The Colorado College women’s and men’s basketball teams ended their seasons last weekend with the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships. Although neither team made it to the final game of their respective championships, both showed how much growth they cultivated for the CC basketball programs in the past year.
The women’s team made huge strides this season. Just one year past a 1–13 conference effort, the Tigers went 6–7, making it to the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Junior guard Casey Torbet was happy with how the team performed in the conference tournament. “We fought extremely hard in both games and probably played the best weekend of basketball we have all season, which is exactly what you want to see during the postseason,” Torbet said.
The team was led by the development of Torbet, who scored a team-high 14.5 points per game on 46 percent shooting. She was also the team’s leading distributor, with 3.8 assists per game. The star guard was supported by the great rookie campaign of freshman guard/forward McKenzee Gertz, who scored 13.2 points, had 7.2 rebounds, and almost two steals per game.
Torbet had high praise for the team’s performance throughout the season: “Coming from a couple of unsuccessful seasons, the team did an amazing job on learning how to be consistent throughout the game, how to keep a lead, and how to fight back from deficit,” she said. “We did a great job adapting and learning how to work together this year, which helped us be successful.”
A roadblock the Tigers could face down the road is the graduation of seniors Nina Holley and Francesca Cendali. The two played big roles in the advancement of the team culture, and the team will miss them going forward. “Although we are losing two seniors that contributed so much to our success, we are bringing back almost all of our key contributors from this season,” Torbet said.
Torbet went on to share her feelings and goals for next season. “I think next year will be another great year for us as a team,” she said. “I’m very excited about next year to just keep building off of the success that we were able to get this year and show the SCAC exactly what CC women’s basketball is capable of. Who knows, this time next year we could be making a deep conference championship run.”
Although the men failed to improve on their 10–4 record from last season, they improved as the season went on, showing grit despite falling behind early in the season. Their final conference record of 7–7 is a testament to their will and hard work during this campaign.
The men were led by senior guard Eric Houska, who scored 17 points, had 5.5 assists, and just less than a steal in an average of 39.2 minutes per game. He was a true workhorse for the Tigers this season and will go down as one of the best CC basketball players in recent history.
Beyond Houska, this was a very strong senior class for the Tigers. Guard John Hatch averaged 15.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and over one block and one steal per game. He was even dubbed the best defensive player in the SCAC. Forward Chris Martin averaged 12.1 points and 7.5 rebounds, and guards Bobby Roth and Ryan Young were both big parts of the team this season, combining for 14.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and just under a steal per game. These Tigers will be greatly missed.
Both teams had great seasons, so look forward to next year when the Tigers should be contending for the SCAC championship yet again!