The men’s basketball teams ended the 2021 season at home with their final overall record at 10-12.
The Gorillas lost the last two games of the season against Emporia State (57-78) on Thursday, Feb. 25 and Newman (77-79) on Saturday, Feb. 27.
“Well, we didn’t play well especially against Emporia State,” said Head Coach Kim Anderson. “I thought early in the game we had an opportunity to maybe take a little bit of a lead. They were missing shots early, but we ended up not taking advantage of that and then they hit back in the game and beat us, rather easily… The Newman game was a little bit of the opposite. We built a lead early in the second half of 11 points and then we let them get back in the game late and they made a basket right toward the end of the game and they came away with the victory. Both games I think we had opportunities; we just didn’t take advantage of them.”
Emporia built a 42-27 halftime lead against the Gorillas and carried that lead to victory.
“I think we struggled a little bit… in both those games and we couldn’t quite get over the hump to help us win the game..,” said Martin Vogts, junior in physical education.
Against Newman, Vogts led the Gorillas with 16 points, followed by Cameron Huefner, freshman in psychology, with 15.
“I guess (against) Emporia I think we weren’t as aggressive as we were against Newman,” Huefner said. “Against Newman, … we just couldn’t execute at the end and sort of take that lead in the second half.”
The Gorillas will not advance to the postseason tournament this year.
“(We had a) great bunch of guys (who) worked extremely hard but I think our biggest problem was consistence,” Anderson said. “…I think we’d play well in games for a while and then we might struggle for a while or we might play a great game and then the next game not play very well… So, hopefully we can do a lot of work in the off season and get better. Most of these guys will return next year… Let’s hope we can do a better job finishing games next year.”
Throughout the season, the team has worked hard, according to Huefner.
“…Just the effort (stood to me), I guess,” Huefner said. “We come to practice every day and always play our hearts all, compete all the time. Teammates, as well, always being there for each other, trying to pick each other up even when we’re down. Just the friendships and the competitiveness and the effort that we all put in throughout the season.”
The friendships between team members stands out to Vogts as a highlight of the season.
“…We always compete to work hard and fight and stay together as a team, and a brotherhood, and a family, and continue to encourage each other and be supportive of each other every chance we got,” Vogts said.