by The Beacon Sports Staff
This year’s basketball regular season came to a close this past Saturday as the SeaWolves hosted the Clippers from the University of Maine Machias. Since the last Beacon, the Seawolves squads have compiled a 7-3 record as the women have gone 3-2 and the men 4-1.
The Wolves started off the final stretch of games two Sundays ago when they traveled to Randolph Vermont to take on the Knights of Vermont Tech. Both squads would start the final series of games off with lopsided losses. The Lady SeaWolves would fall 58-72 and the men 55-81.
The Wolves squads returned to their home court on Wednesday the 5th hosting Great Bay Community College as both teams cruised to wins (women Seawolves 112-21, men 82-57). Freshman point guard Pedro Fonseca and starting forward Anthony Lobor would lead the Wolves with 14 and 113 points respectively as reserve Cameren Cousin would tally 13 points also to help the Wolves gab a Yankee Small College Conference win.
The Lady Seawolves’ win against Great Bay Community College was led by reserves Marley Groat (25 points and 5 rebounds) and Hope Atkins (14 points). Starting guard Ainsley Bryant contributed 13 points, 4 assists and 4 steals in the win.
The Wolves next hosted the Panthers of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences on the 8th. Both squads would walk home wins as the lady’s opened the evening of play with a 94-30 win and the men a 91-54 win.
For the second game in a row, Groat would bring home top scoring honors netting 20 points on six of seven shooting from beyond the three-point arch. Grace Fontaine would follow suit as she hit for four three-point shots on five attempts recording 16 points while dishing out six assists. Tara Flanders would match Fontaine’s offensive tally (16 points) and record five assists. Senior center Amanda Brett contributed a healthy 14 points towards the SeaWolves win.
Anthony Lobor (10 points 12 rebounds), Pedro Fonseca (10 points 5 rebounds) and Ian Regan (12 points and 5 rebounds) would lead the SeaWolves offensive efforts against the Panthers of ACPHS. Reserve DeSean Cromwell contributed 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in the win.
All of this would lead up to the final two games of the season, Central Maine CC and the University of Maine-Machias.
As the YSCC basketball fan knows the SMCC CMCC rivalry has been and continues to be a fiercely competitive match-up. Over the past seven years Central Maine has gotten the better of the SeaWolves. The Central Maine men held a three-game advantage (11-8) going into last Wednesday’s game. On the ladies side of the court, the lady Mustangs rode a nine-game win streak into the game.
The lady SeaWolves would grab a 21-10 halftime lead in Auburn after outscoring the Mustang’s 14-7 in the second quarter. After draining an opening three-point shot in the third quarter, the Central Maine Mustangs would outscore the Wolves 16-5. While the SeaWolve defense kept Southern Maine in the game, however the offensive was not able to cut into Central Maine’s lead.
Grace Fontaine netted 12 points and five assists, as freshman Ashleigh Mathisen and junior captain Amanda Brett combined for 20 points and eight rebounds.
Head Coach Katie Stannard commented afterwards, “I am proud of our women for fighting through a challenging environment and to the very final whistle—it’s a matter of a couple possessions in the third quarter. This team can compete with anyone and I’m looking forward to the opportunity on our home floor this postseason tournament. An important rematch comes this Saturday with Machias.”
The men would avenge the loss from their mid-December match. The win in Auburn would secure the Wolves second win on the Mustang’s floor in as many years.
The highly anticipated rematch started out with both teams playing to a draw over the opening ten minutes.
SeaWolf forward Anthony Lobor’s jump shot with less than 10 minutes to play in the opening half would put the Wolves up 18-17 ahead for good. Southern Maine would outscore the Mustangs down the final minutes of the opening half resulting in an 11 point lead at intermission (33-22).
The Wolves would come out of the locker room and open the final 20 minutes of play with a seven-point run on two Pedro Fonseca layups and a three-point shot by Anthony Lobor.
Fonseca would contribute a solid second half as he netted 11 of his 13 points in the half.
After 40-minutes of play Lobor would bring home top scoring honors (17 points and grabbing eight rebounds). Lobor’s efforts were complimented by Ian Regan who drained the nets for 15 points while grabbing seven rebounds, dishing out six assists, and picking the Mustang’s pocket four times.
