- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
In 2008 and 2010, it was the Sweet 16 round.
In 2011, it was the Elite Eight round.
In 2012, it was the second round, the same round the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Seahawks men’s basketball team finds itself in this year in the 2013 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament.
How far the Seahawks advance in 2013 has yet to be determined.
The 11th-ranked Seahawks (25-3 overall) will be at Alvernia University (Pa.) at 7 p.m. Saturday for a second-round contest at the Physical Education Center in Reading, Pa.
The second-round national tournament appearance Saturday makes it the fourth straight year the Seahawks, under head coach Chris Harney for all five of its national tournament appearances, have advanced to at least the second round.
The Seahawks advanced this year after an 85-76 over Massachusetts Institute of Technology this past Saturday night, in which sophomore guard Nick LaGuerre led the way with 19 points.
When asked after the game how the Seahawks plan to continue its run, LaGuerre and teammates Donn Hill and Brendan McFall each answered, simultaneously, “Teamwork and hard work.”
However, LaGuerre continued, “We’ve gotten this far with each other, so to continue, we have to keep [believing] in ourselves and playing how we play.”
That teamwork has been evident in the Seahawks success this year and is shown when looking at the points per game averages among the lineup. LaGuerre (13.3), Hill (12.8) and McFall (10.6) lead the team in scoring.
Senior guard Devin Spencer added 11 points per game during the season but is out due to injury for the remainder of the year. The team lost him in the Capital Athletic Conference semifinal victory over Mary Washington (Va.) due to a finger injury.
“Devin is always in my ear,” LaGuerre said after the win over MIT. “He is usually the one hitting the big shots, so he is always in my ear telling me to keep my head up.”
In the absence of Spencer, it has been junior guard Kyle Wise off the Seahawks bench putting some of the scoring load on his shoulders, averaging 13.3 points per game in postseason play, including the CAC semifinal and championship games and the NCAA opening-round victory over MIT.
During the regular season, Wise averaged 3.8 points per contest.
“I think it’s to our advantage sometimes that he falls off of people’s scouting reports a little bit,” Harney said of Wise. “Every time I see him in these moments, I just think back to what an unbelievable four-year high school player he was [at Calvert Hall College High School in Towson] and how lucky I was to get him to come here to St. Mary’s.”
LaGuerre has upped his scoring to 20.3 points per game in postseason play, and Hill has increased to 16 points per.
“Our guys do a really good job with staying within our stuff,” Harney said. “I think that’s one of the things I love about what we do. We really have balanced scoring and guys looking for each other; it’s not just one guy taking all of the shots.”
Alvernia is making its eighth appearance in the national tournament and advanced to the second round after a 97-78 victory over Albertus Magnus College (Conn.) this past Saturday.
As of today, according to the Seahawks website, ticket sales are over and purchasers must contact the Alvernia University athletic department for more information.