Close point margins define past three games for Blue Jays

Kelly Enterline January 31, 2013 0

It was a rough night for the Elizabethtown College men’s basketball team at an away game against Messiah College on Wednesday, which left the Blue Jays with a second straight defeat of 62-52.
Etown started off with a good first half, keeping the score close and tied with Messiah. With two and a half minutes remaining in the first quarter, sophomore Will Schlosser was able to lead the Jays 25-21 thanks to his layup and two sets of foul shots. Unfortunately, the Falcons came back at the last minute to lead 28-25, but the Jays weren’t giving up. Sophomore Lee Eckert had a great steal and made a layup while also being fouled by the opposing team with one second remaining on the clock. The Jays came back to go into half time tied 28-28.
Head Coach Bob Schlosser discussed his expectations for the team playing Wednesday night. “We’re confident we can go and win,” Coach Schlosser said. “The guys will be focused and with that it will be a winnable game.”
During the second half, the Jays started strong with a seven point lead 36-29 from junior Joe Schwalm’s layup and senior Ben Cable’s back-to-back three-pointers. Ben Cable, who has been on the team since his first year, talked about what they’ve been able to improve upon from previous games. “We definitely shoot better from the field and the foul line,” Cable said. “It’s something we’ve been struggling with the last couple of games, but I think we’ll all be ready to give it everything we got.”
The Jays were able to maintain the lead with their layups and foul shots until they reached the eight minute marker. They were unable to make most of their shots in the last seven minutes and they succumbed to multiple turnovers and fouls, allowing Messiah to take a ten-point lead 62-52. Unfortunately, Etown was unable to come back from this, leaving the Blue Jays with a record of 5-12.
With Wednesday’s loss still fresh in their minds, the Blue Jays looked to change their ways as they faced off against the Flying Dutchmen of Lebanon Valley College Saturday afternoon in Thompson Gymnasium. Etown played a successful game against Lebanon Valley with a final winning score of 69-56. Within the first five minutes of the first quarter, the Jays were already at a seven-point lead, 11-4, with the help of senior Joe Renzi’s three-pointer and layups from Schwalm, Cable and junior Andrew Mantz. Will Schlosser was able to keep the lead going with back-to-back three-pointers changing the score to 22-9. With four seconds remaining on the clock, Will Schlosser made another three-point shot and put Etown up 35-24 at halftime.
The Blue Jays had a difficult time with their shots in the start of the second half, allowing the Flying Dutchmen to slowly catch up. Unfortunately, six minutes into the game, Lebanon Valley had gained 13 points, trailing Etown by only three points, 40-37. What almost seemed like another loss for the Jays actually turned out to be a victory. Cable talked about what exactly changed the Jays to help them pull through in the end.
“We had the lead in the second half, which was the case for a lot of our recent games that we’ve lost. But this time, when the lead was all but diminished, senior Tom Cooney huddled us together and delivered the most inspiring, confidence-building speech I have ever heard in my time of playing sports,” Cable said. “We’d like to think we could have pulled out the win without Cooney, but in reality, we definitely couldn’t have.” The Jays finished strong with their constant foul shots, layups, and three-pointers to end with a score of 69-56 and a record of 6-12.
Monday night, the Etown Blue Jays faced another tough opponent in Lancaster Bible College. Schwalm contributed to the team’s close 61-57 win with 18 points. Will Schlosser also played strong offensively, putting up 17 points for the Jays. Etown trailed 29-21 at the half but were able to outscore the Chargers 40-28 in the second half to secure the win.

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