The Stags were on the verge of capturing a crucial early-season victory over San Diego Christian College and just needed just one more defensive stop to clinch the win. Luckily for CMS, they have center Shelby Lane CM ’16 patrolling the paint. When the Hawks hoisted up a last-second shot, Lane rose up above the sea of players swarming the area and emphatically smacked the ball—and San Diego Christian’s hopes for victory—away from the hoop.
The play capped off an impressive day for Lane, who recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, to propel the Stags to the dramatic 77-76 victory. The win was even sweeter due to the fact that CMS had to overcome an eight-point halftime deficit to eventually edge out the Hawks.
The team came out firing in the second half as guard Michael Scarlett CM ’18 erupted for 23 points, including three second-half three-pointers, on the merits of his pinpoint shooting accuracy and ability to create shots for himself. In the closing minutes of the game, the two teams traded buckets in their efforts to surmount their opponents. Lane converted a layup to give CMS the one-point lead with under a minute to go. Then, when San Diego Christian retook the lead, forward Nicolas Segura CM ’18 nailed a clutch jump shot to give the Stags the lead for the final time with 12 seconds to go.
The win was a culmination of what has been a successful start to the season for the Stags so far. CMS kicked off the year with a trip to northern California to participate in the Markie Cosca Memorial Invitational hosted by California Maritime Academy. The Stags dropped their first two games against Simpson College and Cal Maritime before triumphing over University of California, Santa Cruz to end the trip on a high note and kick off a six-game winning streak that included sweeps of the competition in both the Hunter Classic in New York and the David Wells Classic in Claremont.
So far this year, both Scarlett and Lane have been key contributors. Lane serves as a powerful presence in the middle of the floor, using his special combination of size and athleticism to be an all-around powerful post presence, snatching rebounds (9.8 RPG), blocking shots (1.9 BPG) and converting layups (15 PPG).
Scarlett, who has emerged as a prolific scoring threat from the shooting guard position, has teamed with guard Joey Malgesini CM ’18, who is third on the team with 12.8 PPG, to form a dynamic scoring duo in the backcourt along with captain guard Jack Earley CM ’16, who provides a steady hand at the point guard position and leads the team with four assists per game.
Filling out the frontcourt is Segura, who transferred to CMC this year from Northwestern, where he was a walk-on with the Division I Wildcats basketball team. Segura has brought a knack for getting to the rim to the Stags. Forward Riley Hall CM ’17, a great rebounder, hustler and teammate, and guard Evan Davis CM ’19, who possesses a great shooting touch, serve as key options off the bench for CMS.
This group of players will look to retain their SCIAC conference crown and return to the NCAA tournament after advancing to the second round last year. The next stop on their journey comes Dec. 29 at Concordia University at 5 p.m.