The CNCC Spartans were at it again this weekend, playing two big, athletic teams: the College of Southern Idaho and North Idaho College. In the past, these two Idaho teams would dominate the Spartans—but not this year. Although the Spartans lost, both the men’s and women’s programs will prove to be a threat come next semester.
The Lady Spartans had many mistakes this weekend that ultimately led to the losses.
“We didn’t get beat this weekend,” says sophomore guard Kelsey Samuelson. “We beat ourselves.”
In the past, CNCC would always lose against these two teams by at least a 40-point margin. This year was a different
Coming out on Friday afternoon playing the College of Southern Idaho Golden Eagles, the Lady Spartans once again had a slow start that the Golden Eagles took advantage of.�
Turning the ball over, trying to make plays but not running them all of the way through, and rebounding contributed to the Golden Eagles’ 16-2 run at the end of the first half.
Coming in at the second half, the Lady Spartans began their run. But the athletic Eagles were too much despite the Spartans’ quickness, and the ladies lost 58-76.
“The second half was really a team effort,” says freshman Tamekia Hunt. “We didn’t stop working until the buzzer went off.”
On Saturday, Dec. 5, the Lady Spartans played North Idaho College. Knowing how the slow start had hurt them the day before, the Lady Spartans made some changes in the starting lineup—and it proved to help.
The fight began, and the game went back and forth. The Cardinals, just as the Golden Eagles, took every mistake that the Lady Spartans made and turned it into a basket.
Freshman Da’naiveia McDade kept the Lady Spartans in the game with big rebounds and offensive moves that she finished. But even with McDade’s efforts, the Lady Spartans lost 51-78.
“The outcome of the games came from the Lady Spartans’ mistakes, and once those go away, they can win,” says sophomore fan Kari Griffin.
The Spartan men had one of the best weeks of games this season. Coming off a 10-game losing streak, the men’s program was looking for a win this season. Knowing that both CSI and NIC have athletic and quick players, the Spartans knew they had to put in work all week at practice.
“We knew that in order to get a win, we need to work harder,” says sophomore guard Justin Dunn. “And that comes in practice.”
Practicing shooting, rebounding, and the basic overall fundamentals of the game, the Spartans proved to be a good team this weekend. In the game against CSI, the Spartans made a slow start, but the key part in their coming back was their tough defense.
“We played great defense, and that is what kept us in the game,” says freshman guard Jon Henderson.
The Spartans played a great game but got into foul trouble at the end, and that is where the Golden Eagles made their free throws. The Spartans lost 73-81.
In the game against the Cardinals, the Spartans were on top of their game. With a great start and lead going in the locker room at half, the crowd was into the game and helped shut down the Cardinals.
“I want to give it up to the crowd,” says injured player Evitt Hodge. “They really kept the pressure on them the entire second half.”
The second half was intense, energetic, and back and forth scoring. With a few questionable calls from the referees, though, the Spartans were once again in foul trouble. The Cardinals took control of the game and the Spartans lost what should have been a close one, 57-74.
“The boys played great this weekend and were so close to a win,” says fan and sophomore Kirstin Cushman. “They should beat both of these teams next time they play them.”
The next home game for the Spartans is Saturday, Dec. 12 against College of Eastern Utah.
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