By: Jim Hayes
The Volunteer State Community College men’s basketball team scored a 98-95 win over the Bethel University Wildcat junior varsity team Nov. 5, before losing to the Vincennes University Trailblazers, 98-38 the next night.
The Trailblazers held the Pioneer guard George Stanberry to 20 points one night after he dropped 38 on Bethel. No other Vol State player had more than four points against Vincennes.
“We got beat by a top-five team in the country,” said head coach Rusty Melvin. “They’re stronger, faster, they are well coached, and last year were 33-2 and finished third in the national tournament.”
“Everyone of them rebounds well,” said Melvin. “They had 28 offensive rebounds.”
“They took us out of our offense,” said Melvin. “It’s a learning experience.”
The Pioneers will face Northeast Mississippi Community College at 7:30 p.m. in the Pickel Fieldhouse before opening conference play with Columbia State Community College at 5:30 p.m. Friday night at home as well.
On Monday against Bethel, the Pioneers had a much more balanced scoring attack. In addition to Stanberry’s 38, Tim Goodrich scored 11 while Kevin Rimmer and Devlin Chapman contributed eight each.
“Well, we won,” said Melvin “It’s important that we learn to play at the end of the game and hang on to win one.”
Vol State had sprinted out to a 62-42 lead at the end of the first half before the Wildcats clawed their way back into the game.
“I think in the second half, we were able to get easy buckets, two on one and three on two,” said Bethel head coach Tyler Schmidt. “Stanberry is a great player and we were going to make him beat us.”
“They capitalized on our turnovers and we didn’t talk to each other out there,” said Stanberry of the second half collapse. “We have to be better at that.”
In the end, it was a basket by Rimmer with 13.4 seconds left in the game followed by the Pioneers denying the Wildcats a final shot that sealed the 98-95 win for Vol State.