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Senior Night turns dark for Sea Warriors

by Derek Clarkston, Sports editor

Chaminade University’s Sashif Reyes silenced the Sea Warriors basketball team with his deadly shooting from beyond the arch, leading the Silverswords to a 101-77 thrashing of the Sea Warriors in a PacWest Conference game, March 3 at the Neil Blaisdell Center.

Reyes, a senior guard, spoiled senior night for five HPU seniors playing their last game at the NBC, by hitting 10 three-pointers enroute to scoring a game and career-high 32 points.

 

“I was just in the zone, man, that’s all. I can’t explain it,” said Reyes. “But, I always feel like that. If my teammates pass me the rock, and I’m open, I’m going to hit my shots.”

Reyes only attempted one shot from inside the arch through out the game, and he ended the night shooting 10-16 from the field. His only other points came at the free throw line, where he went 2-2.

With the win the Silverswords moved in to sole possession of third place in the PacWest conference with a 7-7 record (10-14, overall), HPU dropped down to fourth place in the conference with a 6-8 conference record (9-16 overall).

HPU coach Russell Dung didn’t have an answer for Reyes blistering shooting, or for the entire Silverswords team, which shot 57.1 percent from three-point land (16-28).

“ It was pretty hard to stop Reyes,” said Dung. “We started at the beginning of the game trying to stop penetration, and we did a pretty good job of that. But when a guy stands out beyond the three-point arch it’s pretty hard to guard him. He just made all of his shots. I give him a lot of credit.”

Reyes, had a lot of support around him as five other Silverswords reached double-digits points, Nick Frey (18), Roy Stigall, (12), Byron Sykes (12), Dustin Mittelsteadt (11), and Sam Henning (10). Frey also had a game-high 13 rebounds to register a double-double.

Aaron Abrams led the way for the Sea Warriors with 23 points, followed by three other players who hit double figures in points: Dante Sykes (20), Marvin Noble (13), and Audrius Peciukas (12). Peciukas grabbed 12 rebounds to pick up a double-double.

HPU biggest lead of the game was five points, and that came early in the contest when Sykes connected on a pair of free throws with 14:28 left in the first half.

The Silverswords took the lead, 14-13, when Reyes connected on his first three pointer of the night at the 13 minute mark in the first half, and they never lost it.

Chaminade ended the first half with a 49-33 lead. HPU trimmed the deficit to 14 points with a basket from Abrams starting the second half, but that was as close as the Sea Warriors would get.
Despite the loss, it was a special night for one HPU senior, Zach Stephens, who was told five-minutes before the game that he would be making the first start of his four-year career.

“ It’s definanlty something nice. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m definitely all about the team and whatever is best for them,” said Stephens. “Coach Dung was nice enough to give me the start, and I appreciate that.”

Guards Abrams, Noble and Tecul, and Forward Jay Bussey, also played their last home game of their college career, as they started alongside Stephens. “I thought the seniors carried themselves very well throughout the year,” said Dung. “We had an up and down year, but they never lost hope. They kept the team motivated, and they tried to pick up the slack.”

“ Unfortunately they were unable to do it, but I thought they really blended together and gave a lot of leadership to the team.”

 

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