Bailey Cloutier contributed nine points and six rebounds, as sophomore captain Abigail Ramirez added eight points and six steals.
The contest was tilted favorably towards the Wolves, as they scored double figures in all four quarters while putting a lid on the opponent’s basket, holding the Rams to single digits. The SeaWolves collected 51 points off Ram turnovers and 21 second chance points — much to do with a season-high 34 offensive rebounds. The SeaWolves assisted on 21 of their 29 buckets.
For those of you who are looking forward to the seasonal showdown with Central Maine Community College, you’ll have to wait as the Wolves have a series of home and away games before the classic showdown with the Mustangs.
The Wolves will be taking on University of Maine-Augusta on Tuesday evening in Augusta after which the University of Maine-Machias will visit SMCC on Dec. 1. The Wolves then travel to Concord to take to the courts against on the NHTI Lynx on the 5th and return home on the 8th to battle it out with Vermont Tech.
The first half of the season will come to its completion when the Wolves squads travel to Auburn for the first of two SM-CM games on Dec. 12.