The Badgers fell short by just three points after fighting their way to the championship game in the Region XVIII Men’s Basketball Tournament, on February 29.
Gaining the second seed position, late in the conference season, the Badgers did all they could to battle back from a rough start and protect their title as conference champions. Starting off with Southern Idaho on Friday, February 28, the Badgers found another win after cutting it close in the final minutes.
Despite holding the Golden Eagles shots to only 21.05 percent from the field, the Badgers still had to fight back and reclaim the lead after CSI started to gain their own lead with twelve minutes left in the first half. The Badgers were eventually able to take it back and push their own cushion to 8 points at the half.
The second half was another battle that tried the Badgers will and drive, but Snow pushed through and gained their spot in the championship game after winning by a margin of one basket.
Head Coach Robert Nielson took some time out of the victory celebration to share a few words after Friday’s game to talk about how it went for the Badgers. “The game came down to defence. We shut them out the first half. We did a good job, and then they stepped up and made some really hard shots. It was a great game though, and our guys fought and battled.”
The championship game on Saturday against the Salt Lake Community College Bruins wasn’t anything new, as it was nearly identical to the Badger’s last match-up against the Bruins, which came down to the final shot, in the last seconds as well.
Trailing in the last few minutes of the game, the Badgers did all they could to close the gap against the fast scoring Bruin offence. As the clock eventually ran down to zero, Matt Norman shot his final free-throws after a fouled shot, to push the Badgers within 3 points to end the game 81-84.
While the Badgers couldn’t maintain their region champion title, the Badgers had a stacked starting line up full of awards to be proud of. Both Trey Farrer and Brayden Johnson we’re named 1st team All-Region. Brantzen Blackner was credited with 2nd team All-Region, and finally Tredyn Christansen and Matt Norman both were named All-Region Honorable Mentions.
Brayden Johnson and Matt Norman received their last award after Saturday’s championship game, when they were named the Region All-Tournament team.
From fighting back after a rocky start of the season, the Snow College Badgers have really impressed the community and league with their pride and determination. Moving their way up to the second seed and coming within three points of defending their title, the Badgers will be the team to beat next year as they look to reclaim the title from the Bruins.