An Archer victory
By: DJ McGuire
The St. Louis Community College Archers defeated the Blackburn College Junior Varsity Beavers 76-50 on Thursday Jan, 12.
The game started by introducing the players with some fast-beat music, which appeared to energize the athletes.
The Archers wore light blue uniforms while the Beavers wore red.
Europe’s “The Final Countdown” played right before the tipoff to build the hype even further.
This hype however did not transfer into early game success for either team.
Neither team could generate much offense early on as both teams missed many shots in the beginning.
Head Coach Terry Collins said he was disappointed in his team’s performance at the start of the game.
“We were very lackadaisical in the first half, which was really disappointing,” Collins said.
Collins added that this first half performance was especially disappointing after their close loss to Moberly Area Community College, which is the fourth ranked team in the country.
“We have to play with the same intensity whether it’s practice or if we are facing an opponent that is not as strong,” Collins said.
Freshman guard number 13 Todd Simms, who finished the game with 11 points, four rebounds and three steals, said the team started the game a bit too relaxed.
“We came out a little sluggish, we usually play harder than that,” Simms said.
Sophomore guard number two Sean Rigmaiden, who had a stat line of 15 points, two assists, two rebounds and three steals, provided some spark on offense with a couple of three pointers in the middle of the first half.
The lack of execution though on offense killed the Archers chances of establishing a lead in the first half.
One highlight of the rather uneventful first half was a steal by sophomore forward number 23 DaVante Harrell followed by an emphatic dunk, which lifted the crowd to their feet.
Even with these great plays the Beavers managed to keep the game close, as the first half ended with the score 27-25 Archers.
During halftime the team was given a lecture according to Rigmaiden by their coaches.
“Our Assistant Coach [Coach Lewis], he pumped us up.
He told us not to look at that team as a JV team, instead come out and play with energy the way we did against Moberly,” Rigmaiden said.
In the second half, the team took that advice and ran with it.
The Archers started the half with a 22-4 run making the score 49-29, which led to a Blackburn timeout.
Soon after the timeout the Beavers began to unravel even more, committing two straight traveling penalties.
This success on both ends of the court lasted until the end of the game for the Archers leading to 76-50 victory.
While Simms and Rigmaiden led the way in scoring for the Archers, number 22 freshman forward Courtney Barlow added 10 points.
Adis Mujakic, number 32 sophomore forward added six points as well on a couple low post moves, that led to great cheers from his teammates and the crowd.
Even though the Archers had such a large point differential in the second half — 49-25 — Collins still was not fully pleased with his team.
His major concerns were with the team’s inconsistency throughout the year.
“We have been up and down all year and that has led to our inconsistency,” Collins said.
The players were pleased with the performance in the game, but knew that they still had plenty of room to improve according to Simms.
Both Simms and Rigmaiden agreed that as strong as the team’s defense can be, there is always room for improvement.
Another weakness of the team is turnovers.
“We commit many turnovers even though we have many talented guards,” Rigmaiden said.
The team has lofty end goals for their season.
According to Collins and Simms the team hopes to make it to the national tournament in the spring.
Collins believes his team has the talent to make it, but in order to make it, they will have to play more consistent basketball.
“The concern is how we are going to get that consistency, and do we have that mental toughness to overcome and play consistent basketball,” Collins said.