By Louie Galdos
Elm Staff Writer
This week the Shoremen basketball team faced two competitive teams, both in the Centennial Conference. Both were at home, the first game being against No. 16 Swarthmore College on Wednesday, Jan. 30 and the second on Saturday, Feb. 2 against Franklin & Marshall College. On the day of the game versus Franklin & Marshall, the team hosted the alumni game.
Swarthmore was a challenging game for the Shoremen. Unfortunately, Swarthmore was able to overcome the Shoremen in a final score of 84-61.
Going into the game, sophomore Center Logan Bunch said one of the team’s crucial components would be to win as many rebounds as possible.
Junior power-forward Alec Lewis approached Swarthmore with one thing in mind: he wanted to maintain high intensity.
“The key to our success against both teams will have to be matching them on the physicality level,” he said.
Assistant Coach Mike Durilla said the team needed to focus on the little stuff.
“Just take it one possession at a time,” he said. “Focus on winning that individual possession. If we can win one, we can win the next possession.”
While the game resulted in an 84-61 loss, the Shoremen put up 38 points in the second half compared to the Phoenix’s 35. Swarthmore built their foundational lead in the first half, with 49 versus Washington College’s 23.
On Saturday Feb. 2 before the big game, the Shoremen hosted an alumni game and at 11 a.m.
The alumni were able to meet and play with former teammates and young future Shoremen basketball players.
Next, on Saturday, Franklin & Marshall College proved to be another highly competitive game. However, the Shoremen were able to overcome the Diplomats with a final score of 74-69.
In both games, the players and coaches felt that home court was an advantage they wanted with the highly loud fan atmosphere.
“We have one of the loudest gyms in the conference and I think it affected both teams,” Lewis said.
“These next two games are huge and I’m always fired up to play at home,” Bunch said. “We’ve had great atmospheres at Cain all year long and that energy has helped fuel our team to some big-time wins.”
“The fan support has been incredible all season,” Durilla said. “They’ve made Cain the toughest place to play in the Centennial Conference by far and I do not expect that to change in these next two games,” he said.
After Saturday’s game the Shoremen improve their overall record to 10-11 and their Conference record to 6-8. This means the Shoremen are in the running to make the playoffs this year. Their next game is on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Gettysburg College for a Conference game.