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Campus News

December 19th, 2023

Laker men down Catamounts, 88-72

GC closes Western Maryland Classic with impressive win

laker men

Laker Stephen Robinson (20) puts up a shot while Kellen Tyson (21) defends in Garrett College's 88-72 men's basketball win over Potomac State College of West Virginia University Saturday night. Also pictured are Laker David Zwack (11) and Catamounts Gavin Barkley (10) and Daniel Charlot (25).

The Garrett College men's basketball team climaxed the three-day Western Maryland Classic Saturday night by beating Potomac State College of West Virginia University, 88-72.

"It always means a little bit more when you're playing Allegany [College of Maryland] or Potomac State," said GC head coach Matt McCullough. "We tend to know each other pretty well, and they're always tough games."

The latest renewal of the GC-PSC rivalry capped three days that featured 11 high school basketball contests and two college games. Allegany College of Maryland defeated Hagerstown Community College, 94-80, in the other college contest.

"All the reviews from the teams and the community who supported the event were off the chart," said McCullough. "The efforts by our staff is what allowed that to happen. A lot of people gave a lot of time to make sure it ran smoothly."

The high school component featured 15 teams, including three teams ranked in the ESPN Top 25 national high school rankings. Three local teams – Southern Garrett's boys' and girls' teams, along with Northern Garrett's boys' team – were among the participating squads.

McCullough noted the contributions of tournament organizer Dan Prete – the former Bishop Walsh head coach – along with GC athletics directors Eric Hallenbeck and Elizabeth Show, as well as all of the coaches of the other Laker teams.

GC's win over Potomac State allowed the Lakers (7-7 overall, 4-4 Region 20) to get back to .500 both overall and in the region. McCullough noted his team's record was a bit deceptive.

"We've had a bunch of close losses – five losses by 12 points," observed McCullough. "We could just as easily be 11-3 or 10-4. We have a lot of potential to get back in the second semester and really get things going."

Jhaiden Wilson got the Lakers going against PSC, scoring a game-high 23 points and dishing out four assists, while K'Shawn Scott had 18 points and 14 rebounds. The Lakers took the lead for good, 19-17, on a 3-pointer by Gavin Jackson midway through the first half.

Jackson's trey ignited a 29-13 run that Wilson capped with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer as the Lakers built a 45-30 halftime cushion.

Jackson finished with 15 points off the bench, Nate Washington (six assists, four rebounds) added 12 points, and Antwan Gross pulled down 12 rebounds while scoring seven points.

Camren Wilkes led PSC (6-6, 5-5) with 17 points.

GC won despite missing two starters as Rob Smith sat out with an injury and Alex Vargo was held out due to illness. McCullough noted the slew of injuries the Lakers have had to contend with has been an issue the first half of the season.

"I thought this semester, on and off the court, was challenging," said McCullough. "Our schedule was difficult. We were on the road a lot, and we've had guys being out of practice and games for a variety of reasons."

McCullough praised Scott and Jackson for the spark they each provided.

"K'Shawn really stepped up," said McCullough. "He provided us more scoring than we're used to getting from him. He gave great effort – offensive and defensive rebounds, made a lot of hustle plays.

"Gavin was another guy who stepped up and hit some big-time shots for us," added McCullough.

McCullough said the timing of the PSC win – coming in the last game of the fall semester schedule – was fortuitous.

"It's good momentum going into the break," he said. "The last couple of weeks we've made a lot of progress. We finally closed the game right on Saturday. We're starting to gain some experience and some understanding of what it takes and how to win in this region."