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(Neb)-Eagles Host Fort Lewis, Adams State This Weekend

By: John Axtell Posted at: 12/29/2016 09:26 PM
Con Marshall, CSC Sports Information

CHADRON, Neb.  --
 After taking a Christmas break, the Chadron State College basketball teams will return to action by hosting Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference games in the Chicoine Center this weekend to wrap up the 2016 portion of their schedules.

After spending the week before Christmas at their homes, the CSC players returned to the campus early this week to prepare for this weekend's double-headers.

The Eagles will tangle with Fort Lewis on Friday beginning at approximately 5:30, shortly after the Chadron Rotary Club's Holiday Classic concludes, and play Adams State on Saturday, New Year's Eve, starting at 4 o'clock. As usual, the action will begin with the women's games.

It's not a surprise that both Chadron State teams have found the victory column elusive. Both have new coaches who were forced to launch full-scale rebuilding programs when they took over.

The coaches, Janet Raymer for the women and Houston Reed for the men, have continually praised their players' efforts and attitudes.

"We're all working and trying to get better," Reed noted.

The CSC women are 2-7 with both victories by 69-64 scores on the road. The first was over Colorado Christian on Dec. 3 and the second at South Dakota Mines on Dec. 16.

Senior Erin Graham has scored 112 points through nine games for a 12.4 average. Junior transfer Kalli Feddersen has tallied 111 points and is the team's rebounding leader at 6.8 per game. Feddersen also is the team's point guard and has more assists than turnovers.

Redshirt freshman Kylah Collins also has been solid, coming off the bench to average 10.4 points and 6.1 rebounds.

The Chadron State men are 1-9, squeezing out a 75-71 overtime verdict over Colorado-Colorado Springs at home on Dec. 9.

Several of the men's losses have been narrow ones. They were edged 78-77 by Bellevue in the season opener, never trailed in the second half against Nebraska-Kearney but fell 75-65 in overtime and were shaded by just 76-71 at South Dakota Mines.

Junior guard Darius Polley, who followed Reed from Otero Junior College to CSC, leads the Eagles in scoring at 14.4 points and has 20 steals, third high in the RMAC.

Senior guard Warren Gordon also is averaging in double figures at 13.7 points.

Freshman forward Michael Johnson is next at 8.7 points and is the RMAC's most accurate field goal shooter at 69.4 percent after making 34 of 49 attempts.

The CSC men are expected to have their hands full against Fort Lewis on Friday night. The Skyhawks lost their season-opener at West Texas A&M 90-82, but have won their remaining 11 games and are atop the RMAC standings at 6-0.

Although the Skyhawks are averaging 96.5 points a game while giving up just 76.8, they have had some close calls. They edged Eastern New Mexico 88-87 and since the RMAC schedule opened have won twice in overtime—105-97 over CSU-Pueblo and 107-103 over Western State. They nipped Adams State by just 95-91 shortly before Christmas.

Reed is well acquainted with four of the Skyhawks because they played for him at Otero before transferring to Fort Lewis.

One of them is 6-2 senior Joshua Blaylock, who was voted the RMAC's Preseason Player of the Year this fall after making 91 of 181 three-pointers to lead the conference and averaging 18.1 points a year ago.

???????Blaylock has not lost his touch. He is 43 of 85 from behind the arc and has made 51 of 58 free throws while averaging 20.2 points this season.

The other former Otero Rattlers on the Fort Lewis roster are center Brandon Wilson, a 6-9 junior who is averaging 9.5 points and 8.4 rebounds, and alternate guards Brandon Book and Kain Lucero.

The Skyhawks also feature 6-4 Rasmus Bach, who is averaging 19.9 points, and 6-2 Will Morse, who is averaging 10.5 points, has handed out 66 assists and been charged with just 16 turnovers this season. Both are from Austin, Texas.

Last year when Fort Lewis thumped the Eagles 90-72 in Durango, Blaylock scored 25 points, Bach 18 and Morris was credited with nine assists.

The Adams State men may not have as many all-stars as Fort Lewis, but they are averaging 84.6 points, third highest in the conference. They are 5-7 entering a game Friday night at Regis in Denver before coming to Chadron. While they are 2-4 in the RMAC, none of the losses has been by more than nine points.

Five Grizzlies are averaging in double figures, led by 5-10 Brandon Sly at 14.5 points and 6-4 Shane Johnson at 13.9.

The Fort Lewis women are 9-2 overall and 4-2 in the RMAC. The losses have been to 12-0 Colorado State-Pueblo and Colorado Mesa. Junior guard Briana Clah leads in scoring at 14 points a game. Six-footer Alyssa Yocky is next at 10.4 and is the team's rebounding leader at 7.8 a game.

The Adams State women are 1-8 for the season and 0-6 in league play. Their lone victory was a 52-47 decision at Northern New Mexico. The Lady Grizzlies' top scorer is 5-8 senior Cyndy McHenry, who is averaging 8.2 points.


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