By Tamekia Hunt, Reporter/Photographer
The CNCC Spartan’s men’s and women’s basketball teams have had a long competitive season, with both good and bad outcomes.
Although the teams lost their last two home games on Feb. 18 and 19 against two tough teams, Snow College (women’s final score 60-67, men’s 64-69) and Salt Lake (women’s final score 48-58, men’s 48-81), they still played their hearts out and never hung their heads.
“Our second year we made tremendous strides,” men’s and women’s assistant coach Kenneth Michaud said. “We have a lot of work that needs to be done before we’re where we want to be. (But) the guys broke the record in wins this season, and as for the women, they won as many games in the last two years (as) they have since (the) 2004-2005 basketball season. So we’re going in the right direction.”
Surely these teams have really shocked a lot of people with the performances they’ve put on this season, although they came up short.
What’s made the difference? For one, the sophomore leadership was there this year compared to last year, and the game was actually taken seriously—unlike last year, when the freshmen were the leaders, the sophomores were the followers, and nobody thought basketball was important after awhile. That’s why there were better outcomes this season.
“I think this season overall was good, way better than last year,” returning sophomore guard/small forward Da’Naiveia McDade said. “Maybe because we actually had people who wanted to play and was serious about the game this year.”
Many of the sophomores took these losses personally since it was their last time actually playing on that floor again.
“It sucks we couldn’t win and go out with a bang,” returning sophomore guard Jon Henderson said. “We didn’t meet our goals to get to 500, but we did make history for the school in wins, so that was good.”
No matter the outcome of this year’s season, both teams received a lot of respect for their hard work and many accomplishments in the athletic department.
Spectators have noticed the change, and complimented the hard work, too.
“There is more talent for both the women and men. I see CNCC moving up slowly but surely,” sophomore CNCC student fan Tiana Wilder said. “(That will happen) with the changes in the gym they have made and the talent they bring in as the years come.”
It’s also not as easy as the competitors thought it would be to play the Spartans this year. The competitors no longer place an automatic “W” next to the CNCC Spartans because of how good the Spartans performances have been.
“As far as the women’s team, it’s really exciting to watch because it’s so unpredictable on what the outcome will be,” says Michaud. “Heading to Regionals, (they) will make a good showing if they play hard and execute. For the men, they’re right there and at the Snow game they battled. Snow made big shots when they needed to, and we just came up short that night. (We’re) excited about regionals. Both teams have to play smart and together and execute, and we will respectively upset CSI and Salt Lake.”
Going into Regionals on March 3 at the College of Southern Idaho, the women will play the third-ranked home team CSI, whom they lost to in an unbelievable game Saturday 92-44. During the game, head coach Antowin Edwards was ejected from the gym with two technicals.
Also, the men will play the third-ranked team Salt Lake Community College on March 3 at Southern Idaho, where they also recently lost an away game to CSI with a final score of 89-62.
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