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The College of Southern Maryland and its basketball teams are coming down to the wire with playoff season just around the corner.
The men’s basketball team are currently on a three-game winning streak after defeating Frederick in a Maryland Junior Conference game on Jan. 9, 80-77, then beat St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s JV team the next night, 100-92, and went up to Delaware on Monday night and knocked off Delaware Tech, 104-97.
Just two games separate the top six men’s teams in the league, so the playoff road is bound to be entertaining.
The Hawks are now looking at a 8-12 overall record and head coach Alan Hoyt said his team is playing their best basketball even after losing some players to ineligibility.
“We’re down to eight players, so we need everybody to step up,” Hoyt said. “I told them that we play our best when we’re up against the wall.”
Hoyt said that against Frederick he was down to seven players and the key to that win was that his players were staying together and trusting one another.
“We left it all out there,” Hoyt said. “We defended well and we executed well.”
Hoyt said that freshman guard Juwan Cole (Forestville High School, Prince George’s County) stepped up throughout the month of December and freshman guard Greg Jules (Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, Montgomery County) has gotten some good minutes coming off of the bench.
Sophomore guard Isaac Fulwood (Princeton Day Academy) just finished with his season-high 15 points recently and Hoyt added that freshman Sigourney Jackson (Thomas Stone) is finishing well around the rim with rebounding.
Hoyt has some guys coming back to fulfill their role within the team after picking up their grades and sophomore Sheldon Thorne (Lackey) is now recovered from an injury.
Sophomore Troy Cummings (McDonough) is fulfilling a leadership role as a captain for the men’s team and is enthusiastic about finishing out the season. The 5-foot-11 guard said he thinks the Hawks can go even further than last season.
“We’ve been playing good ball as of late,” Cummings said. “We started the season of a little slow, but we started picking it up around Christmas. We know these could be our last college basketball games here, so we want to be playing our best basketball going into the regional tournament. I think we can make a lot of noise this year.”
Cummings said his team has been focusing on the defensive end of things.
“You know it’s offense that puts the points on the board, but it’s the defense that stops them from scoring,” Cummings said, “so we’re concentrating on our defense. I do, and the guys that were here last year, think we can go even farther. We’ve had some real tough competition. With Rockville, we went back and forth and it could have gone either way. We feel like we can compete with any team out there.”
Cummings is also looking forward to having Thorne back on the court.
“He’s been out there practicing with us,” Cummings said. “He’s very energetic and we’re just looking forward to having him back on the floor with us.”
On the women’s side of the court, head coach Andrew Norris said his team made a good run to .500 after an 88-54 win over Anne Arundel on Dec. 15 made them 6-6, making the .500 mark for the third time this season.
“We had a nice run there,” Norris said. “We’ve been playing tough defense the last couple games. The scores aren’t indicative of how hard we’ve played. We’ve talked about competing on every possession.”
The Hawks have not won yet in 2013, falling in their three contests so far this new year. They are 6-9 overall,
Norris has also seen his roster shrink down due to ineligibility but he will know Friday if he will be getting some of those players back.
“That hurt us a little bit,” Norris said of losing players. “We have five games left and they’re all winnable if we come out with the right amount of energy.”
Six-foot freshman Taylor White (North Point) has been the go-to player for the Hawks this season.
“Taylor is leading the league [and possibly the nation] in rebounds, averaging 16 a game,” Norris said. “She’s been in double figures most games and had 27 rebounds one night.”
Norris said White has brought consistency and leadership to the program.