Wittenberg men’s and women’s basketball has concluded in Pam Evans-Smith Arena for the 2016-2017 season. Let’s look back at how our Tigers fared.
This season for men’s basketball began what is being called “The Croci Era.” Matt Croci took on the head coach position for the Tigers, as the last two seasons weren’t the best for our guys. They had a combined 24 wins and 28 losses for the last two seasons.
“The combination of new head coach Matt Croci and having five seniors who had an edge about them coming into the 2016-17 season, we were not going to settle for another mediocre season,” Nathan Wahle, assistant men’s basketball coach, said. “That edge carried this team to a 17-8 regular season record, which was a three win improvement over last year. Not only did seniors Shane Edwards, Connor Hartnett, Landon Hormann, Cody Phillippi and Jaelin Williams bring about a short-term change in success to the program this year, but the impact they made on the young returning players will be seen in the years to come.”
In the last few games, the Tigers battled it out with Hiram College and Ohio Wesleyan University. In the quarterfinals, Wittenberg beat Hiram 90-44 at home. Then for the semifinals, they hit the road and took on The Battling Bishops. After a hard fought battle, the Tigers fell 68-77, ending a wonderful season of 18 wins and 9 losses for the team.
The women’s basketball team played a total of 26 games this season with interim head coach Kelly Mahlum leading the charge. With the team’s three game winning streak in January, the Tigers rounded out the season with 10 wins and 16 losses. This season, the women’s team averaged 55 points a game and were led this season by seniors Riley McDonald, Michelle Brunswick, Madison Linn and Bobbie Clayton.
On Feb. 21, the Tigers took on Kenyon College in the quarterfinals. This was, sadly, the last game for the Tigers, but, the team went down fighting. The team played defensively until the very last minute, as Haley Dannemiller, ‘18, came out and made shots in an attempt to close the gap between the Tigers and the Lords, followed by a three-point shot by Hannah Weaver, ‘19. As the game came to a close, the team fell 46-61 to Kenyon.
All of us here at Wittenberg wish the graduating seniors luck in all of their future endeavors. We can’t wait to see what the incoming freshman class and all of our returning Tigers have in store for us next season.