MOUNT CARMEL -- Wabash Valley College men's basketball honored 10 sophomores on Sophomore Night prior to their game on Saturday night.
Prior to tip-off, the Warriors sophomore athletes were accompanied by friends and family, who then collectively marched to midcourt to meet head coach Mike Carpenter, who presented them with a framed jersey for the athletes to remember their time as a Warrior.
Following the conclusion of the ceremony it was time for tip-off. Wabash Valley played possibly some of its best basketball of the season in their 109-78 victory over Lake Land.
The Warriors opened the game absolutely streaking. Sophomores Levi Cook and Anthony Christian opened the game with a couple buckets, followed by eight straight points from Warrior sophomore floor general Zion Morgan. Morgan was active on defense and made a couple 14-foot pullup shots. With their contributions pushing Wabash Valley, the Warriors extended their lead to 12-2 prior a timeout by Lake Land.
It felt as if the Warriors couldn't miss in the first half and sophomore Jalen Newsom continued that trend. Newsom came off the bench and knocked down four first half 3-pointers. Their lead would reach as high as 49-27 before the Lakers reduced it to a 51-32 deficit at the break.
A nice highlight worthy play in the first half came from Wabash Valley sophomore Josh Thomas. Thomas had a poster dunk on a Laker defender plus the foul with under three minutes remaining in the half. The dunk sent the crowd into a frenzy and further energized the Warriors.
Their strong shooting performance continued into the second half. The Warriors were streaking away from the Lakers and that continued following back to back slams by sophomore big Anthony Cameron and a transition dunk by sophomore Chucky Wilson. Wilson's dunk got the crowd to their feet and extended the Wabash Valley lead to 31.
Freshman forward Barlow Alleruzzo would nail a 3-pointer to put the Warriors over the century mark and extending the lead to 102-61. The game was well out of reach and it was a high quality win for the Warriors.
Morgan highlighted the Warriors with a 14-point, 10 rebound double-double along with five assists. Newsom added 14 points for the Warriors, 12 of which coming in the first half, Christian added 11 points, seven boards and six assists in a stat-stuffing performance, Cook scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds and Thomas scored 10 points, including the highlight-reel dunk to round out the Warriors in double-figures. A total of 14 Warriors registered points in the game. Lake Land's Hunter White led the Lakers with 18 points.
Wabash Valley (19-6) now ride a seven-game winning streak and have won 14 of their last 16 games, continuing their roll in conference play. The Warriors will play at Kankakee on Monday (Feb. 18) before traveling to Olney Central College on Wednesday (Feb. 20). The Warriors fell to Olney 70-68 in a thriller on Jan. 12 at Wabash Valley College. They'll be looking for revenge in their second meeting and hope to strengthen their conference record.
Thanks to Mt. Carmel Register