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So Close…

David Otero

The C.W. Post men’s basketball team had won five consecutive games before being handed tough back-to-back losses to the Queens College Knights and the Bridgeport Purple Knights last weekend. The absence of sophomore guard Jonathan Kohler to injury during the last three games has proven to have really hurt the Pioneers. With the loss of Kohler, the Pioneers have lost an average of 13 points and six rebounds per game.

On Wednesday, February 23rd, the Pioneers hosted the Queens Knights (19-7). On this night, two different streaks came to end. The Pioneers came into the game riding a five game winning streak, but the Knights played an outstanding game securing an 81-75 victory. Lans Lamonte led the way for the Knights with 26 points on 8-15 shooting, as well as seven rebounds. Khalil McDonald (19 points) and Edil Lacayo (13 points) were perimeter threats all-night long as the two made several three-pointers to give the Pioneers their first loss of the season at home. Prior to this game, the Pioneers were 10-0 at the Pratt Recreation Center.

The Pioneers had four players reach double figures in scoring, led by junior guard Stefan Bonneau with 20 points. Senior forward Aaron Hall had a solid game, putting up 17 points and grabbing a game-high nine rebounds. To complement Bonneau and Hall, sophomore guard Tobin Carberry had 15 points, and off the bench, freshman forward Vaughn Allen had 10 points to go along with 5 boards.

The Pioneers held a slim lead at the half, but the soft touch of the Knights shooters caused the Pioneers to give up their lead and eventually fall 81-75.

The Pioneers’ next game was nationally televised on the CBS College Sports Network against the rivaled Bridgeport Purple Knights (18-8). This game was also senior night, as Gilbert Montalvo, Aaron Hall, and James Mutlu were all recognized before the game started.

This game lived up to the hype as both teams swapped baskets for most of the first half. At halftime, the Purple Knights held a one-point lead over the Pioneers, 40-39. The second half continued the same way as the first half, as both sides traded buckets to make for an extremely exciting finish.

With just over one minute remaining in the game, the score was evened up at 65. However, Bridgeport’s Msoo Ikyaator hit a layup with 1:09 remaining to give the Purple Knights a two point advantage. Neither of the teams would score again, leaving the final score 67-65 in favor of Bridgeport. The Pioneers had a couple of opportunities late in the final few seconds of the game to tie and win off shots by Carberry and Bonneau, but their late chances failed.

Bonneau led the Pioneers in scoring with 23 points, and Allen added a double-double by scoring 15 points and snatching a game-high 12 rebounds. Seniors Aaron Hall and Gilbert Montalvo each played well. Hall had 13 points, while Montalvo spread the ball around with 11 assists. But these efforts were not enough as the Pioneers ended the regular season on a two game losing streak, both losses in front of their home crowd.

The Pioneers finished the regular season with a 19-9 record and will now look forward to the East Coast Conference Championships, beginning March 5th.

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