Playoffs bring men’s dream season to an end

By Ryan Chell, Sports Co-Editor

It has been a few emotional weeks since the McDaniel men’s basketball team were trying to make and break history on February 27 as they faced Centennial Conference opponent Dickinson in the first round of the playoffs.

The fourth-seeded Green Terror, making their first playoff appearance since 1995, came in with a 15-10 record and faced off against five-seed Dickinson, who posted a 13-11 record coming into the night. Coach Kevin Curley had the team going for their first playoff win since John F. Kennedy was president back in 1961.
Unfortunately, a valiant first-half performance by Dickinson, especially guard Kizhmar Grell’s 21 points, put the Terror out of position to advance to the second round of the playoffs as they fell 89-80. The Terror were down 45-30 at halftime, but junior guard T.J. Odunlami’s performance in the second half lifted his team to as close as eight points, but by then it was too late.

“It was a tough game,” Curley said. “We battled back; we kept our heads up…Dickinson just had a great start.”

Junior Brad Wiley agreed with Curley.

“They showed a lot of heart, but at the end of the day they did not score enough to win,” Wiley said.

This marked the last game for many Terror seniors including key players Chris Prior and Brett Foelber. Both were emotional on the sidelines after their valiant effort in the second half came to an end.

“It was nice to get here,” Prior said. “It would have been nicer to win it though.”

Curley said the exact opposite, and had more than enough praise to throw toward his seniors.

“They should be proud of the fact that we got here, that we won 15 games this year, and they put us on the map this year,” Curley said. “I know they are disappointed, but it is another experience for them.”

The season ended with their first winning season since 1985, and its most wins since 1982.

The team was without junior forward Chad Arrington, who it was announced the day before that he was suspended for violation of team rules. His presence was greatly missed in the game, as McDaniel was out-rebounded by Dickinson 43-31 in the loss, and Arrington’s 7.1 rebounds per game were good for second on the team. The Carroll County Times reported the suspension, but did not specify what the incident was. Arrington will be allowed to return to the team next season.