Drive for five

 

The men’s basketball team has had a long and wild ride this season, making their way to the No. 2 seed position and awaiting the American East championship game on March 10. This will be the Catamounts’ seventh championship appearance in the past 10 years.

     UVM will face up against the top-seeded Stony Brook in a game that will be sure to keep its viewers on the edge of their seats. For the Catamounts, this game is personal, as Stony Brook was the team to end their season last year and the one to beat the Cats in their first matchup together this season.

    Coming off a hot weekend of back-to-back playoff wins, the Catamounts are ready to face up against their competition.

“Obviously it was a hard fought weekend. It was an exciting weekend, but right now we have to put that behind us and focus on what’s next,” said senior captain Matt Glass.  

      “I thought this weekend really prepared us for what we’re going to experience on Saturday,” said head coach John Becker.  

As a new addition to this season’s coaching staff, Becker has made all the difference in his team’s performance.  

      “Coach Becker always stresses playing hard, playing smart and having fun, and if we can do those three things, then the rest will take care of itself,” said sophomore Luke Apfeld.

    Rested and fired up, these players are ready to dominate the court come Saturday. It also helps that this team of 13 strong is pretty tight knit off the court as well as on. 

“Whenever you have a group of guys that likes to be around each other, that makes life and basketball so much easier,” said Apfeld.

     While this young team may not have the most experience, they make up for it in talent. Being young, the players need to be able to mature both together and as individuals, and the Catamounts have appeared to do exactly that in the short time they’ve had together this season.

The championship will take place at 11 a.m. in Stony Brook, yet in a different arena than that which the Cats lost in when they last visited the Seawolves.

The winner of the championship game will be sent to the NCAA tournament, better known as March Madness.