The Colby men’s basketball team has jumped out to a quick 3-0 record to start the season. But that doesn’t mean the Mules don’t have time for experimentation.

Like many teams, Colby is using the non-conference portion of its schedule — the Mules aren’t scheduled to play a New England Small College Athletic Conference team until Jan. 5 against Bowdoin — to test new systems and see what might stick when NESCAC play begins.

There’s some strategy to it, as well, so scouts from other teams can’t immediately read what Colby is going to do this season.

“We definitely don’t want to get everything (we do) on film right away,” Colby guard Sam Jefferson said. “We’re still experimenting with different reads, what play specifically might work (in a certain situation). It’s been helpful.”

That’s not to say the Mules don’t respect their non-conference opponents. In fact, Colby feels a tougher schedule will help entering NESCAC play.

“We’re building up a tough non-conference schedule right now,” Jefferson said. “Being able to execute our offense against the tougher teams is really important to us if we’re trying to play deep into the conference playoffs and NCAA tournament, hopefully.”

Colby has had no issues so far in its first three games, particularly on offense. In their latest win — a 91-65 win over the University of Maine at Farmington on Tuesday in Waterville — the Mules knocked down 13 3-pointers. In its first three games, Colby has already nailed 48 shots from beyond the arc. Last season, Colby was fifth in the nation in 3-pointers made, with 332.

“That’s what we’re trying to build off of from from last year,” Colby head coach Damien Strahorn said. “Certainly, through the first three games, we’ve been able to build our pace and position well. All we’re trying to do is put pressure on defense from the onset of the possession. We have multiple guys that can make shots.”

The Mules will host the Colby Classic this weekend at the Wadsworth Gym. Colby is scheduled to play Gordon on Friday and New England College on Saturday.

 

• • •

 

The Thomas College men’s basketball program may have a smaller roster this season, but you won’t hear any complaints from the Terriers.

Thomas officially carried 13 players on the roster last season. Despite a trip to the North Atlantic Conference championship game, multiple players decided to leave the program at the start of this season. This followed the departure of head coach Joe Scheuers, who left in the spring after one season to be the head coach at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Scheuers had been an assistant at Earlham from 2014-2018 before heading to Thomas.

For the 2019-2020 season, Thomas has a new coach — former assistant Deshon Gaither — and just 11 players on the roster. So far, numbers haven’t hurt the Terriers at all. Thomas enters the weekend with a 2-0 record.

“We never argue or nothing, we stay as a family and we stay as a whole,” guard Demetris Webster said after Thomas beat the University of Maine at Machias in its opening game last week.

“We have low numbers this year,” Thomas senior Zach Mackinnon said. “But that just works to everybody’s benefit. Everybody gets more reps in practice. Everybody’s working hard down to the 10th guy, 11th guy.”

Gaither said after one practice, players began to quit due to tough practices. But he said the current roster is the perfect group to begin his tenure at Thomas.

“Last year, there was a lot of finger pointing,” Gaither said. “But we got over that. There’s not any of that going on (this season), and everybody is holding each other accountable…If I want to build a program, these are the guys I’m going to build a program with. If I’m going to start my foundation, I’m going to start it off with those guys.”

Forward Loveguerson Fleurine has been the Terriers’ leading scorer after two games, averaging 17 points per game, and is averaging 13.5 rebounds per contest. Thomas travels to Amherst, Massachusetts on Friday to play against Fitchburg State.

 

• • •

 

As of this weekend, University of Southern Maine wrestler Peter Del Gallo has yet to lose a match. Including his four wins at the Roger Williams Invitational on Nov. 16, Del Gallo has started the season with a 9-0 record.

This is no surprise for the Gardiner native, who entered the season ranked nationally as the No. 1 Division III wrestler at 125 pounds. Del Gallo was named a Division III All-American, the fifth wrestler to do that in USM history. He also surpassed the 100-win mark, the sixth Husky to do so.

A senior, Del Gallo is following in the steps of his brother, Dan, who was a 2017 national champion at 149 pounds. Peter Del Gallo had a distinguished career at Gardiner, finishing with a record of 208-5 and winning four state championships.

Comments are not available on this story.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.