The Baker Orange

Men’s basketball ends season at William Penn

Story by Levi Blaylock, Writer

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The men’s basketball team saw its season end Saturday on the road in a 92-66 loss at No. 11 William Penn. The Wildcats finished the season 12-17 overall and 8-14 in the Heart.

“For the season to be over hurts more than anything,” junior Javeion Gray said. “I feel like with all of the teams that are still playing in the playoffs there is no reason why we shouldn’t still be playing with them, but our downfall was ourselves.”

This is the third straight losing season for the Wildcats under head coach Sean Dooley. Dooley is 68-82 since his start back in the 2011-12 season.

“Compared to last season I thought this season went well,” sophomore Dan Young said. “It’s frustrating knowing how much potential there is here and we just didn’t execute, but this season was definitely a big stepping stone in the direction of making a culture here, and hopefully next season it can finally become a winning culture.”

Despite the disappointment that comes with a season coming to an end, the Wildcats do have some positives to take into the offseason.

Freshman Clae Martin was named the 2015-2016 Heart of America Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. Martin shot 44 percent from behind the arc this season. With his contribution, the Wildcats were ranked in the top 10 in the NAIA in 3-point field goal percentage, 3-point field goals made per game and total 3-point field goals made.

Gray was also honored with his second-straight Heart All-Conference honor, being named to the honorable mention All-Heart team. Gray led the Wildcats in points, rebounds, assists and steals.

“Overall I feel like the season was a progression from last year’s season, but we’ve still got more improving to do,” Gray said. “In the offseason I think we need to work more on bettering our skills but also gaining a better basketball IQ. We lose games sometimes off us just not thinking and being smart in a certain situations.”

The Wildcats will be able to start working toward next season right away since they did not make the Heart conference tournament.

“I feel like some important keys to having a successful offseason is making sure the work you’re doing is making yourself better, hold yourself accountable, no taking days off and just being dedicated to wanting to get better despite how hard or painful it may be, because if it was easy then everybody would be the best,” Gray said.

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