By Andrew Chirico
Following two losses at the ‘Widener Tip-Off for Autism Awareness’ tournament, the Washington College men’s basketball team picked up its first victory of the season after defeating host Elizabethtown 77-67 on Nov. 21. Not only is it the Shoremen’s first victory of the season but it is also head coach Aaron Goodman’s first victory at WC.
Prior to the showdown versus Elizabethtown, the team practiced at Mount St. Mary’s college, located in Emmitsburg, MD. Although the team only had a short period to prepare for Elizabethtown, Goodman recognizes how the team made the best out of the situation.
“This was a tough week for us as a team- handling a very scary situation and ultimately a sad and tragic loss of a peer and active member of our campus community,” said Goodman. “We were not together for a few days and only had a couple of days practice on the road to prepare for a well- coached, scrappy Elizabethtown team. This team came together and grew closer from the experience.”
Unlike the first two games, WC found an offensive spark in the first half, mounting a 21-8 run led by sophomore guard Joey Shelton and senior forward Pat Morgan. Shelton and Morgan both scored nine points in the first twenty minutes of play. To end the first half, senior forward Dave Knox went on to score two quick baskets, sending the team into halftime with a 44-34, ten point lead.
The Shoremen opened the second half strong, eventually leading the Blue Jays by 21 points with just over 16 minutes to go in the game. Elizabethtown then brought the game within nine points with five minutes left in the game. Knox and Shelton scored six unanswered points late in the half to set down the Blue Jays and win by ten.
Shelton had a career high 19 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Junior guard James Drury followed with 18 points. Leading the team in rebounds were seniors Pat Morgan and Dave Knox, both with eight.
With his performance, Shelton was named Shoreman of the week. The victory and the award brings confidence to the sophomore for future play.
“It felt great because I know we can do so much more and I think it will show this season,” said Shelton. “It’s an honor to be Shoreman of the week. This makes me want to play harder and better.”
The Shoreman begin conference play this upcoming week as they travel to Franklin and Marshall on Saturday, Dec. 5 for a 3 p.m. matchup. Goodman is optimistic about conference play if the team can execute key aspects on the court.
“Conference play is always tough. It will be a unique experience playing each team for the first time and learning their tendencies and the players in the league. I will lean on our players for insight on personnel and style of play,” he said. “If we continue to compete on the glass, guard with focus and intent, and share the ball we will have a chance in each contest. I believe in this team and it excites me to continue our journey together.”