The Castleton State College men’s basketball team entered 2010 with a measly 4-4 record. The Spartans, though, had no intention of continuing that trend into the New Year. Since the ball dropped, Castleton has built up an impressive 11-7 record (5-2 in the NAC) and has become a force to be reckoned with.Jan. 3 was the Spartans’ 2010 opener against non-conference Skidmore College. Skidmore entered the game with an 8-1 record. With balanced scoring from the starting line-up of Derrick Faragon (15 points), Mark Comstock (14), Mike Knight (13), Greg Hughes (11), and Jared Paul (8), Castleton pulled off a 72-68 win.
Castleton then went on a 5-2 streak. The streak started with a loss to Framingham State by a score of 61-53. Castleton then had a 3-game winning streak against College of St. Josephs 75-74, Johnson State College 64-50, and Lyndon State College 81-67. The Spartans lost to conference foe Husson on January 22, then beat Maine Maritime Academy 67-57 and cross-town rival Green Mountain College 61-52.
Coach Paul Culpo is pleased with the work his team has done.
“I would be lying if I was not incredibly happy about being 4-1 in the NAC.”
Culpo is also not taking the record for granted, saying that the team has a long road ahead of it. The first stop on the long road was in Maine this past weekend, and Culpo said that it would be a big challenge to his team.
Well, Culpo was correct in that the weekend’s games were not an easy feat. Friday night proved difficult for Castleton, losing to UMaine-Farmington 75-53. Freshman guard Kevin Eisenberg paced the Spartans’ offense with 12 points, while Faragon chipped in 10.
The Farmington loss did not get the Spartans down as they went on to Saturday’s match-up against the Thomas Terriers. After leading at halftime, Castleton lost the lead in the opening minutes of the second half. Not ready for defeat, the Spartans delivered 12 unanswered points to regain the lead. Castleton never looked back and handed the Terriers a 69-59 loss. Faragon led all scorers with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Paul added 20 points and Knight 13.
With the 5-2 NAC record, Castleton currently sits pretty in third place in the NAC. The Spartans are back at it on Feb. 6 when they take on Lyndon State College in the Glenbrook Gymnasium. Tip-off is slated for 4:00 p.m.