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Men's Basketball Eliminated in Region XVI Championship Game

March 03, 2013

St. Louis Community College men’s basketball coach Randy Albrecht said the emotions changed so quickly within less than 24 hours. After a 49-48 win over Wentworth Military Academy (Mo.) on Friday, March 1 in the NJCAA Region XVI semifinals, the Archers fell 86-64 to Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley (Mo.) in the title game on Saturday, March 2 at Penn Valley.

“We needed the game where (Penn Valley) did not have a good outside shooting game,” Albrecht said. “They’re a little better at rebounding than we are. We just got beat both places. They forced us to play faster than we needed to play. … Today, reality kind of set in for us.”

Archers team member Cameron Hicks  
STLCC sophomore Cameron Hicks Selected to all-
region team

The defeat was the third of the season by the Scouts over STLCC. The Archers ended 2012-2013 with a 20-12 record and a 3-5 mark in Region XVI play.

Albrecht said Penn Valley’s 6-foot-2-inch guard Erin Jones was a “thorn in our side.” Jones scored 19 points in the first half against the Archers, and in the teams’ earlier meeting at Forest Park, Jones also netted 19 in the first half. Jones made the all-region team. STLCC had only eight healthy players in the championship game, Albrecht said.

Sophomore forward Cameron Hicks (Clayton High School) and freshman guard Trayvon Williams (University City High School) made the 10-man all-region team after the game. Sophomore forward Evan Jones (Cardinal Ritter High School) and freshman guard Kuna Lahai-Pumagoi (Edwardsville High School, Ill.) received honorable mentions on the team.

 Archers team member Trayvon Williams
Trayvon Williams driving to the basket.

The loss ends the season for STLCC. The Archers began the 2012-2013 campaign with a 14-2 start after a road trip to Texas. The early season stretch saw STLCC’s men’s team earn a spot in the national rankings for NJCAA Division-II basketball.

But the Archers returned home and hit a five-game skid from Jan. 8 to 26. STLCC went 5-9 after the 14-2 start before the Region XVI tournament.

Albrecht said the lack of college basketball experience affected the team this season.

“It’s nice to have some experience on your team to start with,” Albrecht said. “On last year’s team, we had four guys who had played together as freshmen at Meramec and played on a successful team and knew the system. So, they can be leaders in terms of ‘This is how we do things; this is how it works.’ This year, we did not have that leadership. … We never developed a consistent scorer.”

Albrecht also mentioned the academic ineligibility of Will Clark, who played his last game with the Archers on Dec. 9, 2012.

Four sophomores will say goodbye to STLCC basketball after the loss to Penn Valley: guard Enis Mehmedovic (Bayless High School), Evan Jones, Hicks, and forward Nick Lawshe (McCluer North High School). Albrecht said because of NJCAA rules regarding the spring semester GPA, it’s not clear who will be back with the Archers next season. However, he said the off season is a process.

“It’s a three-part program: try to find some new incoming freshmen or transfers, try to help your freshmen continue to develop academically and basketball-wise during the spring and try to get your sophomores set up for their schooling and next year’s schooling and basketball,” Albrecht said.