Monthly Archives: February 2008

Richland College basketball team advances to conference tournament semifinal round

The Richland College basketball team moved one step closer to a Metro-Athletic Conference championship and berth to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament with a 75-70 victory on Wednesday over Lamar State College.

The win advances the T-Ducks to the conference tournament semifinal round, when they travel to play at and against North Lake College at 6 p.m. today.

“Once you get to the conference tournament every win is big.  Whether it’s two points, five points, or 20 points,” T-Duck coach Jon Felmet said. “However, in our league there’s not going to be a 20 point victory this late in the season.  We really needed that win for obvious reasons – to keep from being sent home. We needed it to regain some momentum we lost on Saturday versus Brookhaven.  To win the way we did, should help us be prepared tonight against Northlake.”

The T-Ducks have yet to beat North Lake this season, losing both games.

Today’s winner will play the winner of the Brookhaven/Eastfield game for the conference championship.

“Tonight isn’t about hitting shots, rebounding and defending, it’s about heart, desire and determination,” Felmet said. “The team that dives on the floor for loose balls, takes charges and scrap for every rebound will win this game and move on to the finals.”

The red-hot T-Ducks have won five of their last six games and enter tonight’s huge game having received big contributions from a number of players in the win over Lamar State College.

Brent Creacy continued his hot streak from beyond the 3-point line for the T-Ducks as he finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Also coming up big were Antwan Mullins (20 points, five rebounds and nine assists), Tony Bishop (16 points, eight rebounds and three assists), Jeff Steinbaugh (six points, two rebounds and four assists) and Chibuzo Elonu (six points and nine rebounds).

“We are 30 games into the season, and it does seem like everyone is contributing,” Felmet said. “I really believe that we have a great opportunity in front of us, and it’s my job to make the guys realize that.  At this point of the season, it’s about believing in everyone around you including the coaching staff and players.”

T-Ducks enter basketball conference tournament winning four of last five games

The Richland College basketball team had its four-game winning streak snapped Saturday at home in an overtime loss to Brookhaven in the regular season finale.

With the loss, the T-Ducks enter the Metro-Athletic Conference tournament as the No. 5 seed and will play Lamar State at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Brookhaven College.

Richland and Lamar State split their two games this season, with the T-Ducks recently getting the better of Lamar with an 83-60 home victory on Feb. 16.

Fittingly, entering Saturday’s game Richland coach Jon Felmet said the loss earlier in the season to Lamar is what helped turn his team’s season around.

“I would say the turning point of our season was either the first Lamar State game or the first Brookhaven game,” Felmet said leading up to Saturday’s regular season finale. “The Lamar game gave us some time [six hours] on the way home to think about the loss. After the Brookhaven game, the guys talked to me about lightening up on practice, etc.  I didn’t think it had worked, but on the four-game win streak they seem more fresh and rested.”

But what will it take for Richland to be successful in the conference tournament, when one loss will end the T-Ducks’ season and goal of playing in the national tournament in Delhi, New York.

“Mostly luck,” Felmet said. “The team that happens to be playing the best during that time will be successful.”

Despite the overtime loss, Richland is still playing its best basketball of the season.

Prior to Saturday’s overtime loss, Richland’s margin of victory during the four-game winning streak was 18 points, including two victories by more than 20.

“It’s amazing the way this team has come together and finished out this part of our season,” Felmet said. “I’ve said this plenty of other times but I really didn’t know what kind of team I had put together until the second semester. These are great guys. They continue to work hard for me and I’m blessed with that. I’m really proud of these guys.”

In other basketball-related news

Aside from their play on the court, Felmet’s players are excelling in the classroom as well.

As a team, the T-Ducks had a 3.0 grade point average in the fall, with Keith Wright receiving the Chancellor’s Award for having a 3.75 or better, Tony Bishop and Curtis Thompson receiving President academic awards for having a 3.5 or better and Jeff Steinbaugh getting the Commissioners Award for having a 3.25 or better.

T-Duck baseball team sweeps Mountain View; extend win streak to 12 games

Following an opening 11-5 win in a three-game sweep at home against Mountain View on Saturday, Richland College baseball coach Joe Wharton said he was extremely happy with his team’s start to the season.

And why shouldn’t he be.

With a 14-2 record to start the season and having won 12 games in a row, the T-Ducks are off to their best start in team history.

“We are playing well and our offense knows we can score runs,” Wharton said. “We have had a big inning in every game we have played.”

Against Mountain View in Game 1 of their series, the T-Ducks had more like three big innings.

