SMCC hoops season underway
What promises to be another exciting and successful basketball season is underway at Southern Maine Community College.
The men's squad is 2-3 in the early going, while the women are 1-1.
SMCC's men's team went 1-1 in the Can-Am tournament, then lost 93-67 at Dean College. After a 107-22 home romp over Unity got the Seawolves on the right track, they dropped a hard-fought 72-60 home decision to Apprentice School Saturday.
"We have a young group this year, especially at the guard spots," said coach Matt Richards, now in his seventh season, who is assisted this year by Dan Costigan, Eben Mann and Chad Cichon. "Once they get some experience under their belts, I think we can be really good. This team could get significantly better as we go though the season. I think we have some good pieces around the young guards. Both Coleman and Matt Findlay are back. Coleman was a 20-point, 9-rebound player last year. That earned him all-conference and all-American honors. He's closing in on 1,000 points for his career. Matt continues to give us well rounded play and is very versatile. Eric Nelson returns for his second season. He had a great offseason getting physically stronger and he really has played well thus far.
"At the guard spots, Dan Foster has really played well with our system and is a 'glue' kind of guy. He always makes the extra pass, plays sound team and individual defense and makes his teammates better. Mike Von Rotz gives us an explosive wing player who can get to the basket. We are getting solid outside shooting from Paul Holland, transfer Mike Burchill, and Josh Mackie. Kory Martin returns to give us depth at the center position and newcomers Tyler Cummings and Matt Smith help handle the ball for us out front.
"We play a very tough schedule before Thanksgiving break. If we can play solid basketball during this stretch then we should be in really good shape to begin Yankee Conference play."
SMCC is next in action Friday (6:30 p.m.) at home versus Navy Prep.
The women's program figures to once again be a threat. After losing 63-58 to Dean College in the opener, the Seawolves enjoyed a 79-24 win over Unity behind 18 points, seven rebounds and six steals from Rachel Del Camp. Alisa Sweet and Kimmie Preston both had 13 points. Brittany Rich added 11 assists.
"We have seven veterans and seven rookies," said SMCC third-year coach Becky Roak, who is assisted by Patrick Haviland and Noelle Surette. "We will have some growing pains early with the tough schedule we play, but these games should prepare us for our conference schedule. Once we all get on the same page, I am convinced we will be competitive. I really enjoy this group of ladies. They have been working hard and it will pay off down the road.
"Defensively we will be smaller than we've been in the past, but on the other hand will be quicker than in the past too. We are going to have to get out and run, which we love to do. I'm excited for this season's challenges and successes. This team amazes me each day with their dedication and work ethic. I know their hard work will pay off."
The Seawolves host Navy Prep Saturday at 1 p.m.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org