Chadron State College men to host York Panthers Saturday night
CHADRON, Neb. -- The Chadron State College men's basketball team will return to action following the Christmas break by hosting the York College Panthers at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30 in the Chicoine Center.
After that, the Eagles will play strictly a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference schedule the remainder of the season. The first of those games will be against Metro State in Denver on Saturday, Jan. 6. Coach Shane Paben's team will then have most of another week off before hosting Colorado Mesa from Grand Junction and Westminster from Salt Lake City on Jan. 12 and 13, respectively.
The CSC women will resume their schedule during the first game of the double-header against Metro State on Jan. 6.
The CSC men are 7-4 for the season after winning four consecutive RMAC games at home. The first of those contests was a 79-51 runaway over Western Colorado when the Eagles outscored the Mountaineers 47-22 in the second half.
The next three games were much closer. The Eagles won over Colorado Christian 80-73, Regis 77-73 and Colorado-Colorado Springs 91-84.
Through the first 11 games, lightning quick senior guard Bryce Latimer is the leading scorer with a 20.2-point average, followed by senior forward Josh Robinson at 15.2 points a game and junior guard Dalton Peterson at 10.3.
Latimer also leads in assists with 46, Robinson is the leading rebounder with 8.6 a game and Peterson is the 3-point pacesetter with 31 of 71 from behind the arc for a 43.7 percentage.
During the last two games before the break, the Eagles got a huge boost from junior center Martin Poznanovic, the 6-foot-8 native of Serbia.
Poznanovic was seven of nine from the field while scoring 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds against Regis and followed that by going 10 of 13 from the field while tallying 21 points against Colorado Springs. He also had four rebounds against the Mountain Lions.
The output earned Poznanovic the RMAC's Offensive Player of the Week honor. He's is now shooting 70.7% from the field and averaging 8.1 points and 4.1 rebounds this season.
Since practice began in October, Paben has been saying Poznanovic is much improved from a year ago, when after spending two years at McCook College, he joined the Eagles and played in 28 of the Eagles' 29 games, but scored just 39 points.
During an interview a year ago, the math major said he had not played much basketball in his homeland, but intended to work on improving his skills during the off-season. It's evident that happened.
During his recent surge, he was especially effective while sliding into the paint, catching teammates' passes or snagging offensive rebounds and using his combined strength and quickness to make layups. He's also become a solid defender and rebounder.
The York Panthers, a team the Eagles have not previously played, have a 4-8 record. Their wins have been over Calvary University in Kansas City, Faith Baptist Bible at Ankeny, Iowa and Tabor and Sterling Colleges, both located in Kansas. One of the losses was to the Doane Tigers by only 80-75.
The Panthers have three players averaging in double figures. Dennis Trevon, a 6-5 junior, is averaging 12.8 points and both Much Biel, a 6-8 senior, and Jaden Henderson, a 6-4 junior, are averaging 11.5. Biel, a Grand Island native, is also grabbing 7.8 rebounds a game.