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CMS Basketball Teams Off to Hot Start

December 8, 2008

by Gui Schils

The Stags and Athenas Basketball teams have gotten off to great starts in their 2008-09 campaigns. The men and women have combined for a 10-2 record in the early going, gaining momentum and confidence for conference play which begins in January. Over Thanksgiving, the Stags played two games in the David Wells Classic, winning a close game over Willamette 71-69, then beating up Oberlin 67-60. 

Next up for the Stags was the 61st Lee Fulmer Tournament, hosted at Redlands. The tournament featured 8 teams, and is the oldest of its kind on the West Coast. The Stags took down Southwestern College 75-48 in their opener on Thursday. Next, the men beat Whitworth 73-68 to advance to the finals. 

In the finale, Chris Blees (CMC SO) went off, dropping 35 points and dishing out 6 dimes. The Stags took control during the opening of the second half, building up a 22 point lead. Whitman got hot and climbed back, knocking down shots and free throws to close the lead to 1 point. Tejas Gala (CMC SR) then sank two short range shots and the Stags held on for a 79-78 win. 

The Stags’ win was the 3rd Fulmer Tournament win in their history, and their first since 1986. Blees was named Tournament MVP, and Gala made the All-Tournament Team. Conner Faught (CMC JR) added 41 points in the three games, and Austin Soldner (CMC SR) tallied 15 points and 22 boards. 

The Athenas have matched the Stags excellent early-season form. The Athenas went 1-1 during the David Wells Classic, beating Southwestern College and losing to UC Santa Cruz. Since that weekend, the women have won three games convincingly. The Athenas took down La Sierra 59-55 last week, led by Cameron Hanson (CMC JR) and Grace Beck (CMC FR). 

Over Thanksgiving, the Athenas traveled Georgia to play in the Smart Women Sweat Classic, hosted by Agnes Scott and Spelman. In their opener, the ladies defeated Agnes Scott 54-45. The next day, the Athenas crushed Bennett College 62-44. The Athenas were led during the weekend by Beck, who totaled 19 points and 13 boards, and Sasha Goldkorn (CMC SR), who tallied 22 and 10.

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