Plenty of op­ti­mism

CSM men’s hoops gets big win, look­ing for more

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

One day af­ter his team held on for a 97-93 vic­tory over vis­it­ing Com­mu­nity Col­lege of Bal­ti­more County-Ca­tonsville af­ter lead­ing by as much as 12 points on three dif- fer­ent oc­ca­sions late in the sec­ond half, Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land fresh­man Sean Scott ad­mit­ted he could breathe a lit­tle eas­ier.

CSM (2-6, 2-2 in the Mary­land Ju­nior Col­lege Ath­letic Con­fer­ence af­ter a 94-86 loss to Har­ford on Wed­nes­day night) had squan­dered sim­i­lar leads in set­backs to Gar­rett Com­mu­nity Col­lege and Po­tomac State (W.Va.), but Mon­day evening the Hawks with­stood the Car­di­nals’ late surge to notch their sec­ond win of the sea­son.

Scott, a St. Charles High School grad­u­ate from Wal­dorf who spent his first two years at McDonough High School be­fore the new school

opened, gained plenty of op­ti­mism about the re­main­der of the sched­ule.

“Last night we knew what we had to do in the sec­ond half,” Scott said. “We came out of the locker room with a lot of in­ten­sity. We had a team meet­ing be­fore the game and we told each other we were tied of los­ing and we had to come out and play much bet­ter. We def­i­nitely did that [Mon­day]. It was a tough game, but we got the win.”

CSM had lost five of its first six games, while Ca­tonsville ar­rived hav­ing won five of its first six out­ings. Hawks head coach Alan Hoyt, a Great Mills High School grad­u­ate, had in­ten­tion­ally loaded up the first por­tion of the sched­ule with tough op­po­nents to get the team ready for con­fer­ence play. Granted, he was not thrilled to see an eight-point lead es­cape against Gar­rett and a 16-point lead evap­o­rate against Po­tomac State in an­other set­back, but those games gave his squad more than a hint of re­silience.

“We should have beaten Gar­rett and we should have taken care of Po­tomac State, but those are some re­ally tough teams,” Hoyt said. “Then we play a team like Ca- tonsville that comes in here 5-1 and we’re ready for them. It would have been nice to put the game away a lit­tle sooner, but we found a way. That’s what the early tough games do for you.”

Scott spent much of his three pre­vi­ous years play­ing against sev­eral play­ers cur­rently on the CSM ros­ter, in­clud­ing Jor- dan Bat­tle (a Thomas Stone High School grad­u­ate from Wal­dorf), Ryan Stearns (a Leonard­town High School grad­u­ate from Leonard­town), An­to­nio Tavares (a Hunt­ing- town High School grad­u­ate from Ch­e­sa­peake Beach) and Trevon Porter (a Great Mills High School grad­u­ate from Lexington Park). But from the first week of prac­tice, Scott ad­mit­ted that the play­ers were able to cast aside their pre­vi­ous ri­val­ries and be­gin jelling to­gether.

“That first day, well, we still had plenty to talk about,” Scott said. “But af­ter that we all re­al­ized that we had to come to­gether. Af­ter that first week, I think we were all good. This team has a lot of tal­ent. We’re young, but we have some good sopho­mores and a lot of good fresh­men. I am one of the more vo­cal play­ers on the team.”

Hoyt and Scott were eager to look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing its home stand Mon­day ver­sus Al­le­gany, which starts a span of three games in six days and in­cludes road games ver­sus Navy and St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land’s JV squads. Al­though nei­ther coach or player wanted to sin­gle out any of the up­com­ing op­po­nents on the slate, both ad­mit­ted the four games next week will test their re­solve and stamina.

“We’re young, but we have more depth this year than last year,” Hoyt said. “Next week will be a good mea­sur­ing stick for us.”

Scott added, “Next week will be a good chal­lenge for us. Four games in one week doesn’t give you much time to rest or re­cover, but we’ll be ready.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF COL­LEGE OF SOUTH­ERN MARY­LAND

Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land head men’s bas­ket­ball coach Alan Hoyt, a Great Mills High School grad­u­ate, talks strat­egy at Tues­day’s prac­tice, one day af­ter a big win over CCBC-Ca­tonsville.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF COL­LEGE OF SOUTH­ERN MARY­LAND

The Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land men’s bas­ket­ball team has plenty of op­ti­mism head­ing into the rest of the 2016-17 cam­paign.

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