The men’s basketball team took home its first-ever North Atlantic Conference men’s basketball championship on Saturday, Feb 25, defeating Colby-Sawyer 102-76 at Glenbrook Gymnasium.
Castleton and Colby-Sawyer battled a closely-contested game for much of the first half, but as halftime neared, the Spartans kicked it up a notch, going a on 13-3 run in the final minutes of the half.
The Spartans picked up where they had left off when play resumed, and Mark Comstock led the Spartans with six points during a 12-2 run during the first four minutes of the second half.
Castleton continued to drain buckets and pushed the lead to 24 at one point.
Colby-Sawyer did go on a six to two run near the end of the game, but the Spartans answered the rally with a three-point shot from Chad Pulver, breaking the Chargers’ backs and extending the lead back to 20.
“It’s a great feeling,” head coach Paul Culpo said. “I’m really happy for all the kids, especially the seniors.”
Senior guard Greg Hughes, who scored a game-high 23 points, shooting 6-10 from 3-point range, led the Spartans. Comstock also had a stellar game, scoring 20 points, adding seven rebounds. Logan White and Mark Pryzbylkowski were also in double-figures for the Spartans, pouring in 10 and 14 respectively.
Koang Thok led Colby-Sawyer players in double-figures, draining 19 points in the loss. Colby-Sawyer ends its season with a 20-8 record.
Castleton had two players on the All-Tournament team, Hughes and Comstock. Comstock was also awarded MVP for the tournament.
“It was a big game for both Mark and Greg,” Culpo said. “Greg was sensational. The last 20 minutes of the Husson game and the whole 40 minutes against Colby-Sawyer are the best 60 minutes Greg has played all year.”
With the win, the Spartans clinch a berth into the NCAA Division III National Tournament. The team will not know their opponent until Monday, though.
Culpo said that the uncertainty of the team’s next opponent would not change how he prepares his team for battle.
“We are not going to change anything going into the tournament,” Culpo said. “It’s just another game. We will have the same preparation that we have had all season long.”
The Spartans improved to 19-9 with the win, which is their best record since the 1997-98 season. They look to continue to improve their record in the tournament.
“It’s been a great season. This team is the hardest working group of young men I have coached,” Culpo said. “And it just doesn’t get better than this.”