With one more victory this season, Thomas College senior Antonio Juco will be part of the winningest four-year stretch for men’s basketball in the school’s history.

Juco is the only four-year senior on the Terriers. Thomas has won 57 games during his career. Andrew Duncanson and Isaiah Brathwaite, who graduated last season, were part of teams that won 57 games in four seasons.

“If we have a winning season, it will be the fourth winning season in a row, which will be the first time in school history,” Thomas coach T.J. Maines said.

Thomas is 9-6 overall and 6-4 in the North Atlantic Conference heading into this weekend. The Terriers will go on the Vermont trip, playing at 7:30 tonight at Castleton, then turning around and playing at 3 p.m. Saturday at Green Mountain.

Castleton is 9-1 in the NAC and tied for first in the conference with the University of Maine at Farmington. Green Mountain is 2-8 in conference play but defeated Husson and lost by one to UMF in Farmington.

The Terriers lost to Castleton 91-90 and defeated Green Mountain 87-76 in early December. Castleton is taking more than 80 shots per night and is averaging 93.6 points per game. The Spartans allow 88.5 points per game.

“They’re still playing that open style,” Maines said. “If they play that way, offense should come for us pretty easily. Defensively, we’ve got to do a better job of getting out on their shooters than we did last time.”

Thomas has played as many as 17 players in one game, leaving Maines to do some juggling with a roster of that size.

“It’s not easy,” Maines said. “For us, the top 12 or 13 take a majority of the reps. It’s great for team morale to have guys who understand their roles and just want to compete and be a part of it.”

* * *

There’s a chance the nation’s scoring leader in Division III women’s basketball could play her home games in Waterville.

Through games of Jan. 22, Thomas College’s Karin Bird was averaging 24.7 points per game, placing her second in the country behind Megan Rahn, who was averaging 25.2 points per game for the Meredith College Avenging Angels of Raleigh, N.C.

Colby’s Jil Vaughan was seventh in country in field goal percentage, as of the latest report. Vaughan had made 82 of 142 shots, or 57.7 percent.

Fellow Mules standout Rachael Mack, a Cony High School graduate, would be challenging for the national lead in free-throw percentage, but has not made enough to qualify. Mack is 25 for 27 from the line this season, or 92.6 percent. Mack would have needed 40 free throws made to be listed among the national leaders.

Maranacook Community High School graduate Ryan Martin is among the nation’s leaders in free-throw percentage for Division III men’s basketball. Through games on Jan. 22, Martin had made 62 of 67 foul shots, or 92.5 percent, placing him fourth in the country.

Since the last NCAA report, Martin has made both of his free throws and has passed two of the three players ahead of him. Martin is now at .928, while national leader Tyler Schmidt of Augsburg has dropped from .935 to .911, and Amherst’s Aaron Toomey, who was in third place, has gone from .926 to .908.

Martin’s former Maranacook teammate, Will Bardaglio of Colby-Sawyer, ranks in the top 50 nationally in 3-point field goal percentage. As of the last report, Bardaglio had made 48 of 119 3-pointers, and his .403 rate was 46th in the country. Colby’s Ben Foreman was 32nd, at .426. Players need an average of at least 2.5 3-pointers made per game to qualify.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]


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