Fall Short in Semi-Final against Vermont Tech
by The Beacon Sports Staff
Saturday’s Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) semi-final basketball games saw the top four- seeded teams finish off the day’s games when Central Maine Community College tipped off against New Hampshire Technical Institute, and the SMCC SeaWolves took on Vermont Technical College.
Like the women’s semi-finals, in which the teams split the regular season series one win apiece, the matchups in the men’s semi-finals followed suit with the exception of SMCC Machias, as SMCC won both regular season games.
NHTI jumped out to a quick lead against the Central Maine Mustangs, scoring the first ten points of the game in a minute and a half. Central Maine would regroup and take a one-point lead with 6:24 left in the opening half. The lead was short lived as NHTI would grab it back 10 seconds later and then out-score Central Maine 21-11 to grab a 48-39 halftime lead.
The second half would be all NHTI as the Lynx jumped out to a 22 point lead in the opening four minutes of the half and built a 27-point lead with six minutes left in the game. To Central Maine’s credit, the Mustangs would out-score the Lynx 21-2 in the last five and a half minutes making the final score respectable.
The SeaWolves path to the semi-final game saw them take on the University of Maine-Machias a week ago Saturday in quarter-final play, in what could be said was one of the most exciting finishes in the Hutchinson gym.
Machias came into the game as the sixth-seeded team and played with a sense of purpose, wanting to grab a win on the SeaWolves home court. The Wolves did win both regular season games which provided a sense of purpose for the Clippers.
The Clippers controlled the tempo throughout the majority of the game, building a modest eight-point lead (41-33) at the break and pushing it to 15 with eight and a half minutes to go.
Over the next seven minutes the Wolves outscored the Clippers 21-5 to grab a 71-70 lead with a minute and a half to play. The Clippers grabbed the lead back (72-71) with 1:02 to play. Three made free throws, two by Anthony Lobor and one by Cameren Cousins gave Southern Maine a tenuous two-point lead with 28 seconds to play. Six seconds later Machias tied the game at 74 on an Isaiah Plange layup.
Plange would score again with eight-seconds left giving the Clippers a two-point lead and forcing SMCC to go the distance of the court in order to get a shoot-off. The Wolves used a timeout to draw up a play that was executed seamlessly. The inbound pass from Anthony Lobor to Pedro Fonseca found its way to Zachery Mickle who drove down the bench side of the court crossing over the half-court line and firing a court-wide pass to Ian Regan who worked through a few screens to gain open space in the left-hand corner. Regan was able to get off a three-point shot which found the bottom of the net as time expired.
The win would send the Wolves to the semi-final game against Vermont Tech.
In Saturday’s action against Vermont Tech, the SeaWolves jumped out to an early seven to two lead behind the play of Pedro Fonseca. The Vermont Tech Knights would respond taking back the lead halfway through the opening half of play and never trail again.
Four of the starting five for Vermont Tech would score in the double figures as YSCC Player of the Year Jeremiah Shaw would post a game-high 25 points.
The SeaWolves played hard in the second half, forcing the Knights into turnovers, creating opportunities to crawl back into the game in order to give themselves a chance to steal the game.
Unfortunately, the Wolves could not find the magic from the previous week regardless of the efforts of Lobor who finished the game with a double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds). Pedro Fonseca contributed 16 points and Cameren Cousins added 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.