By Caroline Sweeney
DCCC Phantoms men’s basketball team lost their season opener 98-90 against the Thaddeus Stevens Tech Bulldogs on Nov 3. The Phantoms have begun their season 0-1 overall.
All five starters scored in the game along with three other players.
Top scorers of the game were starting guard Justin Gans who led the Phantoms with 27 points. Following Gans, guard Mike Mallon scored 18 points and forward Ketquan Gatewood scored 13 points.
Both De’Andray Covert and Nazar Gosssette scored 10 points; Shaquell Stokes scored seven points; Shadiniah Lino scored three points and Shannon Burnett-Pullium scored two points.
“We didn’t do what I expected to do as far as winning, but I do think my guys went out and competed and gave it their all”, said Larry Yarbray, Sr, Phantoms head coach. “We have to execute better and come out with a sense of urgency next time.”
The Phantoms and the Bulldogs were evenly matched in the first half, going back and forth with scoring. But Thaddeus Stevens was consistently ahead by a few points throughout the game.
With the first half coming to an end the momentum shifted in favor of Thaddeus Stevens. The Bulldogs went on a run to outscore the Phantoms, but the Phantoms fought back with several three-pointers to bring them within four points of the Bulldogs.
The halftime score was 46- 42, Thaddeus Stevens.
“We kind of waited till halftime to start playing the right way, but by then they were up 16 points,” Yarbray said. “By then we were stuck in a hole trying to dig ourselves out.”
At the beginning of the second half, the Phantoms came out stronger than the first, but they were slightly behind Thaddeus Stevens.
The Phantoms fought to keep the pace with the Bulldogs and eventually, after a series of mistakes by the Bulldogs, the momentum of the game began to shift in favor of DCCC.
With 6:32 left in the second half, the score was tied for the first time at 79 all. And once again the two teams were running up and down the court, keeping within several points of one another.
Coaches and players were animated about the new tone of the game and the crowd was on edge. Both teams were using up their remaining time-ups to give their players breaks and draw up plays.
After several fouls against DCCC and missing key shots in the last two minutes of the game, Thaddeus Stevens started to pull away. With a final score of 98-90 Thaddeus Stevens.
“Myself and my team played well, but we could have played better,” said Ketquan Gatewood, a sophomore business major. “I want to work on my defense, being less aggressive so I don’t get called for so many fouls, but I know we will be better down the stretch.”
The Phantoms were strong in free throw percentage at 70 percent at the line. They also made 50 percent of their three-point shots and made 43 percent of their field-goals.
“It is a learning experience and we are all looking forward to next week’s game,” Yarbray said.
The Phantoms next game will be on Nov. 10 against Harrisburg Area at Harrisburg.
The next home game will be on Nov. 15 against Del Tech Stanton.
Contact Caroline Sweeney at email@example.com. edu