Associate Head Coach AJ Burton stated after the contest, “Last night in a hostile environment, we continued to remind the guys to play through the ups and downs and to control the controllables. We knew that in order to leave there with a win we needed to be efficient offensively and force CMCC to take tough contested shots. Overall, I am super proud of this team and we are starting to play our best basketball at the right time heading into the final regular season game and postseason play.”
Saturday’s games against University of Maine-Machias had post-season ramifications for both teams. A men’s loss would send them on the road for their quarter-final game.
The women’s game would prove to be an exciting one for the small college basketball fan. The Clippers would win in Machias back in December, breaking SMCC’s 10 game win streak and setting up Saturday’s hotly contested game.
The Clippers would get on the scoreboard first grabbing the first points of the game. Tara Flanders would knot and then give SMCC the lead with four free throws. After a Clipper free throw, Flanders would drive the lane and push SMCC’s early game lead to three.
The tone of the game was fierce as the Clippers continued to score their way back into leads erasing small deficits that the Wolves built.
The addition of Tate Dolley, the United States Collegiate Athletic Association’s leading scorer (27 points per game) to the Machias squad along with Caitlyn Lyons who is ranked second in the USCAA for scoring per game (22 points per game) has made the UMM squad a contender for this year’s YSCC title.
Machias would hand Central Maine a 61-48 loss in Auburn on Friday night.
Dolley and Lyons would combine for 38 points in Saturday’s contest, however it was opportunistic defensive play by the SeaWolves and out rebounding the Clippers that proved to be the difference down the stretch.
The Wolves would find themselves down by nine in the second quarter twice. After two-minutes of play the Clippers held a nine-point lead 28-19 at which point SMCC’s defense and offense started a three-minute rally.
With 5:27 left in the half, Ashleigh Mathisen’s three-point shot grabbed SMCC a one-point lead (31-30).
The squads would trade the lead over the course of the next few possessions.
Two Amanda Brett layups and a Mathisen three-pointer proved to be the scoring SMCC needed to secure a two-point lead at the half (40-38).
The third quarter proved to be the difference in the contest as the SeaWolves would outscore the Clippers 18-13 and build a modest seven-point lead after 30 minutes of play. Six SeaWolves helped in the scoring as the Wolves built an 11 point lead with 4:31.
As the second half unfolded, every time UMM made an offensive push, SMCC had an answer.
Ashleigh Mathisen’s three pointer with 2:46 left in the quarter and the Clipper’s trailing by six stymied the Clippers rally.
The fourth quarter saw the Seawolves hold off the Clippers mainly behind their defensive play. Marley Groat recorded three steals and Elise Hebert grabbed one.
The home win was a solid one for the lady SeaWolves. Amanda Brett (23 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals), Ashleigh Mathisen (12 points and 5 rebounds) and Tara Flanders (13 points 5 rebounds and 3 assist) lead the way statistically, however it was a total team effort that secured the win.
Shortly after the women’s game, the SeaWolf men took to the court knowing that a win would secure them a home game for the quarter finals.
The tenor of the game was a hard fought one, as the Clippers repeatedly found a way to get the ball into the hands of their big men and challenged the SMCC big men.
The Clippers would grab the opening points of the game and respond after SMCC tied the game at two apiece to go up four to two. With 18:02 left in the opening quarter, Ian Regan’s three- point bomb would push SMCC into the lead, a lead that they would never relinquish.
The closest the Clippers would come to grabbing the lead back was in the second quarter with 16:34 left to play when they had cut what was a 12 point lead to one point.
The Wolves would respond and build 13 point leads twice over the course of the next 12 minutes (64-51with 8:09 remaining and 68-55 with 4:53 remaining).
Anthony Lobor (16 points, 5 rebounds), Zachary Mickle (14 points, 4 assists, 2 steals) and Ian Regan (11 points, 5 rebounds) would bring home top scoring honors for the team.
With the energy and focus the squads played with in Saturday’s contest against the Clippers, it is evident to the small college basketball fan that the SeaWolves have the talent and potential to make a serious run for the 2019-2020 Yankee Small College Conference title. This is your opportunity SeaWolves nation, to see your teams in action. See you at the Hutchinson gymnasium on the 22nd for the quarter finals and the following weekend for the semi-finals and the championship games.