Men’s Hoops take GLVC, but fall in NCAA Tourney

Photo by Steve Woltmann Delaney Blaylocks production improved throughout his freshman season.

Photo by Steve Woltmann
Delaney Blaylocks production improved throughout his freshman season.

David Ridderhoff, Sports Editor

Lewis University men’s basketball coach Scott Trost isn’t one to settle. Despite his team’s first Great Lakes Valley Conference championship under his leadership, and first since 2002, Trost also realistically believed his team could go farther in the NCAA Tournament, where they were eliminated in the First Round by a very hot Saginaw Valley State team.

“We didn’t play a great game,” said Trost. “We ran into a hot team, they beat host Parkside by 15 after us, and we just didn’t play well.”

The men took on a UW-Parkside team in the GLVC Finals that had beaten them twice during the regular. The Rangers were expected to beat the Flyers again, as they were also the favorites to host the NCAA Regional Tournament.

The team was led by senior center Kyle Nelson, who led all scorers with 23 and finished with 10 rebounds for a double-double. The team jumped on Parkside and held a 15 point lead at halftime. After holding off a Ranger comeback, the team was able to cut down the nets as conference champs.

“I don’t like to rate moments, or say any moments are better than any other,” said Trost. “It was a great acomplishment, and this team can always look back on that win.”

In the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, the men faced off with Saginaw Valley State, a team the Flyers defeated by one point earlier in the season. This time around, the Cardinals out-rebounded the Flyers 41-33, with a 12-2 advantage on the offensive end.

“They beat us on the boards really bad,” said Trost. “They got a lot of second-chance opportunities and took advantage of them.”

The Flyers are losing some key bench players, but luckily for them, keep the starting five from their NCAA Tournament loss intact, minus the loss of Nelson.

“Nelson is a big loss, and I don’t want to diminish the losses of [other graduating seniors]. We’re losing some good players,” said Trost.

The off-season may prove vital for the Flyers, as Trost believes adding one or two more pieces could be the key to an even more successful season for the Flyers in 2017.

“If we can add some good pieces, we can be a good team next year,” said Trost. “We don’t know about strategies and schemes until we get back in the fall, then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do next year.”

David Ridderhoff is a junior Radio/TV broadcast major. He is the sports editor for The Flyer. He is also the general manager of Lewis’ radio station, WLRA. As an avid sports fan, he also collects hats and jerseys from a variety of sports teams.

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