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Archers Hang on for Two-Point Victory

January 20, 2012

Toraino Hellems  
Toraino Hellems scrambles for a loose ball in the Archers' 58-56 win over Shawnee College.

















The St. Louis Community College men’s basketball team has provided more than its share of nail-biting games this season. You can add Thursday’s showdown against Shawnee College to the list.

Sophomore forward Ryun Davis (McCluer North) and sophomore guard Toraino Hellems (Oakville) combined for 37 points, and the Archers would need every bit of them as they eked out a 58-56 win over Shawnee Community College.

The Archers, who trailed 28-21 at the half, climbed back into the game at a methodical pace in the second half, until finally stretching their lead to 55-50 with just over a minute left. The Saints climbed back quickly from there, and with the help of an STLCC turnover and two missed free throws in the final minute, had one last shot at a potential game-winning three-pointer.

Fortunately for the Archers, that attempt bounced off the back iron, and the Saints were unable to get another shot off before time expired.

“We have to play better than that at the end,” head coach Randy Albrecht said. “But I felt like if we just made some free throws in the first half, we were one or two plays away from it being an even game. We’ve played some close games this year, and I think our kids believe we have a chance, but you have to make plays at the end.”

The Archers were significantly outsized by the Saints’ imposing frontcourt, and that challenge only intensified when sophomore forward Kyle Rice (Kirkwood) went down early in the second half with a knee injury. The injury to Rice placed even more responsibility on Davis, who finished the night with 18 points and a team-high five rebounds.

“Coach (Albrecht) has been talking to us about certain things we need to work on, because we are an undersized team,” Davis said. “It was a big challenge, but as long as you play hard, you’ll see the outcome. My team’s a good team. We’ve been working hard and it’s coming along.”

Randy Albrecht honored for his 700th STLCC victory.  
Randy Albrecht, center, was recognized prior
to his team's victory over Shawnee Community
College for capturing his 700th career victory
at STLCC. Joining Albrecht are Sharon
Marquardt, left, co-manager of districtwide
athletics, and Pam McIntyre, president of the
college's Wildwood campus.

While Davis proved valuable in the paint, STLCC was successful from the perimeter in the second half. The Archers shot 60 percent from the field in the second half, a stark contrast from shooting at a 32 percent clip in the first half. Included among that second-half shooting flurry was a four-for-six showing from beyond the three-point arc.

With the win, the Archers improved to 11-6, and remain on pace to notch yet another winning season. If they do complete it, it would be the 28th consecutive winning campaign under Albrecht. Up next for STLCC is a road trip to North Central College on Saturday.

Sideline Notes

Prior to the game, Albrecht was honored for collecting his 700th win as head coach at St. Louis Community College. He is one of nine active coaches with 700 wins, and one of just seven to reach the milestone with one team.