by Tim Smith
The Cedarville Yellow Jackets were defeated by the Hillsdale Chargers 74-66 Thursday evening in Cedarville’s first conference game of the season.. The Jackets drop to 0-1 in the G-MAC, but there were some silver-linings to take away.
The top scorers for Cedarville were Branden Maughmer (19 points), Conner TenHove (18 points), and Kollin Van Horn (18 points). The Yellow Jackets totaled 27 rebounds in the losing effort and shot a respectable 50 percent from the field.
The troubles started off early for the Yellow Jackets, falling behind quickly in the first half. The Chargers took an eight-point lead by 10th minute of the game.
But, Cedarville didn’t back down. The Yellow Jackets fought back and went into halftime only down four points.
Starting the second half, the Cedarville men came out energized, playing strong defense and offense. They finally took the lead with 18 minutes left in the second half.
Sadly for for Yellow Jackets, the stellar gameplay would not last. Hillsdale regained the lead and stayed out front the rest of the game to earn the victory.
“We knew it was going to be a hard game,” head coach Patrick Estepp said. “Hillsdale is one of the top teams in our league. I’m proud of our guys. I thought we gave a great effort and made some plays, but we just didn’t make enough of them.”
The plays that we did make, though, seemed to come from one group of players in particular: the underclassmen. TenHove, Van Horn, and Maughmer are a trio made up of a sophomore and two freshmen, respectively.
“Our young guys are very talented, but you need veterans to win,” Estepp said. “You need veterans to lead and teach those young guys, and our guys did that.”
TenHove, who garnered a double-double in the matchup, also believes that success will come from a combination of young and veteran players.
“We have a very balanced team and we have a lot of diversity in our offense. Our freshman are really good, but Grant (Zawadzki) is coming off his ankle injury, so he will be up there, too,” TenHove said.
The Yellow Jackets look forward to another conference matchup Saturday against Findlay.
“We just need to come back tomorrow, put this game behind, and get ready for a good matchup on Saturday,” said TenHove.
Tim Smith is a freshman Journalism Major and Staff Writer for Cedars. He loves football, 3 Muskateers Candy, and primarily speaking in movie quotes.