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Marauders hitting their stride as playoffs set to begin

Mike Eshleman
Sports Writer

This Saturday, Feb. 28, the Millersville Marauders men’s basketball team is set to begin the PSAC tournament at their home court in the Pucillo Gymnasium. It truly has been an up and down season for the Marauders, but it seems like they are just starting to hit their stride at the right time. The Marauders are coming off of two straight impressive wins against Shippensburg and Bloomsburg, respectively, and are hoping that they can continue to carry this momentum into the tournament. The Marauders finished up the regular season with a solid 15-13 record including an 11-11 record in PSAC play.

Senior guard Jalen Lester, the only senior currently on the roster, had a great game for the Marauders against Bloomsburg on Feb. 21, dropping 19 points on 7-8 shooting (5-6 from behind the arc) and tacking on five rebounds and a career-high four assists. Teammate Eddie Callender recorded his seventh double-double of the year, scoring 15 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Lester could not take all of the credit for his impressive showing and definitely had to attribute some of his success to the play of his teammates.

“My teammates are very confident in my shooting ability, Lester said. “They do a great job of getting me open and it’s just up to me to make the shots.”

Guard Jalen Lester dropped 19 points on the Huskies, including 5 of 6 3-pointers.
Guard Jalen Lester dropped 19 points on the Huskies, including 5 of 6 3-pointers.

It was a great confidence boosting game for Lester as he stated that he had been in a slump before that game, and what better time to feel confident about your shot then right before the start of the PSAC tournament. Overall, the team seems to feel very confident about their upcoming game on Saturday.

When asked about the morale of the squad after two straight wins, Lester said that “The team is feeling great. We are very focused, confident and compete at a high level when we play together! We are looking forward to making a big run in the playoffs this year. Just wait on it”.

Lester and the Marauders have been playing well all year and have gotten significant contributions from various players including center Anthony Moe who grabs around eight boards a game, leading scorer Kelvin Parker with 16.5 points a game and freshman guard Sam Light, who has just recently won the PSAC Freshman of the Week award for his contributions to the success of the team. Light is averaging 11.3 points per contest. It goes much deeper than just a few players, though, and the team will need solid play from their starters and bench players if they want to keep their season alive on Saturday. Every player has a role to play.

If Millersville, who currently holds the number four seed in the tournament, plays with the confidence and swagger that they have the past few games, then fans, students, faculty and the rest of the Millersville community should feel very good about their team’s chances this Saturday in what should be a very good game with an atmosphere like no other. One thing is for sure and that is the fact that the players are feeling extremely confident about their chances. Millersville’s hopeful playoff run begins on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. against a team to be determined on Wednesday, but for now…

Just wait on it.