M. Bball suffers quarterfinal loss

The Colby men’s basketball team enjoyed success in their final weekend of league play, beating Connecticut College and Wesleyan University on last Friday and Saturday, respectively. The Mules had hoped to use the  momentum in their NESCAC Championship Quarterfinal game against Trinity this past Saturday, but fell 71-60 to the Bantams. “While the loss was really disappointing, our seven seniors fought really hard and we’ll miss them a lot next year,” said  Joe Connelly ’17.

The Mules concluded their regular season play last Saturday with a 73-64 win against Wesleyan. The seniors on the team expressed their feelings about ending their last regular season game on a high note. “Winning two games this weekend with a lot of fans was a great way to go out playing in Wadsworth Gymnasium,” co-captain Luke Westman ’16 said, “I was proud of how our guys played and excited to see all of the support we got from students and locals.” Ryan Jann ’16 agreed. Jann continued, “The wins this weekend were both great wins over some very good teams. We always had control of the games and we felt great with the crowd behind us.”

Both Westman and Jann felt confident going into quarterfinal play. “It has been kind of an up-and-down season, but I think we are playing well at the right time. The most important thing is that you play well when the games start to become more important. I think our biggest strength is the amount of weapons we have offensively in the starting group and off the bench,” Westman added. “Teams have to game plan for a lot of talented players with very different skill sets.” Jann credited their success with strong team chemistry and selflessness. “Having seven seniors lead the way this year, it is hard not to have good chemistry with one another. This is the closest team I’ve ever been a part of and I think that shows on the court. You can really tell everyone’s number one priority is finding a way to win every game no matter what.”

Unfortunately, the eight-seeded Mules ended their season in Hartford Saturday afternoon against the first-seeded Bantams. Colby led 28-19 at halftime, but were unable to maintain the lead throughout the second half. Jann led the Mules with 23 points, followed by Chris Hudnut ’16 with 16, Pat Stewart ’16 with nine, John Gallego ’16 with seven, and Westman with five. Stewart had 767 points in three years of play, Westman had 928 points and 332 assists, and senior Sam Willson ’16 had 967 points. Hudnut ranks 11th in all-time scoring for Colby with 1,403 points, and Jann ranks 26th with 1,109 points.

Younger players expressed how much they will miss this year’s seniors, both as teammates and as friends. “I’m going to miss the seven seniors a lot next year on the court, but more importantly off the court, spending time with them. The high point for me was being in Florida and getting two wins,” Sam Joaquin ’18 said, reflecting on a tournament earlier in the season.  “We are looking forward to next year and building on the culture that the seniors have built these past four years,” Connelly added. The Mules closed out the season at 16-9.