Men’s b-ball ready to roll


Victoria McGinty photo

The Lakers’ No. 34 Daniel Ogele right before a successful dunk during Friday’s game. Coming off of a historic season, the Lakers are looking to continue turning heads in the 2019-20 season.

Will Zytnick, Staff writer

The Mercyhurst University Men’s Basketball team opened the 2019-20 season with huge expectations after being officially ranked in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division and coming off an incredible season last year.

The Lakers had a run for the ages, finishing last season at 26-8 , capturing the NCAA Atlantic Region Championship and marching to the Elite Eight, ultimately losing to Northwestern Missouri (who would win the tournament). There was of course much optimism to begin a new season of Lakers basketball, which began in a home game Friday, Nov. 8 against the D’Youville Spartans.

As the game began the fans knew right away the Lakers came to the court prepared and determined with Zach McIntire and Joel Ufele providing some dunks and adding two Daniel Ogele jumpers to set the tone with the score at 8-3.

The Spartans would counter with a three-pointer to trim at the lead then quickly tallied a layup to give them a 10-8 lead just four minutes in.

Then suddenly, in about two minutes, the Lakers pounced with nine points unanswered to restore their superior dominance, going up 17-10. With the Lakers holding onto a new lead of 21-13, the Spartans refused to quit, responding with back to back three-pointers to once again trim the Laker lead to 21-19. Crushing the building momentum of the Spartan attack was Trystan Pratapas, who sunk a three-pointer to bring D’Youville to reality with a new six-point lead.

The dominance continued for the Lakers with a impressive run, scoring 12 points while only allowing two points, with 6:57 to go. With the Lakers storming to a 33-21 lead, the Spartans tried their best to trim the lead with another triple.

The Lakers didn’t bend though, as Nicholas Lang and Miykah MacIntosh added three-pointers to give the Laker faithful a convincing lead with the score 47-28. Before the first half ended, the Lakers added insult to injury with nine more points to seize the half and have total control of the game 56-30.

The second half began with a bang with the Lakers gaining the largest lead of the night at 28 with McIntire burying a triple just 1:20 into the second half.And from then on it was utter domination by our proud Lakers as they continued to add to their lead, eventually going over the century mark. Freshman Michael Bradley would score the final basket, with 58 seconds left and when it was all said and done, the Lakers seized the game and night with a final score of 115-60 and their first win of the season.

Coach Gary Manchel shared his take of the game against the Spartans. “I felt we played a really good game, we dominated till the very end and I felt we were the better team all night, we have to play like that the rest of the season and good things will come for us.”

Coach Manchel also shared his thoughts on being preranked 4th in PSAC “It’s huge honor for our team to be ranked that high, yes we were disappointed with what happened last year but this years goes to show that we have to work hard and like I said good things will come.”

Next on the Lakers’ schedule is a game at Daemen College in Amherst, NY. Conference play will open for the Lakers on Nov. 23, with a contest against Millersville University.