Westchester basketball returns with a win

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Westchester Community College welcomed the return of men’s basketball with a home win over Monroe College (Monroe Express) on November 2.

When all was said and done, it was a terrific basketball game for the Vikings. Over forty exciting minutes of dramatic end-to-end play with fans in a packed, raucous gym roaring at every turn, this was a sweet victory for the home team to open the season. For the administration, staff, and student-athletes who worked tirelessly to make the Westchester Community College Men’s Basketball team a reality this season, it was the culmination of years of exhaustive planning and preparation. Ultimately, it was a night during which the entire community claimed victory. When the Vikings closed out a 101-74 win over visiting Monroe College, the applause, hugs, and handshakes meant one thing: Westchester Community College Men’s Basketball was back.

After several seasons of dormancy, the Vikings opened the 2017-18 season 1-0, and can now go about the business of redeveloping a program capable of competing with the very best in Region XV.

The game opened with a defensive stand that saw sophomore Tremaine Frasier steal an errant Monroe pass, and blast down the middle of the court for an uncontested lay-up to give Westchester a lead. From there, the Vikings dominated, opening up a 10-2 run that never let up. Westchester led by more than 20 points during parts of the opening half, and withstood a Monroe (0-1) run to take a 56-39 lead into halftime.

Any hope of a Monroe comeback was thwarted early in the second half as the Vikings overcame a constant Monroe full-court trap, and virtually ran Monroe out of the gym. As time wound down, the only drama remaining was whether or not Westchester Community College’s team would break 100 points, which they did when Derrick Hamlin converted a three-pointer from the corner with just under a minute of play.

Frasier led Westchester with 19 points, while sophomore Brandon Martin added 14 points, and Hamlin chipped in 12. The Vikings dominated all statistical categories, and shot an incredible 14 for 17 from the free throw line.

Westchester returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 5 when they host Jefferson Community College for a 1:00 p.m. start at the gym on the Valhalla campus.

“This season promises to be an enriching experience for many of our students, not only those who field the team,” says Dr. Belinda S. Miles, President, Westchester Community College. “The student athletes now have an opportunity to showcase their skills on the court, while their fellow students are now able to show their enthusiasm and exhibit school spirit during the season. This will truly enhance the overall college experience for all,” she adds.

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