College notebook: After the holidays, the basketball teams get back on the floor
Few college basketball teams in the area have got off to such a strong start as the men’s program at the University of Maine at Farmington.
The Beavers jumped into the holiday break 6-2 — with a 2-0 record in North Atlantic Conference play — their only losses coming to Division I Maine in the Premier League. season opener on November 12, and an 86-81 overtime loss to Colby College in Waterville on December 8. After a three-week hiatus between games, UMF returns to the field Monday at Lasell University in Auburndale, Massachusetts. It’s the first of a four-game road series, which will include a trip to New York (to face Cazenovia and SUNY Poly) and Vermont (Northern Vermont-Lyndon).
UMF head coach Sam Leal said he’s not worried about the team picking up a pace and resuming a grueling schedule.
“We have three games a week for four (weeks) in a row, so it’s going to be tough,” Leal said. “(The break) doesn’t concern me, because these guys care about their teammates. They stay ready during the break… I think the winter break is a time when a team can improve slightly or get worse. I’m very proud and confident that these guys are working to improve a bit.
UMF currently leads the NAC in scoring, averaging 93.1 points per game. A major contributor to point production is guard Terion Moss, who is currently third in the nation among Division III schools, averaging 29.1 points per game. Moss is also seventh in the nation in 3-point percentage, with a 50.8% completion rate.
Holding down the post was center Jack Kane, fourth in the NAC in points (17.8 ppg) and conference leader in rebounds (10.8 per game) and field goal percentage (65.3) . He also averages three blocks per game, second best in the NAC.
“I think he’s the best defensive player in New England,” Leal said. “Everything we get on the offensive side (from Kane) is a bonus. He is our anchor, he protects the paint and he allows our guards to be very aggressive. He’s just such a good defensive player and he’s so consistent. »
Thomas College is also back on the ground next week, which entered the break with a 3-4 record (0-1 NAC), its last game a 90-58 victory over the University of Maine in Augusta on December 8. have four players averaging more than 10 points per game, led by guard Demitris Webster (11.6 points per game) followed by Sawyer Deprey (11.4). Parker Desjardins, a Forest Hills graduate, is the team’s third-highest scorer, averaging 11.1 points per game.
Colby returns Sunday against Maine Maritime Academy. The Mules are currently fourth in the New England Small College Athletic Conference standings with a 6-4 record. Noah Tyson is averaging 14.4 points and 7.8 rebounds for Colby. Matt Hanna (13.1 ppg) and Jack Lawson (12.5 ppg) round out Colby’s tally.
WBU is already halfway through its schedule and in an interesting situation. The Moose currently own a 3-12 overall record, but are 3-2 in Yankee Small College Conference play, which puts them third in the standings. Elijah Smith is averaging 14.5 points per game for the Moose, followed by Trevor Beals (10.9 points per game).
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Colby was the top women’s basketball program in the region over the holiday season. The Mules are 8-1 overall and will start the NESCAC game against Bates College on Tuesday night in Waterville.
What could stand out the most for the Mules in their first nine games is their defense. As a unit, Colby is ranked third in NESCAC, allowing 51.7 points per game. Only Amherst (46 ppg) and Bowdoin (51.5 ppg) held teams to lower numbers.
Caroline Smith leads the Mules offensively, averaging 11.7 points per game, and is tied with Chiamaka Ubani for the team lead in rebounds (5.3 per game).
UMaine-Farmington got off to a successful start under interim coach Nate Carson. The Beavers are 6-4 (1-1 NAC) and are currently third in the NAC East Division behind Maine Maritime and Husson. Guard Alex Bessey leads the WMU in scoring (12.7 ppg), followed by Page Brown (10.9 ppg). Messalonskee grad McKenna Brodeur is averaging 9.5 points per game and leading the team in rebounding (6.4 per game).
Fellow NAC rival Thomas College is off to a rocky start with a young roster, starting the year 1-8 (0-1 NAC). Kaylee Ravagli leads the Terriers (13.7 points per game), followed by Chantel Ouellette (10.7 points per game).
WBU hit the holiday break on a high note, with a four-game winning streak that included a 78-66 win over rival Central Maine Community College on Dec. 6. The Moose, with a 7-4 record (5-1 YSCC) are currently second in the conference standings.
Madeline Suhr is averaging a double-double (18.7 points, 10.4 rebounds) per game for the Moose. Hope Butler also averages 11 points per game for WBU.
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Jake Umberhind’s football career will continue next fall.
Umberhind, one of the state’s top linemen and a Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale standout, announced on his Twitter page this week that he will be attending Division III Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts l next fall. Division III programs do not provide athletic scholarships.
Umberhind said he’s been in talks with the Buccaneers since last fall.
“They were really impressed with my film and my ratings,” Umberhind said. “I have been in close contact with them (since).”
Umberhind was a key member of a Ramblers team that finished 7-2, making its first state championship appearance since 2008. The Ramblers fell 19-16 to Foxcroft Academy in the Class D title game on November 19 at Cameron Stadium in Bangor.
“My senior season has been amazing,” Umberhind said. “Everyone was working 100% of the time. It was just great that everyone was a brother and fought together. Personally, I thought, offensively, I was really locked in. I knew the games. I made sure to take one, two, maybe three players out every game. My defense was just as good.
The Buccaneers are members of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). Massachusetts Maritime finished with a 4-6 record last season, sixth in the MASCAC standings.
Much more than hitting the grill, Umberhind is excited to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a marine engineer.
“It’s been my dream since second grade, really,” Umberhind said. “My dad is a marine engineer for (Bath Iron Works) and I always wanted to take his place and become an engineer. I have always looked forward to any opportunity with engineering. Now I’m finally here, making my decision for Mass. Maritime. This is a dream.”
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