Spartans Fall To Panthers, Saints

Stanley Beato led the Spartans with 26 points against Tompkins-Cortland Community College.
Stanley Beato led the Spartans with 26 points against Tompkins-Cortland Community College.

In a run of tough contests, the Cayuga Men's Basketball Team suffered three losses in recent action, including two against Mid-State Athletic Conference opponents.

Now in the thick of conference play, the Spartans dropped road games to MSAC foes Tompkins-Cortland and Onondaga, and a home game against regional opponent North Country Community College over the past week. The losses dropped Cayuga to 5-9 overall and 1-4 in the conference.

"We've had trouble putting complete games together," said Coach Tony Borges. "Sometimes we'll play great defense in one half and struggle in the next. Other games our shot selection could be better. We've been battling. We just need to put some more pieces together to win a few of these games."

Against Tompkins-Cortland, the Spartans trailed by just three points at halftime, and fought back to tie the game twice in the second half before falling 94-82.

Guards Stanley Beato and Messiah Brown led the Spartans with 26 and 23 points, respectively, while Javon Coleman scored 15 and grabbed 11 boards. Sequan Hicks added 12 points for Cayuga.

One day later, the Spartans lost a close game to North Country by a 90-84 margin. Cayuga trailed by 5 at halftime, and tied the game at 84 with about 2 minutes left before being outscored 6-0 the rest of the way.

"That was one game where we played great defense in the first half, holding them to 38 points, but then struggled in the second half," said Borges. "They jumped on us a bit to start the second half, but we fought back. We used all our energy catching up and ran out of gas at the end. I was really proud of how we fought to get back in it."

All five of the Spartans' starters scored double-figures, with Brown scoring 25, Beato scoring 22, Hicks 16, Coleman 11 and Mekai Dare with 10. Coleman also grabbed 13 rebounds.

On Jan. 26, Cayuga started slow against Onondaga and trailed by 19 at halftime. They played the Lazers even in the second half but couldn't close the gap, losing 90-70. Brown paced the Spartans, scoring 27 points, with Dare adding 17 and Beato scoring 16 points.  

Cayuga's next two games are against Corning Community College. The Spartans host the Red Barons on Jan. 30 at 7 p.m., and travel to Corning for a night game on Feb. 4.