By Beacon Sports Staff
Saturday evening’s final game would prove to be one of the most competitive of the 14-game Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) Elite 8 tournament, with the Mustangs from CMCC battling it out with the SMCC Seawolves.
Saturday’s game was of heightened importance; both teams looked to earn the right to face NHTI in the championship game. Forty-six personal fouls were called during the 40-minute contest. While the game did take on a rough tone, there were plenty of moments that showcased the beauty of basketball.
The first half saw SMCC’s Chase Soares light up the court from behind the 3-point line as he hit 5–6 and scored 17 points in the first half. The Seawolves were also aided by John Morgan’s 12 points, which helped SMCC lead at half by 1 point, 41–40.
Kionno Nelson lead the Mustangs in the first half with 8 points; however, the Mustangs’ scoring was spread across their roster.
The Wolves were trailing by two as time expired when Dennis Cummings drained a circus shot from behind the 3-point line and gave the Wolves their 1-point lead at half. Cummings would also come up big in the second half.
The Wolves built an early 11-point lead in the second half — only to watch CMCC erase it to pull ahead 65–62 with eight minutes remaining. But as both teams traded baskets in the later stages, Cummings came up with a steal and the lay-in that proved to be the momentum swing for the home team.
SMCC sophomore Chase Soares scored a season-high 32 points, shooting an unconscious 9–12 from beyond the arc. YSCC Player of the Year John Morgan poured in 20 points, and an efficient 9–12 from the field, in 33 minutes of action.
CMCC’s Cornelius Lawhorn led his team with 16 points, followed by Kionno Nelson’s 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting.