Finding tough competition on the court

Although a few bumps in the road have led the basketball team astray, the hard work of a new coach and a team that knows how to win is sending the Lions in the right direction. The College recorded its first victory of the season on Tuesday, Nov. 20, defeating Keystone College by a close margin of 69-67.

The Lions improved their record to 1-2, led by a career-high 17 points from sophomore Steve Feinberg and 15 point-a-piece chip-ins by the two senior captains, guard Corey Gilmore and forward Mark Aziz.

“I think we play hard as a team,” Gilmore said. “I am very proud of my teammates and I feel as though so far our effort on the basketball court is really good.”

On the road in La Plume, Pa., the College led 34-26 at the half and finished the night shooting an impressive 53.8 percent from the floor, while its staggering defense held Keystone to 32.4 percent.

Feinstein was automatic all night, coming off the bench to go 7-for-7 from the field. Aziz narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds and was a powerful force on the boards with four blocks.

The Lions are making strides toward a winning record after stumbling in their first two games over the weekend. The College traveled to Williamsport, Pa., on Friday to participate in Lycoming College’s Tip-Off Tournament.

Friday night, the Lions matched up against King’s College and fell to the Monarchs 79-55.

Bright spots in the losing effort were senior forward Jeff Warner’s 14 points and junior guard Jeff Molinelli’s 10.

Discussing his play, Molinelli said, “I think I’ve been playing OK. I’ve just been trying to work as hard as I can and hopefully I can help the team start to get on the winning track.”

On Saturday, the Lions took on the hosting Lycoming Warriors in the tournament’s consolation game. The Warriors were victorious over the Lions 58-56.

The squads were tied at 31 at the half but the Warriors gained a 10-point lead midway into the fourth quarter.

After leading 57-47, the Warriors went cold and nearly scoreless for the remainder of the game and a late-game Lion surge brought them to within one. The Lions, despite their comeback, came up just short as a foul shot with five seconds remaining sealed the team’s fate.

Molinelli led the College with 17 points and was named an all-tournament member.

Aziz added 11 points and six rebounds while Warner and Gilmore each added nine points of their own.

The College is led by first-year interim head coach Matt Hunter, and the players have had nothing but positive things to say about their new coach.

“He is very energetic and enthusiastic,” Molinelli said. “His enthusiasm makes us work very hard which has put us in the best shape we can be. So far I think he has been doing great.”

Adding to the thought, Gilmore said, “(Hunter) is doing an absolutely amazing job right now. His confidence in us helps us have confidence in ourselves.”

When asked about the team’s performance so far, Hunter said, “We made a lot of progress from Friday to Saturday. We are still in the building process and we want to play to our full potential in February when it matters most.”