The Saints men’s basketball season wrapped up this past Saturday with a win against Lane Community College, 94-85.
Those who follow the team know it was a rough season for this heavily freshman-based squad, which only returned two sophomores, point guard Steven Fair and forward Conor Geiger. On the year, Fair averaged 16 points per game and grabbed about five rebounds, while Geiger scored 12 per game and shot 51 percent from behind the three-point arc.
On Saturday, the pair finished their Mt. Hood careers with style. Fair finished the game with 18 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Geiger scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Freshman guard-forward Ethan Channel led the Saints to their win with 24 points, on 5-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
Fair was named to the all-South Division Second Team by the NWAC for his solid season.
Still, he and Geiger would’ve liked to have finished the 2017-18 season a lot better, after last year’s great run to make the NWAC playoffs. These Saints finished third-to-last in the NWAC South Division with a record of 6-10, and went 10-17 overall (after going 9-7 and 16-12 last season).
In missing the playoffs, this season wasn’t really a terrible one but more of a rough one. The Saints lost five games in overtime and had many other close games they could, even should, have won.
They started the preseason in November and lost their first five games, but got right back up in December to win four straight games, as they entered their conference games. But they never quite got the consistent play they needed.
As head coach John Hawley stressed in an interview back in January with the Advocate, “We haven’t played real consistent basketball, that’s been the biggest thing. And it starts with our on-ball defense. It breaks us down a little bit, causing a lot of problems in our rotations.”
The young Saints do have a few things to take away from this season, however: experience, the motivation to get into the playoffs next year, and better team chemistry.