Barons basketball season begins with close game, last-second defeat


Friday, Nov. 8, the Baron basketball team played a close game against the Washington and Jefferson College Presidents that ended in a slim 66-64 loss. 

The game began as the Presidents scored in the first minute. Scoring went back and forth, and the Barons slowly rode ahead. With six minutes left in the half, the score was 24-22 Barons. 

With four minutes remaining, junior guard Sean Hickey and senior forward Joe Schriner sank two three-pointers, and in the last minute, the Barons successfully prevented an opposing layup with a nice block from junior center Drazen Frankovitch. After a foul by the Presidents and a successful free throw from the Barons, the first half ended at 33-26 Barons. 

The crowd went wild for the halftime show, which featured baton twirlers, one of whom twirled with her baton on fire. 

The visitors quickly tied the game in the second half before pulling ahead to 45-33. The Barons’ dry spell led to a 19-0 run in favor of the visiting team. 

The Barons eventually found their rhythm offensively and started to chip away at the deficit. With nine minutes remaining, the Barons shot a three-pointer to bring the score to 50-44. 

At six minutes, the Barons shot and missed, but junior center Joe Vernau jumped up and tipped it into the basket, firing up the crowd. With five minutes left, the Presidents had a slim lead, 55-52.  

At the two minute mark, the Presidents drilled a three-pointer, and 15 seconds later, the Barons followed with their own three. A timeout was called with one minute left and the score tied, 63-63. 

With 6 seconds left on the clock, the Presidents hit a dagger of a three-pointer after maintaining possession after a jump ball. At 4.5 secondsthe Presidents fouled senior guard John Noce, sending him to the line. He made the first free throw but missed the second intentionally, and senior forward Matt Trent grabbed the offensive rebound and threw it off of a Washington and Jefferson player as he fell out of bounds, giving the Barons life with an out-of-bounds play with two seconds on the clock. 

The ball was inbounded after a timeout to Schriner, who got his man up in the air before stepping through for a three-point jumper that just bounced off the front iron, sending the Barons off the court in a heart-breaking 66-64 loss. 

Head coach Joe Wallace appreciated the crowd’s enthusiasm.  

“Thanks to everyone who came out to support us tonight,” said Wallace. “The crowd and environment was the best this Fieldhouse has ever seen. If we can match the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd this year, we will win a lot of games.” 

The Barons basketball team will take on Grove City College at home Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.