Shaking The Slump: Roadrunner Men’s Basketball Gets Back Into Rhythm With A Pair Of Wins

Guard Kyree Davis inbounds the ball during contest with Umpqua on Jan. 15.

The Linn-Benton men’s basketball team finally broke their losing streak this past week, adding two conference wins to their resume against Clark College and Mt. Hood Community College. They are finally getting in a groove, their first since the beginning of December when they beat Whatcom Community College and Pierce Community College. In the past three games, the Roadrunners have given up an average of 69 points against their opponents, which has improved since gradually entering conference play. One thing you’ll immediately notice with the recent success for the team is their current movement of the ball. In their dry spell, the Runners would hardly get multiple players with double figures, with PG Kyree Davis solely leading the scoring charge. Now, in their two wins, the team has been able to move the ball and get players scoring consistently, and the results have shown that.

In their 70-63 win against the Clark College Penguins, the Roadrunners had three players in double figures but allowed their hustle defense to dictate the pace. The team had a total of 13 steals along with 15 defensive rebounds, led by Kyree Davis with seven. Davis went 5-12 from the field, with 15 points and four steals. Kadeem Nelson had another impressive showing with 19 points on 6-12 from the field, 3-4 from three, and capped off by five steals. Freshman Fred Harding added ten points in the post. LBCC went on to face the SW Oregon Lakers on the road, but fell 84-63 despite 25 points from Kyree Davis.

The work and dedication to the team in tough times is a taught attitude and represents Coach Schaumburg well, and it paid off in another team win at home against the Mt. Hood Saint Bernards, winning 62-60 in a nail-biter. Despite only having a limited three reserve players on the bench, the Roadrunners made due with an adjusted starting line-up that included Jaray Thomas at the point. Thomas finished with ten points on 3-5 shooting, and added four steals on the other side. Steals were another huge factor in this victory, with 16 on the night. While the St. Bernards shot at a higher percentage, the Roadrunners got the defensive edge in a game where every change in possession mattered.

With these wins, the team sits at 8-15 with a 2-5 conference record. The effort was enough to move up out of last place in the NWAC south, but it’ll take a huge late-season surge to get past .500 overall. With another grueling schedule in Clackamas, Umpqua, and Chemeketa in the horizon, these past few wins will prove to be important for team morale. This is a basketball team that went through a stark change in not only players, but coaches as well, with a first year college head coach looking to continue success in the program. It’ll take time, but the bright spots of this teams success are in its athleticism and tenacity, flying to the ball and giving it 100% effort. With hardly any reserves and a team full of freshmen, the work being done thus far is impressive, and will be tested as this year winds down in its final month of the regular season.

Story by Cam Hanson

%d bloggers like this: