Cayuga Men’s Basketball Team Looks For A Fast Start In Conference Play

Cayuga's Lutrell Vivians grabs a rebound against Fulton-Montgomery Community College earlier this season. Photo courtesy of The Cayuga Collegian.
Cayuga's Lutrell Vivians grabs a rebound against Fulton-Montgomery Community College earlier this season. Photo courtesy of The Cayuga Collegian.

An up-and-down first half of the season has Cayuga's Men's Basketball Team focused on improving their defense and rebounding as they prepare for the start of conference play.

The Spartans enter the second half of their season with a 4-5 record, a mark that features a pair of overtime wins over SUNY Adirondack and Clinton Community College. Their first two scheduled contests for the second half of the season were postponed, so the Spartans will begin Mid-State Athletic Conference play Tuesday, Jan. 15, with a home contest against Jefferson Community College.

Cayuga Coach Tony Borges knew entering the season his team would have no trouble scoring, but needed to buckle down on defense and improve their rebounding. Nine games into the season, Borges said those areas are a work in progress.

"I wasn't concerned about our ability to put the ball in the basket. I knew we'd be strong in that area. But I also knew that we needed to work hard on the defensive end and rebounding the ball. We've done that in some games, but we need to do it more," said Borges.

Cayuga opened the season with losses to Herkimer and Hudson Valley, before a 100-95 overtime win over SUNY Adirondack. They closed November with wins over Schenectady County and Columbia-Greene, and carried that momentum into December with the overtime win over Clinton.

The Spartans were unable to carry that momentum further, though, losing a close game to Davis College and falling to Mohawk Valley to end the first half of the season.

Messiah Brown is currently leading the Spartans with 22.8 points per game, while Javon Coleman is pacing the Spartans' rebounding efforts with 7.9 rebounds per game. 

Borges noted that his young roster should be battle-tested from the tough early season schedule, but that they still need to improve in several areas as they enter conference play.

"We need to continue improving defensively, take better care of the ball and improve our shot selection. If we can work on those three areas, I think we should be alright moving forward," said Borges.