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Mountaineer Men Sweep the Home Stand

Berea basketball fans were treated to quite a show this past week as they watched the men’s basketball team win their first three home games in exciting fashion. Their wins came against Crown College on the 9th, 98-55; Shawnee State on the 13th, 76-73; and Lindsay Wilson College on the 16th, 70-68. The Mountaineers are off to a blazing start this season, only suffering one loss so far in six games.

Berea College Men's Basketball 2010

New head coach John Hemenway has brought an intense atmosphere to the court, never letting up on his players, encouraging his team from the sideline and setting up the defensive screens after every Berea possession. Berea’s defensive prowess is something to watch this season as they rank third in their division in total steals and eighth in turnover margin, which is the ratio of turnovers created to turnovers committed. Teamwork is also an important facet of Berea’s success, with the Mountaineers ranking second in assists. Standout players include Rudy Evans, who is leading the division in steals, and Darrin Dorsey, who ranks fifth in total points and assists.

The Mountaineers opened the season at home with an explosive 43-point win over Crown College. Berea led by 14 before Crown even managed to score. The visiting Crusaders were futile in their attempts to break Berea’s defensive wall, twice substituting out their entire team in the first half. The Mountaineers received important contributions not only from their star players, but also from players off the bench, who scored a combined 20 points. The energy of the crowd was jubilant as the Mountaineers held their lead for the full length of the game. Darrin Dorsey led scoring and rebounding for Berea with 27 points and 11 rebounds. He also had nine assists, one less than Rudy Evans, who led that statistical category. Chase Wofford and Josh Clark also made important contributions, scoring 20 points and 16 points, respectively.

Berea’s Homecoming match was considerably closer and incredibly exciting. Playing in front of a packed stadium full of students dressed in their best for the dance that followed, the Mountaineers held off Shawnee State in a close game that was only secured on a few clutch free throws in the last minute of play. The home crowd was on its feet for the exciting end which was stretched out by back and forth timeouts and fouls. Shawnee State downed more three-point shots and completed more assists, but Berea’s defense dominated again with a combined 14 steals and five blocks. Darrin Dorsey again led scoring, with 25 points, while Rudy Evans led in rebounds, nine, and assists, five.

Berea’s last home game before their four-game road trip was possibly their toughest so far. The lead was traded back and forth between Berea and Lindsay Wilson for much of the game, and regulation play ended with a tie at 60-60. This was followed by a low-scoring, free throw heavy, defensive powerhouse of an overtime, which Berea came out of two points ahead. Lindsay Wilson found the holes in Berea’s defense early on, but Berea rebounded, and an impressive second half from Darrin Dorsey kept them in the game. Dorsey scored six three-point shots, including a clutch jumper at the beginning of extra minutes. He scored a season high 30 points and tied Lathan Bennet for the high in assists with three. Josh Clark grabbed six rebounds in a game wrought with crucial turnovers. Chants of “Defense!” were heard from the crowd in the tense last minutes.

The Mountaineers notched 19 wins and 10 losses last season, and look poised to improve on that record. A powerful offensive starting lineup, coupled with relentless defensive drive and harmonious team effort could lift Berea to great heights this season. Fans will likely continue to arrive in bigger numbers to support their team once the Mountaineers return home on December 3.

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