By Gabby Goodwin || Assistant Sports Editor
Johns Hopkins. One of the biggest games of the year for the Diplomats, no matter which sport you play. Whether it’s soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, or basketball, Hopkins always proves to be a consistent rival time and time again. This past Wednesday night, the F&M Men’s Basketball team faced off against their rivals in a very tightly contested match up. Even though the team fell short in a tight 67-57 loss, the team showed what they are truly capable of and that they have the hearts of champions. In a crazy and wild comeback, F&M closed in on the Blue Jays, but came up just short as the final buzzer sounded.
Hopkins dominated early on in the game with a 14-0 lead in less than 7 minutes of play. They managed to up their lead to 19-5 at 10:20 remaining in the first half, but the Dips came out strong. They put together a 7-2 run to come within nine points with 7:30 left in the half. Hopkins, sensing that F&M was right on their heels, increased their lead to 14 points. The Dips managed to battle back to within eight at the end of the half, giving them a great opportunity to complete the comeback.
At the start of the second half, Hopkins answered back once again and reclaimed their double-digit lead with 11:30 left, leading by a 51-40 score. F&M once again countered hard with a 13-1 run in the span of five minutes and even managed to take the lead with just over six minutes remaining. J.C. McGrath led the way during the fierce run, scoring six points while Jared Brooks netted five. The Blue Jays, however, were able to reclaim the lead and never looked back. Though the scoreboard may not have reflected it, the Dips put up a long and difficult fight against a very tough and durable Hopkins team to nearly clinch a rival win.
F&M’s Brandon Federici, who led the Dips in the opening frame with 10 points, finished with a game-high 17 points. Wright netted 12 points with 4 assists and McGrath finished with 11 points and 7 boards for the Dips.
The team then traveled to Washington College on Saturday where they won 74-63 and secured a spot in the Centennial Conference Playoffs. They will now finish off their season with their last two Centennial Conference games this upcoming week. They will play against Dickinson away on Wednesday and Swarthmore at home on Saturday, followed by the start of the Centennial Conference playoffs the following week. This stretch of games will determine their postseason fate and will no doubt be of the utmost importance to the team. These important games will make or break their season
Come out and support F&M Men’s Basketball as they look to finish off their season strong and seek to clench a conference title again.
First-year Gabby Goodwin is the assistant sports editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.