Posted 2 months ago
By John Axtell
The Chadron State College men’s and women’s basketball teams return to action after the holiday break this weekend with a pair of Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference double-headers in southwestern Colorado.
The Eagles will visit Fort Lewis College in Durango on Friday night and Adams State in Alamosa on Saturday night.
The Chadron State men are 5-5 overall and 2-4 in the RMAC while the CSC women are 1-9 for the season with the lone victory coming in a conference tussle.
Just as their record indicates, the CSC men have been about even with their opponents statistically. They are averaging 74.7 points and giving up 76 per game, while their foes have shot 45% from the field compared to the Eagles’ 42.5%.
One difference is long-range shooting. CSC has made 80 3-pointers while shooting 36.5% from behind the arc while holding their opponents to just 31% and only 51 treys.
Free throw numbers are about even with CSC making 199 shots from the line and the rivals 203. Both are averaging about 35 rebounds a game, but CSC has 18 more turnovers for the season—177 to 159.
Senior Zac Bargen leads the Eagles in scoring at 12.2 points a game. Junior Evan Brooks is averaging 10.8 points a game.
Three more Eagles—Grant Stone, Kendrick Holliman and Christopher Smith—are averaging at least 8.2 points a game.
The CSC women have been getting excellent productivity from seniors Kattie Ranta and Kayli Rageth, but have still found the victory column illusive. They are averaging about 59 points a game while the foes are averaging 72.
Turnovers have been a problem for the Eagles. They have 179 through 10 games while the opponents have 115. CSC is shooting 35% from the field compared to 41% for their foes, and the Eagles have taken about 80 fewer shots.
Both CSC and the opponents have made 54 3-pointers. The Eagles hold a 144-143 edge in free throws made, but have gone to the line 19 more times.
Ranta is averaging 16 points a game and 11.3 rebounds after posting double-doubles in eight of the 10 games. Rageth is averaging 15.8 points.
Both Fort Lewis teams are 6-3 for the season and 3-2 in the RMAC.
The Lady Skyhawks have beaten Colorado-Colorado Springs (68-64), Adams State (56-44) and Western State (78-66) and lost to CSU-Pueblo (78-73) and Colorado Mesa (89-65).
Three Fort Lewis seniors are averaging right at 15 points a game for the women’s team. They are guards Erika Richards and Ashley Kuchar and center Christ Groh. Both Richards (27-32) and Kuchar (26-29) are deadly from the free throw line. Groh leads the rebounders at 6.1 per game.
The Fort Lewis men have defeated and lost to the teams from the same conference schools as the women. The Skyhawks topped Colorado Springs (87-75), Adams State (97-93 in overtime) and Western State (120-78), but fell to Pueblo (93-87) and Mesa (93-67).
Coach Bob Hofman’s team is led by guard Nick Tomsick, who is averaging 21.3 points, and 6-10 center Alex Herrera, who is averaging 19.3 points and 9.3 rebounds. As usual, the Skyhawks are effective from long range. They have made 109 treys while hitting 45.2 percent from behind the arc. The opponents have hit just 68 3-pointers and while shooting 37.2 percent from downtown.
Tomsick has 32 of the Skyhawks treys. None of his teammates has made more than 13, but all 15 players on the roster have sunk at least one.
The Adams State women are 5-5 while the men are 4-4 for the season. Both teams are 1-4 in the RMAC.
The women’s conference victory was a 62-54 verdict over Western State. Pueblo beat the Lady Grizzlies 77-44 and Colorado Mesa clobbered them 75-55.
Moriah Gonzales, who is 5-4, leads the Lady Grizzlies at 10.5 points a game. Another guard, Emily Klint, is next with a 10.4-point average.
The Adams State men also got their conference win over Western State. That score was 84-62. The Grizzlies also defeated South Dakota Mines 93-90 in Rapid City, about a week after Chadron State had bested the Hardrockers 79-68 in Chadron.
Junior guard Mikey Hope leads the Grizzlies in scoring at 15.8 points a game. Julian Scott, a 6-8 center, is next with a 13.1-point average. Jaree Crawford, a 6-5 forward, is chipping in 11 points a game.
After the trip to Fort Lewis and Adams State, the Eagles’ will play just one game the following weekend. That’s when they will play at Black Hills State on Saturday, Jan. 11.
The Eagles will be at home just one weekend in January. That will be the 17th and 18th when the RMAC members from New Mexico visit Armstrong Gymnasium.