News Vargos School Record 47 Helps Top Csm - Garrett College
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Campus News

March 12th, 2024

Vargo's school-record 47 helps top CSM

Short-handed Garrett men use victory to clinch winning season

Alex Vargo and the Garrett College men's basketball team both finished the 2023-24 season on a high note.

Vargo scored a school-record 47 points and the short-handed Lakers knocked off the College of Southern Maryland, 113-95, on February 27th to clinch a winning season. Combined with its preceding victory over Chesapeake College, the Lakers ended the year by upsetting a pair of playoff-bound opponents.

"It was a good way to end it," said GC head coach Matt McCullough, whose team played both games without injured starters Nate Washington and Stephen Robinson. "Finishing on a high note was pretty important for us. It showed what we could do."

GC (15-14 overall, 6-7 region) tied Potomac State College of West Virginia University (10-15, 6-7) and Anne Arundel Community College (9-15, 6-7) for the eighth and final NJCAA Division II Region 20 playoff berth. Potomac State won the head-to-head tiebreaker with region wins over GC and Anne Arundel.

While the Lakers just missed out on a post-season berth, Vargo's record-breaking performance was a suitable exclamation point to GC's season. Vargo made 18-of-30 shots from the field, including 5-of-9 from the 3-point line, and sank 6-of-7 free throws.

"He was very efficient and played really well," McCullough said of Vargo, who averaged 26.7 points-per-game this season. "He did everything we needed – and not just scoring-wise."

Vargo – whose 47 points broke a record set by Jerome Adams during the 1997-98 season – collected seven rebounds, passed out four assists, and came up with two steals.

Vargo also got plenty of help from his teammates as Gavin Jackson scored 25 points, Rob Smith posted a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds, six assists), and Justyn Boyd contributed 10 points off the bench. K'Shawn Scott had eight points and a team-high 13 rebounds for the Lakers, who also received eight points from Kydale Staten.

Garrett, which shot nearly 54 percent from the field and 47 percent from the 3-point line, built a 59-51 halftime lead. CSM (17-11, 9-4) had six double-figure scorers, led by Nhine Wills' 20 points and game-high 14 rebounds, but had no answer for Vargo's record-breaking performance.

McCullough believes the Lakers "have potentially a good core coming back." He expects Jackson, Scott, and Robinson at a minimum to all return next season.

"Those three guys are the core of what we have coming back," said McCullough. "Justyn [Boyd] and Kydale [Staten] also have an opportunity to come back if that's an opportunity they want to pursue."

McCullough has amassed a 52-37 overall record in three seasons, but acknowledged "this has been the hardest of the three years with the adversity we faced."

‘We've had injuries, and we had a couple of guys who didn't get it done in the classroom in the first semester. It was kind of a roller-coaster season," said McCullough.

"But we adjusted and adapted and our system got better," McCullough continued. "We found some things that worked those last couple of games. And our players never quit. It would have been easy at some points to fold, but they refused to do that."

Notes: Vargo finished the season scoring 30 points or more nine times in 23 games played. He also topped 40 points three times, all in his last seven games. The Wheeling, WV native averaged 32.7 points-per-game over those last seven games.