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Spartans start 2018 strong

Terence Shelby Jr.
Terence Shelby Jr.

WEST BURLINGTON – The Southwestern men’s basketball team starting 2018 with a bang, posting an 80-69 win Tuesday over Southeastern Community College, a program that was ranked No. 20 in NJCAA Division 1.

Lorensen and his team knew where they wanted to attack the Blackhawks and put that gameplan into action, opening the new year with a convincing win over what is now a 16-3 squad.

“We knew we were going to have a tough matchup but I also think we had some quiet confidence about ourselves being able to go down there and make some things happen,” Lorensen said.

The Spartans used their speed to create mismatches with some of Southeastern’s bigger, less agile players, forcing them to the perimeter to defend and keeping them away from the glass on offense.

Terence Shelby Jr. led the Spartans with a double-double, scoring 18 points on four 3-pointers and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Right behind Shelby Jr. was D’Marqueyon Whittington who scored 16 points in just his fifth game for the Spartans.

Whittington was unable to play early in the season due to eligibility issues, but has impressed Lorensen and his coaching staff even before he started seeing live game action.

“We knew it was going to take some time for him to get going,” said Lorensen. “But we’ve seen him do this consistently on the practice floor and we felt that at some point it would happen in game action.” ... Then last night was kind of his breaking out party.”

Other impactful performances came from the usual suspects. Khallid Edwards out up 14 points and nine assists while playing in all 40 minutes of the game.

Lorensen noted that he’s picked up a few ideas on how to use Edwards and Alijah Thomas from Northwest Missouri State coach Ben McCollum and their use of guard Justin Pitts.

“I’ve kind of taking a page out of the playbook from Northwest Missouri State,” said Lorensen. “Having talked to coach McCollum about a few things over the summer. We knew we weren’t going to be quite as deep this year and we’re comfortable and willing to log heavy minutes with Khallid and Alijah if they need to.”

Thomas completed the contest with eight points, two assists and three steals.

SWCC and Southeastern got started slow early as Lorensen said the opening ten minutes were ugly and turnover ridden.

Chad Moran knocked down 6 of his 8 shots from the floor, scoring 15 points for the Spartans.

SWCC knew it had to contain many different elements of the Blackhawk starting lineup and into their bench.

Southeastern’s starters combined for just 21 points, but the Blackhawks got production from their pieces off the pine.

Patrick Jackson, an on and off starter, scored 21 points for Southeastern coming off the bench, a player that Lorensen knew was as capable as anyone in the starting lineup.

“When I watched them in a scouting situation they didn’t really have much gain or loss when one of the two was in the game,” said Lorensen referring to the Blackhawks guard play.

UP NEXT – The Spartans (12-3) host conference opponent Iowa Lakes Community College (10-5) on Saturday at 3 p.m.

“Iowa Lakes I feel like they have been one of the elite teams in our conference the last couple of years,” said Lorensen. “Long story short, what makes them a really good team is they can shoot the basketball. Anybody on their team can knock down a shot from anywhere at anytime.”

SWCC’s head coach noted that their win-loss record is a little misleading due to the strength of opponents they scheduled early on in the season.

Running score by half

SWCC – 37 80

SECC – 33 69

SWCC (FG FT PTS) – Totals – 27 11-15 80. Terence Shelby Jr. 6 2-2 18, D’Marqueyon Whittington 4 4-4 16, Chad Moran 6 2-3 15, Khallid Edwards 5 0-0 14, Alijah Thomas 2 3-4 8, Rasheed Barze 2 0-1 4, Nate Lee 1 0-0 3, Gatdoar Kueth 1 0-1 2. Rebounds – 37 (Shelby Jr. 11, Moran 7, Edwards 4, Thomas 3, Kueth 3, Lee 2, Barze 2). Assists – 20 (Edwards 9, Shelby Jr. 3, Thomas 2, Whittington 2, Moran 1, Kueth 1, Lee 1, Barze 1). Steals – 7 (Thomas 3, Shelby Jr. 2, Kueth 1, Barze 1). Blocks – 3 (Kueth 2, Thomas 1). Team fouls – 20. Fouled out – Moran, Kueth.

SECC (FG FT PTS) – Totals – 25 15-20 69. Patrick Jackson 8 3-4 21, Kourtney Ware 4 7-7 15, DeAndre Barton 4 0-1 9, Martin Lakovic 3 1-2 7, Alier Riak 3 0-0 7, Neshua Wise 1 2-2 4, Rodney Johnson 1 2-4 4, Brandon Miller 1 0-0 2. Team fouls – 19. Fouled out – None.

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