By Kellie Lagoy
Striding into the postseason isn’t anything new for the Virginia Wesleyan Men’s Basketball team. It closed out its season with an impressive 21-4 overall record. The squad finished second in the conference with a 13-3 record, just behind the undefeated Randolph-Macon.
“I think we feel pretty good about it [regular season]. I think, like anything, we had some ups and downs and at times would have liked to have been more consistent, but I think our guys made plays when they had to. We put ourselves in a good position heading into the ODAC tournament this week,” Head Coach Dave Macedo said. The Marlins had a hard-fought season. Despite their best efforts, they dropped three conference games during the regular season. Two of those losses came from the Randolph-Macon Hornets. Both were by less than ten points, and they were hard to swallow for the normally dominating team. The other loss came from an early February game against the Eastern Mennonite Royals, in which the Marlins lost by 12 points.
“Well, I don’t like them [conference losses]. I feel like in two out of the three games, especially the both of the games versus Randolph-Macon, we had our chances to win the ball game, but we weren’t very efficient,” Macedo said. “It hurt us, but hopefully we have learned from those mistakes and we’ve gotten better.” Virginia Wesleyan played hard to earn second place in the conference, and that hard work earned them a first-round bye in the tournament. The team will not compete until Thursday evening, against the Washington and Lee Generals in the quarterfinals.
“Tuesday and Wednesday are our prep days,” Macedo said. “We’re just preparing for the other teams and getting tight on a lot of the things we do. Thursday, hopefully we’re ready to play our first game. It’s a one-game season, and we need to make every game our biggest game of the year right now. We just need to give a great effort for 40 minutes.” Success is a part of the culture for Men’s Basketball at Virginia Wesleyan. Macedo has brought his teams to five conference championships, 10 NCAA appearances, and a 2006 NCAA title. Winning is a way of life for the Marlins, and the hopes for more are certainly there.
“You know I always have confidence in our team. I think eight out of the last ten years we’ve been able to make it that final day and play for a conference championship, but in order to do that we’re going to need some of our players to make plays and be at their best. It’s going to be a team effort and everyone has to be positive,” Macedo said. The talent of this team is obvious on the court and on paper. Sophomore Khory Moore is one of the top five players in four categories in the conference. Senior Greg Montgomery is a force in the paint, leading the conference in offensive rebounds and ranking second in rebounds per game. “We’re excited about our chances,” Macedo said. “The guys have worked hard for the last five and a half months to get ready for this. So the postseason is here.”