MC Scots Basketball Team travels to Averett University for USA South Tournament

After receiving news that they had won the regular season championship, the Maryville College Scots Basketball team traveled to Averett University in hopes of winning the USA South Tournament. After a solid win over Piedmont College (14-12, 8-6) with a final score of 87-69, the Scots would eventually lose in the semifinals to Methodist University (17-11, 9-5).

On Feb. 23, the Scots were set to take on the Piedmont Lions in the first round of the USA South Tournament. The Scots found themselves down 5 at the half due to the 60.0 percent shooting effort from the Lions. Sophomore Dante Hoppa was 3-3 from the floor, leading Maryville in scoring at the half with 8 points. Colt Nokes and Jay Bowyer were next in line with 6 points each.

The second half of play sealed the deal for the Scots as they shot a staggering 70.0 percent from the 3-point line nailing 7 threes. They would go on to shoot  54.0 percent in the second half, outscoring their opponent 50-27.

A late scoring run for MC would help pull away from the Lions and give the Scots the victory with a final score of 87-69. Hoppa topped off his very impressive performance with 21 points, shooting 7-8 from the field including 5 three pointers. Calvin Songster finished with 14 points and 5 assists, and Nokes also tallied up 14 points with a game-high of 8 rebounds.

The Scots went on to play against the Methodist University Monarchs (17-11, 9-5) in the semi-finals.

In a win or go home situation, the Scots went head-to-head with Methodist University on Feb. 24. Methodist beat Greensboro in the first round with a score of 93-75; this effort led them to the semifinal game against Maryville.

Both teams came ready to play from the start as they each shot 58.0 percent from the field in the first half. It was an almost even battle at the half with a score of 44-47. Nokes dominated in the paint and made the most out of his trips to the free throw line shooting 4-4. Nokes would lead all scorers at the half with 14 points. Hoppa hit 3 out of his 4 attempts and finished with 8 points at halftime.

The second half of action, unfortunately, was not one to remember for the Scots. Scoring only 26 points with a 24.2 percent shooting percentage, the Scots would find themselves down 10 late in the half. Methodist jumped out to this lead because of their 54.5 percent shooting effort. Methodist would go on to win the game with a final score of 83-73.

The Scots had an even scoring night as 4 different players recorded double figure points. Nokes led all scorers with 15 points, along with Hoppa adding 13, Tyler Spicer with 12 and Songster with 10.

As the Scots season ends, the team says goodbye to Spicer who played his last game as a Scot in the semifinals.

“It was a tough loss to take. I thought we played hard. We just didn’t make the plays at the end to win the game, and they did,” said Spicer, “However, I thought we had a good season.”

The Scots won 20 games this year which was one of their goals for the season.

“We improved a lot this year, and the future looks bright for the team next year,” said Spicer.

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