With a few weeks left of play, the North Central men’s basketball team understands the importance of battling through the remainder of the season.
The previous matchups against Crown College, UM-Morris, Martin Luther and Bethany Lutheran were 50-50, allowing four straight wins to come in their final regular season games.
“We control our own destiny so if we win out and run the table, we’ll be ok,” junior captain Joel Cline said.
Cline also thinks, if for the rest of the season, the team takes one game at a time and is all in on that specific night rather than looking forward to another game, they can win. With eyes focused on playoffs, all the teams in the conference are beatable, giving the men the chance to win out and finishing in the top half of the conference.
As far as the season has been going, it was said that their full potential was not reached at the beginning of the season. With basketball being a long season, the men were not discouraged and see the potential to finish strong.
The Rams carry a wide variety of talent this season. But working hard and playing smart is what will bring wins.
“When we buy in defensively and want to get stops, we can get stops,” Cline said, “And when we all work together defensively, we’re a tough team to score against.”
Cline said when the Rams take good, unforced shots that cannot be missed, the offensive weapons can hurt the opposing team.
The Rams do not seem to have one dominant player this year. Multiple players can score 20 points on any given night. This can both benefit and be a danger for the team. Four consistent starters lead the Rams’ offense. Travis Voigt is the highest scorer, averaging 16.6 points per game. C.J. Lewis, Jared High and Joel Cline round out the double-digit scorers, averaging 14.7, 11.3 and 10.9 points respectively.
“Most of the games that we’ve lost are because we’ve hunted individually because we have that talent to score individually,” Cline states. “But the games that we’ve won are the games we’ve collectively hunted together.”
Recognizing each player’s strengths and piecing together talent with hard work will put the Rams where they want to be when the season comes to an end.
Cline encouraged fans to come to the remaining game. “Fan interaction definitely helps, especially when it’s a tight game,” he said.
The Rams will try to end their season on a high note. Their next home games are Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 5:00pm, respectively.