Cedarville’s Tough Defense Paves the Way for Season-Opening Win

By: Alan Brads

It was a dream night for any team starting their basketball season. The Cedarville men’s basketball team obliterated the Truman State Bulldogs in their season opener on November 11.

Intense, fiery defense coupled with an explosive offensive performance from junior Grant Whisman carried the Yellow Jackets to a 79-51 victory.

Cedarville’s defense suffocated Truman State’s offense from the opening tip, snuffing out scoring chances through blocks and steals. The Bulldogs managed only two points through the first seven minutes of the match. 

“I couldn’t be prouder of how our guys defended,” head coach Pat Estepp said. “We made them work for everything; that was step one for us.”

By the 11-minute mark, the Yellow Jackets were off to the races, leading 21-4. The 17-point lead gradually stretched into a 27-point halftime lead, well out of striking distance.

The red hot start received a raucous reception from a massive home crowd of over one thousand. The loudest moment of the night came when senior forward Jacob Drees flushed a slam dunk over a jumping defender.

While Drees held down the fort defensively, Whisman led the way for Cedarville’s offense, scoring 26 points. Jayvon Maughmer’s constant hustle earned him 17 points, picking up four assists along the way.

“With the threats we have on offense it’s easy to get going,” Whisman said. It’s just one guy on one night, and another guy on another night. It was me tonight, it might be Jacob or Jayvon the next night.”

The team knows that adversity is coming their way. The Yellow Jackets lost five seniors from last year’s roster, all of which played critical roles on the floor. So far, the tremendous trio of Whisman, Maughmer and Drees is leading the way, supported by a group of talented underclassmen.

“We have a lot of freshmen that are eager to get in and play hard when they do,” Whisman said. “Those young guys are really tough and get along with us really well, and we have a lot of chemistry, it’s just fun playing with them.”

What many predicted would be a low year for Cedarville basketball is off to a smoking hot start. They will see if they can continue that hot streak against Quincy on Saturday, November 12th. 

Alan Brads is a sophomore journalism student and frequent contributor for Cedars. He enjoys playing the drums and speaking Spanish, and watches Buckeye football like his life depends on it.

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