Nov 08, 2019 2:55 PM

Featuring one of RMAC's best backcourts Eagles eyeing RMAC Tournament berth

Posted Nov 08, 2019 2:55 PM

By: Con Marshall, CSC Sports Information

CHADRON, Neb. -- November 4, 2019 -- This year's Chadron State College's men's basketball team has lots of promise, Coach Houston Reed believes.


The 17-man squad is a mix of returnees, transfers and freshmen. Reed is optimistic about each segment. He said the players have a strong work ethic, versatility, "want to be good" and shoot the ball well.


"I think we'll shoot better than we did last year, and I'll be disappointed if we don't make the (RMAC) playoffs," said Reed, who is in his fourth year as the Eagles' mentor. "This is a good group. They're good people and six of them have vertical jumps of at least 39-inch. I think we'll be able to rebound." 


CSC finished 12-16 overall and 10-12 in the conference last year, one spot from the playoffs. Five seniors were on that team. There are only three on this year's roster.


The Eagles will open the season this coming weekend (Nov. 8-9) by playing Texas A&M International in Laredo and Texas A&M-Kingsville. CSC has no home games are scheduled before Nov. 30 and just three will be played in the Chicoine Center prior to January 10.


Reed says the early schedule is tough, but it should help prepare his team for RMAC road trips.


The most experienced players the small, spunky senior guards, Colby Jackson and Michael Sparks, who do everything going full force.   


Jackson led the RMAC with 96 assists through the 2018-19 regular season while averaging 9.5 points. Sparks shot 39 percent (56-144) from 3-point range and averaged 10.9 points. Reed said he probably won't play them at the same time often, but appreciates their leadership and gung-ho spirit. 


The other returnees are bigger and also are dangerous shooters. They are juniors Walker Andrew and Brady Delimont and sophomores Jacob Jefferson and Kayden Sund. All are at least 6-5.


Each spent lots of time working on his game this summer and has improved, the coach said.


"I anticipate that Andrew and Jefferson will start and they'll all play more this winter, giving us good minutes," Reed noted. 


In particular, the coach expects Jefferson to make a big contribution as the starting center.


The 6-7, 240-pound Arizona native not only gives the Eagles a big body in the middle, he also is a sharp-shooter from the perimeter. Last season he sank 17 of his 32 3-point attempts.


Delimont has a different situation. He can drill the ball from afar and made 34 of 89 treys (38.2 percent) last year, but he wants to expand his game. During the off-season he concentrated on improving his ball handling and the ability to take the ball to the rim so defenders will have something else to worry about.  It will be good for the Eagles if the Ainsworth native can draw fouls on his way to the hoop. He was 22-25 at the line last season.


Redshirt freshman Devin Buderus of Scottsbluff also has made the travel squad after demonstrating defensive toughness and ability to take the ball to the basket.


Reed also has high expectations from the transfers. At least four of them are expected to get lots of playing time. 


They include Brian Rodriguez, a 6-4 senior who has been an impressive shooter during the pre-season and can play either forward or off-guard. He spent last year at San Jose State and scored in double figures against both Colorado State and the Air Force Academy.


The other transfers are juniors. Kenan Gray, 6-6, 225, is a force around the hoop and is expected to share playing time with Jefferson at the post. At 6-5, Dominic Coleman gives the Eagles a tall guard and the multi-talented Stephon Bell, 6-3, has a 41-inch vertical jump, can score from both inside and outside and was the leading scorer (11.7 points) and rebounder (6.2) at Antelope Valley College in California last season.


The four freshmen have bright futures, Reed believes. Each was named the outstanding player in his conference last season.


They include Andre Sepeda of Greeley West, who's just 5-8, but Reed says is "the most game-ready freshman I've ever had." 


"He's quick and makes shots," the coach said. "He'll have a great opportunity to develop more this season while playing alongside Colby and Michael." 


Sepeda averaged 14.9 points while playing in 98 games during his high school career.


