By The Beacon Sports Staff
There are many reasons to be happy about the SeaWolves women’s and men’s basketball programs this season: the return of veteran players from last season or from seasons ago, offenses that push the ball up court and utilize active passing to find the open player, defenses that at times are stifling, and (of course) combined 19-2 overall and 11-1 Yankee Small College Conference records.
This past Saturday the SeaWolves hosted the Knights of Vermont Tech in a Saturday afternoon doubleheader, with the women taking to the court first and the men finishing out the day’s contest.
The Lady SeaWolves grabbed an 8-point lead after 10 minutes of play, jumping out to a 21-13 lead behind the scoring of Amanda Brett. Brett would find the bottom of the net for 8 points as Abagail Ramirez and Hanna St. Pierre would contribute 4 points apiece.
Brett would go on to lead all scorers, hitting for 28 points while pulling down 14 rebounds for a solid double-double. Returning point guard Abagail Ramirez would finish the game with 13 points; grab 12 rebounds, all of which were defensive; and with nine assists, come up one assist shy of finishing the game with a triple-double.
The Knights would jump out to a 10-4 lead in the opening minutes of the contest, scoring 10 of their 13 first-quarter points before the 3:45 mark The Wolves would grab the lead (11-10) at the 3:47 mark on a Brett jumper and finish off the quarter, outscoring the Knights 12-3.
The SeaWolves would continue to outscore the Knights in the second quarter, periodically padding their lead to 20-plus points and settling for a 20-point halftime lead. Freshman forward Nyakuoth Mach lead the SMCC scorers with 9 points in the second while teaming up with Brett for some beautifully executed interior passing resulting in layups for Mach.
The Lady SeaWolves sport a perfect record (10-0 overall, 6-0 conference) heading into Wednesday’s match with the Mustangs of Central Maine Community College. The Mustangs also sport a clean conference record (6-0), while they have suffered one loss in their overall record (11-1).
On the men’s side of the court, Vermont Tech would hang tough throughout the 40 minutes of play before falling to the Wolves 96-85. Saturday’s action featured spurts in which both teams traded three-point bombs and fierce battles under the boards for scoring position and rebounds.
The play of the game, hands down and without a doubt, has to be a clutch three-pointer jumper by Gregory Trinidad. With 6:58 left to play, the Wolves called a timeout with 1 second remaining on the shoot clock, in order for Coach Richards to draw up an inbound play for sharp shooter Gregory Trinidad. Trinidad worked his way through a series of picks, springing himself somewhat free on the left side of the basket. After a crisp inbound pass, Trinidad was able to get a three-point jumper off with the defender’s hand in his face, draining the shot for an 8-point lead.
Trinidad would follow with another three-pointer on the next offensive set, padding SMCC’s lead to 11 (74-63). Two offensive sets later, Atencio Martin would hit for an old- fashioned three-point play, as he would be fouled on a layup and finish the scoring off at the line for a SMCC lead of 15 (78-63).
Vermont Tech would cut the lead to nine (78-69) on consecutive three-point shots by Drake Perry, after which Trinidad would hit another three-pointer which was followed by a Ryan Cloutier three-pointer, pushing the Wolves lead back to 13 (84-71).
The Knights would cut SMCC’s lead to 10 twice in the closing minutes of play, but it was the Wolves’ outside shooting that would maintain SMCC’s lead, quashing any idea of a road win for Vermont Tech.
Trinidad would finish Saturday’s contest, scoring 21 points while shooting 5-11 from three-point land. Ryan Cloutier would hit for 22 points while sporting a solid 10-13 field-goal shooting percentage. Antencio Martin would finish the game with another double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, as freshman fireball Ian Regan would contribute 8 points, six of which were from downtown.
Prior to Saturday’s game, the Wolves would drop an overtime heart-breaker in Concord, New Hampshire, when they fell to New Hampshire Technical Institute 101-98.
The Wolves would grab a 47-34 halftime lead and maintain the lead throughout the second half. SMCC would grab an 11-point lead on an Atencio Martin layup (84-73) with 3:35 to play. The NHTI Lynx would score 10 straight, pulling within one point (84-83).
With 42 seconds left to play, Jacobee Burpee would give SMCC a 3-point lead (86-83), after which the Lynx would hit a three to time the game and send it into overtime.
NHTI started the extra time frame with a 5-0 run before the Wolves pulled within one of four free throws. The Wolves and Lynx would trade buckets until the Lynx built a 5-point lead with seven seconds remaining. Jacobee Burpee’s layup in the closing seconds pulled the Wolves within three; however, time expired as the Wolves suffered their second loss of the season. Atencio Martin led all scorers with a season-high 30 points and 16 rebounds. Martin also added six assists and two blocks. Senior captain Ryan Cloutier and Jacobee Burpee set season-highs by scoring 27 and 20 respectively.
In the opening game at NHTI, the Lady SeaWolves overpowered the Lynx with an 82-49 win. SMCC would outscore NHTI in the first three quarters, scoring an impressive 32 points in the third quarter. Sophomore Amanda Brett dominated the paint, scoring 18 of her 27 points in nine minutes of play.
Sophomore captain Abigail Ramirez, junior Nyakuoth Mach and senior captain Adrianna White each added double digits to the scorebook: 10 points apiece. Mach also pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Wolf squads would also defeat University of Maine-Machias, as the women would win 67-59 and the men would win 84-66.
The men SeaWolves will also travel to Auburn on Wednesday to take on Central Maine Community College in the second game of the doubleheader. Central Maine brings a 6-1 conference record into Wednesday night’s contest, as their sole loss (93-91 double overtime) has come at the hands of Vermont Tech.