After entering the top of the fourth inning trailing 1-0, Richland scored all of its runs in its ensuing three innings, starting with three in the fourth.

Sophomore Sean Ablett started the scoring with an RBI triple before touching home plate, courtesy of a wild pitch. Later in the fourth inning, Jeff Sakowski hit an RBI double to put Richland up 3-1.

In the fifth frame, after Leighton Rush scored on an error, Jon Masch connected on a single that scored two runs to up the T-Ducks lead to 6-1 before an infield single by Josh Christenson scored another run.

Mountain View responded in the bottom half of the inning with three runs to cut its deficit to 7-4 but the T-Ducks wouldn’t let their opponent get any closer as Travis Latz capped a four-run sixth inning with a three-run home run. Robert Barbosa scored the other run in the inning on a wild pitch.

“We are hitting the ball OK and we had 19 hits [in Game 1],” Wharton said. “When we need hits, we get them.”

Richland’s hot bats continued throughout the series as the T-Ducks followed Saturday’s win with 19-2 and 25-9 victories on Sunday.

The weekend sweep also gives Richland a 10-2 Metro Athletic Conference record, which is good for first-place.

The T-Ducks, who have scored 10 or more runs in 12 of the 16 games they have played, next play at home at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 3 against Paris before hosting Tyler in a three-game series starting with a game at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 7 and two games starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 8.

Casey Mayfield helps extend T-Ducks' winning streak to nine games

Freshman Casey Mayfield of Wills Point improved his pitching record to 3-0 on Wednesday as he helped Richland College continue its hot start to the season as the T-Ducks improved to 11-2 with a 4-1 thumping over Northeast.

The streaking T-Ducks, winners of nine straight, are averaging more than 10 runs a game this season.

Richland looks to extend its winning streak at home this weekend in a three-game series against Mountain View College, beginning with a game at 2 p.m. Saturday. The series concludes with a double-header starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

The T-Ducks are right back at home Monday for a noon game against Murray State.

T-Duck baseball team improves win streak to eight games

The Richland College baseball team improved its record to an impressive 10-2 after blasting Hill College, 10-3, after Monday’s afternoon home game.

Richland’s win was its eighth straight and sixth consecutive game scoring at least 10 runs.

Included in the streak were two wins in which the T-Ducks scored at least 20 runs against Cedar Valley College (22-8 and 25-7).

As of Feb. 17 statistics, T-Duck sophomore outfielder Jeff Sakowski of Fort Worth led the team in batting average at .583.

He was followed by freshman third-baseman Josh Christenson (.565) of Houston and sophomore infielder Robert Barbosa (.532) of Carrolton.

Meanwhile, leading Richland in RBIs is sophomore Travis Latz of Tombell, Texas with 19.

The T-Ducks also had at least three pitchers with two wins, including freshman Phillip Clinard of Rockwall, freshman Casy Mayfield of Wills Point and sophomore Wesley Pool of Denison.

Both of Clinard’s victories were complete games.

Don’t forget to come support your T-Ducks this weekend when they host Mountain View College.

The teams play double-header Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. and concluded the three-game series with a 2 p.m. game on Sunday.

Richland will also be at home Monday, Feb. 25 for a single game at noon against Murray State (Oklahoma).

Last weekend baseball games canceled; T-Ducks host Mountain View this weekend

For the second time in several weeks, inclement weather on Saturday postponed home games for the Richland College baseball team.

As of Feb. 9, the T-Ducks, which opened the season ranked No. 8 in NJCAA Division III, were 4-2 on the season.

According to the baseball team’s schedule, Richland plays next at 2 p.m. today against Hill College then travels to play Northeast at 2 p.m. on Wednesday before coming back home for a double header on Saturday against Mountain View starting at 11 a.m.

Richland concludes its three-game series with Mountain View on Sunday with one game starting at 2 p.m. 

T-Duck basketball squad hot at the right time, crushes Lamar State College at home

With two games left in the regular season and Richland College jockeying for a higher seed in the Metro-Athletic Conference tournament, the T-Ducks got a much-needed 83-60 victory over Lamar State College at home on Saturday.

The win was the third in a row for Richland, which went into the game tied with Lamar in the conference standings.

“This was a big win. Every game is big – especially in the second half of conference play,” T-Duck coach Jon Felmet said. “Some things are going to shake up and we are playing well. Hopefully, winning three games in a row solidifies that.”

