A short-handed Chadron State College men’s basketball team put up a good fight, but lost both games it played last weekend in southwestern Colorado.
Fort Lewis improved its record to 10-2 overall and 6-1 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference on Friday night by an 88-65 score and Adams State rallied down the stretch to deal the Eagles a 75-74 heart-breaker on Saturday night
Just seven of the 12 Eagles on the roster made the trip. They gave a great effort, but both of the winning teams shot right at 50 percent from the field while the Eagles hit just 35 percent against Fort Lewis and 39 percent versus Adams State.
During the radio broadcasts, voice of the Eagles Dave Collins continually praised the Eagles’ gritty play in both games and coach Houston Reed said he was proud of the how hard his depleted crew battled against the high-scoring opponents.
There were various reasons for the absences. Leigh Saffin and Michael Johnson did not make it back to Chadron following Christmas break in time to catch the bus, Jordan Mills and Dru Kuxhausen had the flu and were unable to travel and Adoum Mbang did not get all his coursework completed in time after he spent more than a month in his homeland of Cameroon for special training late in the fall.
The seven warriors who were available gave it their best shot, but the competition was tough.
Fort Lewis entered the weekend averaging 91.2 points and Adams State 87.4 to rank one-two in scoring in the RMAC
The Fort Lewis Skyhawks jumped out to a 7-0 lead and were ahead all the way Friday night. They held a 37-27 halftime margin and led by at least eight points the rest of the way. A 21-6 scoring surge put them on top 68-42 midway through the second half to clinch the outcome.
Although the Fort Lewis starters played more minutes than the alternates, players coming off the bench scored 42 of the 88 points and three of them hit double figures.
Among them was Collin Weaver, a 6-3 junior who tallied a team-high 15 points in 15 minutes. Starters Marquel Beasley and Rasmus Bach each added 12 points. Beasley also grabbed 10 rebounds to help the Hawks to a 50-38 advantage off the glass.
Chadron State had four players score in double figures. Point guard Jaisean Jackson, who also was struggling with flu-like symptoms during the long trip, led with 17 points. Forward Jeremy Ruffin added 15, freshman Walker Andrew 13 and senior Matt Reader 11 to go with 11 rebounds, the first double-double of his career.
The Eagles led 37-31 at halftime on Saturday night and never trailed in the second half until Adams State went on a 15-2 run in the final 4:19 to pull the game out of the fire. A jumper by Jarrett Givens with eight seconds remaining gave the Grizzlies the one-point verdict.
Chadron State got off a last-second shot but it failed to connect.
The weary Eagles missed their final six shots from the field and also had two turnovers during the stretch run. Jackson again led the scoring with 22 points, Jamerman was five of 13 from 3-point range for 18 points and also was credited with five assists and Ruffin tallied 15 points for the second straight game.
Reader again rebounded with authority, grabbing a game-high 13, including nine off the offensive glass. Both teams finished with 41 caroms.
Shane Johnson, a 6-4 senior, paced the Grizzlies with 22 points, including nine of 10 from the free throw line. Brandon Sly, a 5-10 senior, was next among the team’s four double-figure scorers with 12.
Adams State, now 7-7 overall and 5-3 in the RMAC, also rallied the edge Colorado Christian 85-83 on Friday night, when Jarrett hit a 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining to tie the score. Johnson then forced a turnover and passed to 6-8 center Fred Jackson. who made a layup at the buzzer.
The Eagles are now 3-11 for the season and 1-7 in the conference.
Fort Lewis 88, Chadron State 65
Chadron State—Jaisean Jackson 17, Jeremy Ruffin 15, Walker Andrew 13, Matt Reader 11, Eric Jamerman 4, Luke Fick 3. Totals: 25-72 (5-24) 10-14 65 points, 38 rebounds, 13 turnovers.
Fort Lewis—Collin Weaver 15, Marquel Beasley 12, Rasmus Bach 12, DJ Miles 10, Riley Farris 10, Brandon Wilson 8, Alex Semandi 8, Daniel Hernandez 6, Michael Ranson 3, Kane Martinez 2, Cesar Molina 2. Totals: 31-63 (6-16) 20-28 88 points, 50 rebounds, 18 turnovers.
Chadron State 27 38 ----65
Fort Lewis 37 52 ----88
3-pointers: CSC—Andrew 2, Jamerman 2, Fick 1. FLC—Hernandez 2, Weaver 2, Ranson 1, Miles 1.
Adams State 75, Chadron State 74
Chadron State—Jaisean Jackson 22, Eric Jamerman 18, Jeremy Ruffin 15, Vonsinh Sayaloune 9, Walker Andrew 4, Matt Reader 4, Luke Fick 2. Totals: 26-67 (9-23) 13-21 74 points, 41 rebounds, 12 turnovers.
Adams State—Shane Johnson 22, Brandon Sly 12, Jarrett Givens 11, Fred Jackson 10, Mike Thomas 6, Troyon Butler 6, Trace Dimeff 5, Szymon Walczak 2, Ethan Caton 1. Totals: 29-60 (6-22) 11-18 75 points, 41 rebounds, 14 turnovers.
Chadron State 37 37 ----74
Adams State 31 44 ----75
3-pointers: CSC—Jamerman 5, Sayaloune 3, Jackson 1. ASU—Givens 3, Sly 1, Johnson 1, Dimeff 1.