By Mitchel Guy Sports Writer
The Challengers lost 81-67 Wednesday night to the Owens Community College Express. The Express were in third place in the conference coming into this contest. The Challengers did not show up ready to play in this game. Afterwards, Coach Michael Duncan said “I think, right now, we lack leadership.” No one was able to get the team fired up for this critical conference matchup, which could have put the Challengers into second place with a win.
The team was limited to an eight man roster for the game due to the recent suspensions of Isaiah Bennet, Darrell Parker, and Jalen Stewart. The boys looked tired. This may be attributed to the amount of minutes everyone had to play in these last two games to pick up the slack for their missing teammates.
It was a poor shooting night by the team, highlighted by an atrocious 1 for 17 performance by freshman Brett Thomas. However, they were once again strong from deep by shooting 50 percent on 16 3-point attempts .The Challengers could not come up with an answer for Darren Groves, who came off the Owens bench and scored a team-high 25 points.
Challengers point guard Cairo Brown elected not to participate in postgame interviews, clearly frustrated at the team’s dismal performance.
The only bright spot of this game for The Challengers was another strong performance by starter Robert Fomby. He led all scorers with 29 points while securing 14 boards, again proving that he is one of the top players in the conference. He is currently averaging over 21 points a game to go along with nearly 12 rebounds a game in conference play.
The three suspended players returned for the following game against Columbus State. With the line-up at full strength, The Challengers were able to bounce back to win 77-70. The end of the season is nearing and it is important that the boy start clicking before tournament play.
All stats courtesy of OCCAC.org
Robert Fenbers contributed to this report.