Richland (15-12, 5-5), which received great guard play from Jeff Steinbaugh and Antwan Mullins, finished the game with 13 3-pointers and, after a 35-35 tie at halftime, controlled the second half with hot shooting and stellar defense.

The T-Ducks opened the second half on a 12-1 run, which included two Steinbaugh 3-pointers. At one point during the spurt, Richland forced five straight turnovers.

Steinbaugh finished the game making five 3-pointers and scoring 17 points, along with 10 assists. When Steinbaugh wasn’t putting on an outside shooting clinic or dropping dimes to his teamates, Mullins was.

Mullins, who made four 3-pointers in the second half and also five for the game, finished with 21 points and seven assists.

“Jeff and Antwan helped us a lot. They did a great job of running things,” Felmet said. “We are fortunate to have two point guards on the floor at the same time.”

Also scoring in double figures for the T-Ducks was Tony Bishop, who had 19 points and six rebounds.

Richland, which travels to play Eastfield at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, concludes its regular season before the conference tournament begins at home against Brookhaven College on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m.

Richland wins two of three over Eastfield; Young and Clinard pick up wins

Richland College’s baseball team won two of three games over the weekend against Eastfield.

After falling 13-10 on Friday to open the three-game series, the T-Ducks responded on Saturday with a 7-0 blanking and a 6-4 victory to improve their record to 4-2 on the young season.

Richard Young of Irving and Phillip Clinard of Rowlet picked up the wins for the T-Ducks, whose next home game(s) is Friday and Saturday when they play a three-game series against Cedar Valley. The First game is Friday at 2 p.m. followed by a seven- and nine-inning game on Saturday starting at 11 a.m.

The T-Ducks also host Hill on Monday at 2 p.m. in a nine-inning matchup.

Richland men's basketball team improves conference record to 3-5 with home win

Looking to get back into the win column in Metro-Athletic Conference play, Richland College’s basketball team used the strength of its big men to power the T-Ducks to a 93-84 home win on Saturday over Mountain View College.

Behind the early play of Chibuzo Elonu of Houston and Tony Bishop of Garland, the T-Ducks opened up a 22-10 first half lead, which was cut to 32-25 with 8:35 left in the first half.

However, Richland responded to Mountain View’s run to end the half strong, holding a commanding 52-37 halftime lead.

Not much changed, as far as performance is concerned, in the second half for Richland, which at one point opened up a 19-point lead after Brent Creacy of Dallas made a 3-pointer.

Like in the first half, Mountain View went on a run – 12-4 – to cut into its deficit but it wasn’t enough as the T-Ducks regrouped and never let their lead get under seven for the rest of the game.

The win improved Richland to 13-12 overall and 3-5 in conference action. Richland hits the road for its next game against Cedar Valley College at 7p.m. before coming back home on Saturday to play Lamar State College at 2 p.m.  

Bishop's Player of the Week award credited to his drive and continued improvement

After a slow start to the basketball season, Richland College’s freshman forward Tony Bishop has found his groove as of late.

The Garland native’s play was so good in two games from Jan. 20-Jan. 26, he was named National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Player of the Week.

“This is a great honor for our program. Tony has done a tremendous job of ‘buying into’ our system and the way I wanted to run this program,” T-Duck coach Jon Felmet said. “This is an individual award for Tony’s efforts, but we have considered it a team award because all of the guys have worked equally as hard as Tony. That’s what I attribute our success to.”

During those two games, the 6-6, versatile player recorded two double-doubles. First, he scored 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Then, he followed that performance with a season-high 33 points and 15 rebounds.

Overall, he shot 68 percent from the field in both games.

“Tony is a hard match-up for other teams because he’s a very skilled player for his size,” Felmet said. “He’s 6-6 and can shoot the 3-pointer, mid-range, free throws and can handle the ball. He has a tremendous work ethic and drive to become a better player.”

According to Felmet, the difference in Bishop’s play from the start of the year to now is his dedication and attitude.

“Tony is a great young man, but coming from high school (Rowlett High School) where he was the best player, he had to understand early that everyone we have on this team were the best players on their high school team, too,” Felmet said. “He has a will to continue to work and improve.”

That will and drive has been on display throughout the course of the season as Bishop now averages 13.4 points per game – second on the team next to Antwan Mullins’ 14.6.

Bishop also leads the T-Ducks in rebounding at 7.5 per contest and field goal percentage at 53.6 percent.

“The team is made of up a lot freshman. I knew they were going to have an important role in our success,” Felmet said. “Tony started off slow, sort of feeling his way through the college game early, but he has shown of late that he can play with anyone in our league.”