The end of the road . . .
Women lose to Snow College
After defeating Snow three times during the SWAC season, USU Eastern women’s basketball team found themselves on the bottom of the score at the regional tournament in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Hailee Parry lead the team in scoring dropping 12 points. Right behind her was Amy Arbon with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Eastern dominated defensively causing Snow to turn the ball over 20 times. Arbon lead that attack with six steals.
Despite their defensive efforts, Eastern couldn’t control the paint, losing the rebounding war 33-42.
On the offensive end, the Eagles couldn’t finish their shots. They finished the game with 25 percent from the field compared to Snow’s 46 percent.
Head Coach Dave Paur said, “we just couldn’t hit any shots, it was the offensive side that got us and it wasn’t the effort, it wasn’t the lack of execution, it was just we couldn’t finish.”
At the end of the first half, Eastern was down 27-34, but going into the second half, it seemed that Eastern may come back to redeem themselves. The fire however didn’t last. Paur said, “With like eight minutes it was a 3-point game, they hit a three, and I that broke our back.” Despite their efforts, USU Eastern was not able to achieve the victory in the tournament, losing 49-62.
When reflecting on the season with Coach Paur, he said, “I thought we finished the season very well. . . we lost seven of our first nine games . . . It really shook us up, shook our confidence and it took a long time to rebuild that confidence.” By the end of the season Eastern won six of their last 11 games, showing that their confidence was beginning to come back, but it was just too late. They finished the season with an overall 11-20 record.
After the end to another season, Paur looks to the future with optimism, he said, “This has been the best recruiting year I have had in the last seven years.”
One of those prospects includes, Jamie Smith, the starting point guard for Riverton High School; the 5A State Champions, as well as Carol Fisher, from Brazil, who was unable to play this year due to a torn ACL.
Paur, said, “I think we are going to have a pretty good nucleus next year with some of the girls returning and with some of the girls that have already committed”
The future looks bright for the Lady Eagles.
Men lose to CSI
The College of Southern Idaho has been a tough opponent all year for USU Eastern, with a 15-point win in December and a combined 94-point loss in the next two games. Eastern drew them in the first round of the Region 18 Tournament and suffered a season ending 72-51 loss at the SWAC Championships in Coeur dAlene, Idaho. CSI’s Juwan Newman continued to dominate the Eagles, scoring 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds to help shut the door on the men’s season. Jeff Perkins did all he could to try and keep the dream alive by scoring 16 points, while Jason Timpf managed to contribute 11 points and another eight rebounds. The Golden Eagles ended the season fifth in the SWAC with a 4-11 record in conference play, and a 14-17 overall.
The SWAC Region 18 Tournament had plenty of twists and turns that no one really expected. SLCC continued to dominate throughout the tournament, beating CSI 89-73. Tournament MVP Skyler Halford scored a game high 21 points for the Bruins. This win put SLCC into the finals after receiving a first-round bye due to their No. 1 seed.
For the first round of tournament play, Snow faced bottom-seeded CNCC. London Simonsen led scoring with 17 points pushing the Badgers over the Spartans 78-73.
In a powerful upset, Snow managed to beat NIC, which was a major surprise to everyone. Snow’s Connor Van Brocklin led the win for the Badgers scoring 25 points and grabbing five rebounds. This helped Snow advance to the region finals against top seed SLCC.
The loss to Snow ended NIC dreams of heading to the national tournament. Previously NJCAA ninth ranked, the Cardinals seemed like a shoe in for the tournament only to be cut short. NIC still managed to place four of its players on the all-region team and finish with a record of 26-5.
SLCC is the only team still playing for the national championship in Hutchinson, Kan., with a 86-82 win Tuesday over Eastern Oklahoma State, the Bruins advance to the next round to play Central Arizona. Central has already beaten the Bruins once and needs to again if they look to advance to the quarterfinals.
During the season Eastern’s opponents, averaged 71.9 points to USU’s 59.3 per game, outscoring Eastern on the season 1,078-889 points. Timpf earned an honorable mention on the all-region team, ending the season third in the conference in rebounds with 6.7 rebounds per game. Miles Gatewood received second team All Region honors ending the season fourth in three pointers with a 1.0 average per game.