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SMCC's hoops season concludes at Nationals

Sports

SMCC's hoops season concludes at Nationals

Southern Maine Community College's men's and women's basketball teams both participated in the national tournament in Uniontown, Pa., last week.

The men went 2-2 and wound up sixth. The Seawolves defeated PSU-Fayette, 84-73 (Coleman Findlay had 29 points) and Williamson, 66-63 (Findlay had 27 points and 13 rebounds), but lost to UC-Clermont, 109-76 and Berkeley (N.Y.), 100-74.

"It was a great experience," said SMCC coach Matt Richards. "It's always good to go to Nationals, but to go out, be competitive and win two games, it was tremendous. I was really hoping to win our first round game. I knew the caliber of teams that were there. Our kids exceeded the expectations and rose to the occasion. It says a lot about the program and how hard the kids work."

There were a couple other highlights as Paul Holland (SMCC's Liberty Mutual February Male Athlete of the Month) won the 3-point shootout and Findlay became the all-time leading scorer in program history with 1,713 points, passing Greg Smith (Class of 1996).

"Coleman's a special kid," said Richards. "He had a lot of potential, but you never know with a high school player coming in how they'll adjust to the jump. He had a wonderful career, no question about it."

SMCC hopes to build on this season and be even stronger a year from now.

"It wasn't a smooth season," Richards said. "There were bumps in the road. We had a four-game losing streak, but the kids turned it around. I think playing a tough regular season schedule paid off at Nationals.

"I think about five players who will be back. Four are graduating. Two had plans to be here for a year, then move on. We'll have some experience. Those returning guys can lead the newer guys coming in. We won't be starting over, but we will have some holes to fill. I feel good about our recruiting efforts and the kids talking with us who say they're interested. Now, it's kind of a waiting game."

The women went 0-2, losing to Spalding, 94-38 (despite 18 points from Alisa Sweet) and also fell to PSU-Brandywine, 83-54 (Sweet had 19 points).

Jessica Truman, a freshman guard, was named SMCC's Liberty Mutual February Female Athlete of the Month.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net and followed on Twitter @foresports