After an energetic season and making it all the way to the semifinals, the New Paltz Men’s Basketball Teams’ season has come to an end. On Friday, Feb. 25, the Hawks took to the court in Oswego, but were overpowered by the Lakers 94-60.
First-year guard Alex Krupinski said going into semis was an exciting feeling.
“We were the only in-conference team to have beaten Oswego this year, so we knew what we had to do to win,” Krupinski said. “We watched a lot of film on them and tried to force them to their weaknesses.”
Oswego asserted their dominance early by earning the first six points of the game. One Laker in particular, Jeremiah Sparks, used the fast break to get ahead of Hawks’ defense. Second-year forward Lucas Seyoum broke up Oswego’s scoring with a layup and 3-pointer, but Oswego was diligent and kept New Paltz on their toes.
With about seven minutes left in the first half, the Lakers went on a scoring streak that did not get broken until there was about a minute left when third-year guard/forward Brandon Scott made a layup in the paint. The score was still 48-22, Oswego. New Paltz would have to put in serious work the next half.
And they did. The second half saw efforts from second-year guard Rylan Blondo and second-year guard/forward Solomon Neuhaus, making 3-pointers, layups and even dunks. Seyoum and Scott capitalized off of Oswego fouls. New Paltz losing the match was not by a lack of effort; Oswego was simply having a better game.
“Oswego is a great defensive team that plays with 100% effort for the full 40 minutes,” Krupinski said. “They are very well coached and disciplined, and don’t make many mistakes to capitalize on. You pretty much have to play a near perfect game to break teams like that.”
As the clock winded down, some of the first-years on the team got the opportunity to play, and even score. Guards Isiah Folk, Luca Sann and Krupinski all participated, as well as guard/forward Matt McCabe. In the end, it just wasn’t enough.
“Even though we didn’t get the result that we wanted, going up there and scoring was still something I will not forget,” Krupinski said.
On the bright side, even though Oswego is historically a difficult team for the Hawks, they are beatable. Just this season, a few weeks ago, New Paltz overpowered them at home. On the downside, we will have to wait about a year to see this team in action again — and see if they avenge themselves.
“We have a young team and are returning most of our guys. We are only going to get better and more consistent. We’re going to be on everyone’s radar next year, and we are going to prove that our program belongs with the rest of the SUNYAC powerhouses,” Krupinski said.
Making it to the semi-finals in the SUNYAC Tournament is always something to be proud of. Until next time, Hawks.