As the old saying goes, nothing builds team chemistry better than a road trip.
This was evident throughout the Clarion men’s basketball trip to Shepherdstown, West Virginia, this past weekend.
While the results with were not the wanted outcome after losing both games to Wheeling Jesuit University, and the host of the tournament Shepherd University, the stat sheet had loads of potential for the coming season.
The Golden Eagles took part in the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center Tournament this past Saturday and Sunday.
Clarion stayed at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Shepherdstown, where the team had access to a gym to practice on location.
Their first match of the tournament came against a 20-win team that returned 10 of its leading scorers.
The Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals opened up the game on a run, and they never looked back.
The Cardinals did an excellent job holding the lead they had and maintained it throughout the game; they were ahead by at least six from beginning to end.
The debut of several Clarion players produced a mixed bag in the loss.
Senior transfer guard, Andre Anthony, was stellar in his first action as a Golden Eagle.
Anthony looked comfortable in that responsibility, as he was one of the few players Wheeling Jesuit had trouble keeping up with.
Another player for Clarion showed that his shooting was nothing to sleep on.
Junior guard Justin Dobbs, another transfer for this new look Golden Eagle team, shot 7-13 from the floor and looked good doing so.
Dobbs finished the game with 19 points and often hit contested mid-range attempts showing off his shooting prowess.
It was a different day for another newcomer, D1 center transfer from Jacksonville State, Tim Gill.
Gill, another senior, got into foul trouble early and was forced to ride the pines for the majority of the first half.
In the second half, Gill’s luck wasn’t much better as he was charged with his fourth foul in the third quarter and then saw few minutes the rest of the way.
After the game, Anthony said, “Obviously we didn’t come out with a win today, that’s the ultimate goal. My statistics don’t really matter to me, I’m trying to change things in Clarion and get a winning program going.”
The next day, Clarion went up against the tournament host Shepherd to close the event.
The game was closely contested and featured another great effort from Andre Anthony.
Anthony again led the Clarion offense for a good majority of the game with 24 points and six assists, all the while showing his versatility by scoring from inside the paint as well as from beyond the arc.
The contest was neck and neck the whole way, and the finish lived up to the close game.
Anthony was robbed of heroics as he hit a game tying contested three-pointer with 21 seconds left in the game, when the Rams tipped in the winner at the buzzer, leaving the Golden Eagles stunned.
Others contributing for Clarion were junior guard B.J. Andrews, who started the game off cold but fixed his form quickly, and finished the game with 20 points shooting 6-17 from the field.
Senior Rob Agers also chipped in 20 points in the contest.
Anthony also had this to say following the teams first few chances to play together with a lot of turnover from the previous campaign, “I think we played well together in our first couple opportunities, I think we have a lot more to learn and put together. We just have to keep working hard in practice and try to get it done next time.”
The Golden Eagles will be back in action this Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. both days at Tippin Gymnasium.
They face off with PSAC foes Cheyney and Millersville.