Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jackets' Season Ends in Sweet Sixteen....

Maybe it was just too much to ask.  It was a Herculean assignment, to be sure, with the NCAA Division III Committee having Randolph-Macon travel not once, not twice, but three times in 14 days to Bronx, New York (330 miles one-way), Worcester, Massachusetts (494 miles), then Amherst, Massachusetts (485 miles) to make its way to Salem and the Elite Eight.

They almost pulled it off.

Twenty minutes of rough basketball would make the difference, as the "Lord Jeffs", the #2 ranked team in the nation in Division III coming into the Tournament, scoring a mind-boggling 58 points in the first half on a team that didn't give up 58 points in 11 games during the year, en route to a 93-76 win, sending Amherst to Salem.

Randolph-Macon finishes the season with a 21-10 record playing arguably the toughest schedule in school history. Andre Simon led the Jackets in scoring with 20 points, while senior Lamar Giggetts played his final game in black and yellow, adding 18.  Connor Sullivan added 16 while Marcus Badger had 10.

Dylan Cole, Hanover High School graduate and the other senior on the roster, saw his first playing time in the NCAA Tournament late in the second half.  He had been out since suffering an ankle injury at the ODAC Tournament three weeks ago.

With Simon, Sullivan, Badger, and the likes of Joe Hassell, Trent Walker, Chris Hamilton and Akeem Holmes returning, the 2013-14 Yellow Jackets will, again, be a force to be reckoned with in the ODAC and beyond.

For their sake, though, we hope "The Road To Salem" next year isn't nearly 1,550 miles long.

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