Monday, March 10, 2008

Wildcats go dancing for third straight year, 65-49

For anyone (including myself) who thought that this game would not be as emotional tonight because of all the circumstances which made it different from the first two championships, we were wrong.

The Wildcats marched into the NCAA Tournament with power in the paint, timely shooting from the perimeter and relentless defense, beating Elon 65-49.

Elon ran their gameplan nearly to perfection as they limited Davidson's open looks from the perimeter and played the shot clock down to the wire to keep the Wildcats from getting up and down the court. TJ Douglas was huge for the Phoenix as he hit six big threes from the perimeter.

But the Wildcats maintained their lead once again through defense and rebounding.

"Their defense is extremely underrated and their rebounding is phenomenal," said Elon coach Ernie Nestor. The Wildcats set new SoCon Tournament records for fewest points and field goals allowed.

"I know it's cliche but defense still wins championships," said Jason Richards. "It certainly won it this year."

Thomas Sander was named the Tournament Second Team while Jason Richards and Stephen Curry made first team. Curry was unanimously selected as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Sander finished off the Southern Conference with an impressive 11-point, 6-rebound performance. The senior forward overcame foul trouble to step up big for the second straight game in the tournament.

Curry pulled down five rebounds of his own and hit four threes en route to yet another 20-point performance. His play was relentless on both ends of the floor as he forced loose balls, directed his teammates with endless instruction and hit the big shots when the Phoenix pulled it close over and over again.

The Wildcats won their 22nd straight game in a row and 46th out of their last 47 conference games. Davidson did what teams like VCU, South Alabama and Gonzaga could not.

"As a coach, this is the most challenging, taxing, trying yet exhilirating experience you can have," said Coach Bob McKillop.

When CBS starts making their Wildcat features and writing their scripts, Richards and Curry will get their deserved ten-fold. But the story of this Southern Conference tournament was actually told in the minutes and play of Steven Rossiter, Bryant Barr, Andrew Lovedale, Thomas Sander, Boris Meno, Max Paulhus Gosselin, Will Archambault, Brendan McKillop, Can Civi, Dan Nelms and Mike Schmitt.

This entire team achieved perfection. That thing so fleeting and often unattainable to even the most talented and hard-working. These Wildcats did it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great story, but you failed to write about how the Wildcats get penalized for their clean play when the refs decide not to call fouls. The Wildcats got mugged tonight over and over, the officials did not call the very obvious fouls,and yet still overcame the very poor officiating for which the Southern Conference is becoming famous (infamous).