By Austin Lockwood
Many hearts were broken Thursday evening when the men’s and women’s basketball teams lost in the regional tournaments, failing to qualify for nationals. Both teams lost to Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC).
The men’s team was the first to drop out when they fell behind early at home and never managed to lead once through the entire game. Sophomore Danzel Wright performed about as well as usual while scoring a game-high 26 points with four assists to go with it. What he lacked was the same support from his team that the opposition received. KCK had four starters score in double digits to JCCC’s three. While two Cavs scored over ten points, the rest of the team contributed a measly 17 points.
The lack of consistency across the board hurt the team greatly as they trailed almost the entire game save for a few tying scores. The men’s team will be losing some great talent with the season over, but all’s not lost with next year’s hopeful return of freshman forward Jordan Young who was out for the latter half of the season due to injury. He will be joined by a cast of seven other freshmen who will try to reach the same level of success as the current team and push past the regional tournament.
The women’s game had a different yet just as disappointing feel, as the Cavs traded the lead with the opposition for most of the game until giving it up for the final time after scoring the first points of the fourth quarter.
The team was led in scoring by sophomore guard Erica Nelson, who scored 14 points with seven assists, but the entire team in general played far below standards. While KCK scored on 45 percent of their attempts, the Cavs only managed to score on 29 percent of their shots.
JCCC shot a whopping 103 attempts during the game, but they actually scored the same amount of field goals as KCK who shot only 66 times through the entire game. That number tells the story of a team that couldn’t capitalize on enough opportunities and tried to force some of their own as the game went on.
The team will be hurt a little more by graduation compared to the men’s squad, as only one player with over 15 minutes per game will be returning after the loss of four starters. Reloading some talent through conditioning and recruitment will be the focus for a team that was able to make history despite the crushing defeat.