|Men's Basketball Season Comes to a Close
Feb. 9–16 marked the final week of the Manchester University men’s basketball season. The team displayed determination and focus in home games against Transylvania and Earlham, as well as at an away match up against Anderson.
The first game of the week-long series on Saturday, Feb. 9, resulted in a Spartan loss to Transylvania. “Our lone victory of the conference season was at Transylvania earlier in the year,” said Head Coach Brad Nadborne. “I think they came up here with a bit of revenge. We were a little flat right from the start, and they kind of jumped on us so we were never able to really get going. It was just a tough day for us.”
Although defeat is never easy, Nadborne helped boost the team’s spirits by having former Spartan basketball players Jordan Moss and Mitch Schaefer give the men a pep talk during practice on Monday, Feb. 11. “They talked from the heart about how when they were younger players the program didn’t have a lot of wins, and by the time they graduated they were one of the best teams in the nation,” Nadborne said. “It was parables you hear every day, but I think the guys needed to hear them because when you’re not seeing success sometimes doubt can creep into your mind. These guys helped them believe that there’s a reward to all of this hard work even though it’s hard to see right now.”
After another practice on Tuesday, the Spartan men travelled to their next game at Anderson University on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Despite another loss, personal victories were claimed. “We really came out and played hard all 40 minutes,” said sophomore guard Nate Feitshans. “We didn't win, but we talked about how it was a stepping stone that we played hard for the entire duration and never took a play off.”
Nadborne reinforced Feitshans’s sentiments. “It ended up being a five-point game, but man, we played well,” he said. “I’m just really proud of them. If you would have been in the locker room after the game, they weren’t hanging their heads or giving off bad attitudes, but it was like ‘Hey, we just played our hearts out, didn’t win, and we feel bad about that, but we are doing good things.’ It’s all positive in my mind. We’re just not getting the wins as an affirmation of what the hard work is all about.”
The final game of the season was played at the PERC on Saturday, Feb. 16, against Earlham. Although the Spartan men were hoping to send senior forward David House out with a win, a mere two points stood between a triumph over the Quakers.
Even with the season ending on a loss, the final week of competition encompassed positive actions and attitudes that strengthened the already solid bonds between the teammates. “The great thing about this team is that even though we have struggled in the win and loss columns, we have never quit,” Feitshans said. “The team as a whole has stuck together through the entire season, and I believe that speaks highly of the character of our players. I know that even though the season has ended, we will be in the gym and weight room looking to improve both as individual players and as a team for next season.”