Men’s Basketball Season review

Cory Bray, Staff Writer

Cory Raue goes up for two pointer against Lake County

Photo by L. Lagoni
Cory Raue goes up for two pointer against Lake County

The Elgin community college 2015-2016 men’s basketball team tied for Sky Way conference champions for the first time since 1998 on Feb.18, 2016. Their conference record was 10-4 (.714) and overall record is 20-10 (.645).

“They won the conference many years ago, this is one of the first in a long time,” said Kent Payne, whose in his 16th year as ECC’s athletic director.

The Spartans averaged 78.6 points as a team, this year, shooting 45 percent from the floor. Lead by Brett Rau, A.J. Washington, Dalton Shainer, and Jacob Siewert, the Spartans have learned to play well together.

”Reed really got them to gel, and they played really well together. They’re really competitive, and they enjoy playing with each other,” said Payne.

The Spartans got hot and put it in autopilot before Christmas and held a five-game win streak together, outscoring their opponents on average by 25 points.

Taking pride in defense all year, earned the Spartans a top-ten ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association, holding their opponents to a 40.5 field-goal percentage 19th overall in the NJAAC.

Having eight sophomores on this year’s squad gave this team a lot of leadership, and also leaves leadership opportunities open for next year. Freshman Juan Stewart has improved his game all year and looks to be one of the potential leaders for the 2016-2017 season.

“From the first game when we played Judson, I didn’t get as much minutes. I had to show coach that I could play college basketball, “said Stewart.

“The more I got comfortable playing different teams and getting different vibes, the more I felt comfortable hitting my teammates when they’re open,“ said Stewart.

Tying for conference champs earned the Spartans a seed in the Region IV Division II District 4 playoffs, and the Spartans hosted the eighth seeded city college, Olive-Harvey on Feb. 25, 2016.

“We knew this wasn’t your typical eighth seed,” said Reed.

Dalton Shainer carried the Spartans on offense during the first half with hot shooting scoring 23 points, finishing with a remarkable 32 points. Little production was received from the rest of the team.

Skyway Conference MVP Brett Rau stepped his game up in the second-half and finished with 23 points after struggling during the first. Unfortunately, it was not enough for the Spartans who inched within five points of Olive-Harvey who won the game 84-79.

For the second straight year the Spartans have won 20 games and ended the season with a first round knockout in the playoffs.

“It’s disappointing to end what has been a great two years here for me,” said Rau.

A.J. Washington blocks Lake County shot

Photo by L. Lagoni
A.J. Washington blocks Lake County shot