The men’s team suffered a heartbreaking defeat against Randolph College February 20 by a score of 57-54. The Marlins started strong in the first half with good minutes from starters Lamont Steward, Corey White Jr., and Percy Burt, as well as, strong contributions from the bench as Tim Fisher scored eight points in nine minutes to go along with five rebounds one steal and a block. Despite shooting 0-6 from three-point land in the first half the Marlins jumped out to a 28-18 point lead going into half. The 10-point lead would be their biggest of the game. The second half, however, would go differently for the marlins as they were simply outplayed. Randolph shot a solid 47.1% from the field compared to the Marlins 32.0% from the field. Overall the Marlins played well just not well enough as they out rebounded Randolph 44 to 38 and shot a respectable 71.4% from the free throw line compared to just 50% from Randolph. This is the first season since the Marlins became a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) in 1989-1990 where the team has finished worse than 6th place in the ODAC tournament. The Marlins are known to be at the top of the conference, but have not captured an ODAC tournament championship since the 2013-2014 season, “I’m not sure if pressure is the right word. We don’t try to not talk as much about results as we do just preparing for each game to the best of our ability and make sure we leave no stone unturned and so that we can go out and give ourselves a chance to be successful,” Assistant Coach Quinn McDowell said when asked if the team feels more pressure in ODAC tournament play. Despite the early exit from the ODAC tournament, the Marlins finished the year at 17-9, which is the 18th consecutive winning season under Head Coach Dave Macedo.
The Marlins ODAC tournament run came to an end in the semifinals against the 2nd seed and eventual ODAC Champion, Randolph-Macon College by a final score of 65-62. Junior Amanda Gerni said, “there are a lot of important keys to advancing in the tournament. One is out rebounding our opponents. Another thing is just taking smart shots and having a good shooting percentage from the field.” Starting off the tournament, the 6 seeded Marlins captured a 60-46 win over the #11 Randolph Wildcats. The Marlins came out and did what they had to do to advance to the quarterfinals, led by Jayla Harris and Reagan Holmes, who each tallied 18 points for Coach Dunmyer’s squad. The Marlins traveled to Salem, Virginia at the Salem Civic Center to square off against the 3 seed in the tournament, Lynchburg. The Hornets proved to be no match for the Marlins as they went on to win by a score of 61-51. The Marlins were led once again by Holmes and Harris who tallied 19 points each. Eventually, after five lead changes the Marlins would fall to the ODAC powerhouse Randolph-Macon. Senior NiAsia Caldwell had a team high 22 points off the bench. The Yellow Jackets built up a five-point lead with just over three minutes left in the game that went on to prove insurmountable. Ultimately, the Marlins will build off the tournament run as they look to continue their late season success into next season. Jayla Harris was named All-ODAC First Team after averaging 16.8 points during her junior campaign. The Marlins will have plenty of experience going into next season as they look to capture another ODAC title back home.