By: Elana Garay
Men and women’s basketball have finally come to the end of their season. Both teams have played in the semifinals this past week. Men’s basketball played against Concordia University Wisconsin last Tuesday while women’s basketball played against Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Wednesday evening.
“First, I am so proud of our team and the commitment they made to be a championship team. Winning the NAAC Championship was a tremendous accomplishment and our players should be proud of the season’s long grind it took to reach that goal. It is not the way we wanted to end, because our second goal was to win the NAAC tournament and compete in the NCAA tournament. The Concordia game was a well-played, college game featuring two very good teams,” said head coach Keith Bunkenburg.
Concordia Wisconsin had the lead in both rounds of the game against the Benedictine. Early in the first half, Concordia had the lead by 14-4. Benedictine followed up with 12 points to gain the lead, 16-14. Junior forward Tim Reamer, senior forward Tim McGinty, sophmore guard Michael Blaszczyk and sophmore forward Shawn Soelter, made the points. Concordia stole the lead, which had them at 36-31, by the end of the first half.
In the second half, Concordia again took the lead early. Benedictine however, was not about to go down without a fight. The Eagles soon caught up with a tie at 50-50, consisting of a three pointer made by McGinty followed up with a good layup by senior guard Kevin Rollins. The Eagles pushed their way into a lead while Concordia tried to catch up. The points went back and forth between the teams. Concordia eventually passed Benedictine by the end of the game. This became the end for the men’s basketball season, ending the game with a final score of 76-70.
“Unfortunately, they were able to execute down the stretch better that we did. I hope we can learn from that game. You always say what if, could I as a coach done something differently to put us in a better situation to win. We walk away disappointed but should keep our heads high for a great season. I also want to thank the great fan support we had for the game. It truly had a great atmosphere and I hope all that came to the game enjoyed the experience,” said Bunkenburg.
Women’s basketball played Milwaukee School of Engineering. Junior center Briana Hamilton started the two-point lead for Benedictine at the beginning of the first half. Then followed another two pointer made by junior guard Alanina Ferry. MSOE tied twice with Benedictine before passing them by 10-8. The Eagles then stole the lead back before MSOE pushed their way for the lead. Benedictine eventually gained a tie with their opponent at 27-27. MSOE proceeded to score four more points before the end of the first half.
Senior guard Meghan Novak started the following half with a two pointer, setting up two more points made by Ferry. Both teams became tied at 34-34, but Benedictine took the lead, causing another tie at 39-39. The Eagles then advanced in a 10 point lead and continued in the lead until the end of the game. The final score of the women’s basketball game was 71-59. This win for women’s basketball caused them to go into the NACC finals.
“I think that we focused on offense and defense every possession and did all the little things to win the game,” said Ferry.
Women’s basketball advanced on in the tournament and lost to Wisconsin Lutheran College, 71-51.
“In the game against Wisconsin Lutheran, I think we gave a great effort but out shots were not falling,” said Ferry.
Overall, men and women’s basketball both had phenomenal seasons and we are proud of their hard work that they put into this year’s basketball season.