By the Beacon Staff
Women: CMCC 71 SMCC 52
Men: NHTI 90 SMCC 78
When all was said and done after Saturday’s semi-final games the SeaWolves basketball squads found themselves where they wanted to be: playing for the Yankee Small College Conference basketball title. Both teams entered the tournament seeded second and matched win for win with the top seeded teams in order to play in the title game.
The Lady wolves would open the days double header taking to the court for the third game this year against the Mustangs of Central Maine Community College. Playing on the Mustang’s home court, not an easy court to win on, the Lady Wolves found themselves struggling in the opening minutes of the game.
The Mustang’s would score the first six-points of the game before Southern Maine turned over the score board on a Adrianna White jump shot. Central would continue their early game offensive drive scoring the next eight-points building a 14-2 lead before Lauryn Fagen hit for a three-point shoot.
The opening quarter would prove to be a sluggish quarter for the SeaWolves, as turnovers (10) and a poor shooting percentage (3-14 21.4%) would limit their offensive output to only eight-points. Amanda Brett’s old fashion three-point play would cut a 13 CM point lead to ten with 1:45 left in the quarter.
Southern Maine would miss out on a few scoring opportunities to cut Central’s lead, unfortunately the Lady Wolves would not be able to find the bottom of the net.
The second quarter open with the Wolves spotting the Mustang’s a 12point lead (20-8) to which the Wolves responded cutting the lead to seven (20-13) on an Abbie Ramirez three-point shoot and two Priscilla Berdeja free throws.
Over the course of the next four-minutes Southern Maine would respond to Cenral Maine’s offensive pushes, staying within 10 points until the 3:56 mark when the Mustangs outscored the SeaWolves 9-1 to take a 36-19 lead into halftime.
The Mustang’s continued their offensive push out scoring the Wolves 17-13 building a 21-point lead going into the final 10-minutes of play. Amanda Brett would be the sole scorer for the SMCC squad accounting for the SeaWolves 13-points.
The Lady SeaWolves would finally outscore the Mustang’s in the final period as Brett, Rameriz and Emily Hogan would hit for 20points, two points better than CMCC’s.
The Lady Wolves would be plagued by turnovers (29) and below average shooting from the field (16-49 32.7%). The SeaWolves did connect on 15 of 18 free throws.
After the nets were cut down by the repeating champions, the men SeaWolves took to the court to battle it out against top seeded New Hampshire Technical Institute. The first 20 minutes of play and well into the second half proved to be the type of game basketball fans love.
After NHTI opened the contest with a three-pointer, Atencio Martin responded by scoring the first seven-points for the Wolves on layup, jumper and three-point shoot. Gregory Trinidad and Ryan Cloutier broke into the scoring column with another jumper and dunk which was followed by another Martin three-pointer. After four-minutes of play SMCC held a tenuous five-point lead (14-9).
NHTI would fight back taking the lead at 13:34 (17-16 and build an eight-point lead over the course of the four-minutes (28-20) at the 9:19 mark. The Wolves and the Lynx would go at each other for the next six-minutes as SMCC responded and finally tied the score at 36 apiece on a Gregory Trinidad jumper at the 3:36 mark.
SMCC and NHTI went at each other in the closing minutes of the first-half with determination and grit trading baskets and trying to hold onto any amount of momentum they could muster.
Highlights include: Antencio Martin being fould on a layup and sinking the free throw to give SMCC a 39-38 lead, the combination of Martin, Kavutse and Burpee giving SMCC a short lived one-point lead with 1:19 left after falling behind by three a couple of times, and Ryan Cloutier’s bomb of a three as time ran out propelling SMCC to a one-point lead (48-47).
Cloutier opened the second half scoring on a layup giving the Wolves a tenuous three-point lead. Again, NHTI would respond and come at SMCC. The Wolves held the lead, or responded to a Lynx offensive burst to reclaim the lead until the Lynx grabbed the lead at the 13:03 mark (59-58).
For the next eight minutes the SeaWolves would fall behind by up to 10points and find a way to drawl close to the Lynx. Jacobee Burpee’s three-point shot with 5:20 left brought the Wolves to within three (72-75) after which the size and physical play of the Lynx was too much for the Wolves to have an answer to.
The Lynx outscored the Wolves 15-6 over the final minutes of the contest as their outside shoots and game underneath failed them. In the end the Lynx would cut down the nets in Central Maine’s gym after the 90-78 win.
In spite of not winning the championship, both SMCC squads earned at-large bids to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Division 2 National Tournament which was held this past weekend and into the week in Uniontown, Penn. The Lady SeaWolves were seeded 8th and matched up against the ninth seed team: Penn State Fayette in Sunday’s noontime play-in game.
The Men Wolves went into the USCAA, seeded 4th opening the tournament against 5th seeded Johnson & Wales University- Charlotte, in a Sunday evening matchup.