Both of the other Colorado recruits are at least 6-8. Kevin DiMarco is from Coal Ridge on the Western Slope and averaged 17.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks last season while Jax Wilke averaged 12.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists at Mead High near Longmont.


"Both of our freshman bigs have bright futures," Reed said. "They haven't been pushed around like happens in college hoops so they need time to grow and develop. We'll redshirt one and play the other this year. We're glad they're on our team. Both can be special."


The fourth freshman is Gage Delimont, Brady's younger brother who averaged 22 points at Ainsworth last season.


This will be the third year in a row that the Eagles have opened the season by playing the Texas A&M teams. The Texas teams won both games two years ago on their home courts while the Eagles beat International, but lost to Kingsville a year ago when they played in Chadron.

Continue Reading Panhandle Post
Nov 08, 2019 2:55 PM
Veteran group poised to lead Eagles as season opens today

By: CSC Sports Information

CHADRON, Neb. -- The Chadron State College women's basketball team hopes to improve from last season's 4-24 record, and can probably make that happen by becoming more consistent.


CSC's roster consists of 17 players, made up of nine letterwinners from last season, two transfers and six freshmen.


The Eagles return an exciting backcourt in junior Taryn Foxen and sophomore Jori Peters, two of their statistical leaders from a year ago.


The 5-10 Foxen, who is from Aurora, Colo., and was elected the college's Homecoming Queen this fall, led the Eagles in scoring last year at 11 points a game while shooting nearly 40 percent from the field and 70 percent at the free throw line. She also led the team with 30 steals.


The 5-4 Peters played 28 minutes a game as the Eagles' primary point guard. She handed out a team-high 83 assists, tied for second in steals with 27, averaged 5.5 points and tied for most rebounds at 4.0 a game.


"Peters and Foxen are doing very well for us this year so far," Raymer said.


The other letterwinners are senior guard Haley Urbatsch of Gillette, Wyo., senior forwards McKenna McClintic of Burwell and Jessica Lovitt of Mullen, sophomore guards Brittni McCully of Mullen and Bailey Brooks of Douglas, Wyo., and sophomore forward Rachel Henkle of Newcastle, Wyo.,


Another sophomore, 6-1 Tatum Peterson of Glenwood Springs, Colo., suffered a knee injury early in the preseason and will miss the 2019-20 season. 


Raymer noted that Urbatsch and Brooks, along with other pieces will help the CSC backcourt this season. Urbatsch, together with her classmates McClintic and Lovitt, bring senior leadership to the program, on and off the court, she added.


Peters, McClintic and Lovitt each averaged 4.0 rpg to lead the Eagles last season.


Transfers Melisa Kadic, a senior from Idaho State, and junior Sam Hinkle, from McCook, joined the program this fall.


Hinkle, a 5-11 forward, averaged 15 points and 5.5 rebounds last season while earning all-conference honors at McCook Community College.


Kadic, a 5-9 guard, was a two-time All-Region selection while playing at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, where she averaged 13.7 points in 2017-18. She spent last year at Idaho State.


"Kadic is a phenomenal shooter, we look for her to be a scorer for us," Raymer said. "I think she's going to take that role on very nicely."


At least one of the freshmen is also expected to play immediately. She is 6-1 Jordan Morris of Apple Valley, Minn., who helped Eastview High School go undefeated and win the state championship her junior year.


Raymer said Morris will be one to watch and expects her to play right away.


The other freshmen include Olivia Jolley of Sturgis, S.D., 5-10, and four players from Nebraska. They are: Blythe Boness of Alliance, 5-11; Makenzie Dunkel of Scottsbluff, 5-10; Emma Hoffschneider of Burwell, 5-11; and Meaghan Ross of Sidney, 5-5.


The Eagles will open the regular season at home on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8 and 9 by hosting Texas A&M International and Texas A&M-Kingsville, both at 3 p.m., in the Chicoine Center.