For the men’s basketball team having confidence in their ability to play and to execute a victory has been a big factor in their success up to this point in the season.
The Britons are on a six-game win streak (As of Feb. 18) and Andrew Holms, Portage senior, was just named MIAA Player of the Week
With the MIAA tournament starting on Wednesday, the Britons hope to find success in the post season.
“Our team comes together and thrives when our backs are up against the wall,” said Drew Yancey, Lansing senior. “We have confidence that we can win when nobody else does.”
As of Feb. 18, the team stands tied with Hope for second place, posting a 9-3 record in the conference. The team closed off a six-game winning streak with a win over Kalamazoo last Saturday.
“Over this winning streak we are on, we have faced a variety of situations,” said Corey Thelen, Lake Odessa senior. “Right now I feel like we can take on about anything the other team throws at us.”
The MIAA tournament is set to start on Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. With a five-game lead over fourth-ranked Olivet, the team has already secured home court advantage.
“Right now we are just trying to improve every game,” Thelen said. “We’re watching a lot of film and trying to see how we can improve so that we’re playing our best basketball come tournament time.”
With the post season one game away, preparations have begun for a strong finish. Practices have been shortened and focused more on fine tuning weaker aspects of the team’s game.
“Executing our offense is important for us to be ready for the tournament and we’re really concentrating on competing and playing hard on every possession,” Yancey said.
For coach Jody May, executing on offense also means carrying momentum over to the defensive side of the ball.
“We’ve come to the fact that we’re not going to make every shot,” May said. “But when we sit down and play defense, we feed off that, and it generates over to our offense. We play our best when we play our best defense.”
Defensively, the Britons have averaged four points or more over their opponents. Albion has the second best defense in the lead, allowing only 67.7 points per game.
May attributes much of the team’s success to the efforts of the seven seniors who
mentor younger members of the team through practice and games.
“It certainly helps having a veteran group because we haven’t had to change things around a whole lot,” May said. “They (the seniors) know what it takes to get through a season and the MIAA tournament and they have been a big part of our success throughout the course of this season.”