The NCMC Pirates basketball season came to a close on Thursday night as the squad fell to St. Louis Community College 64-50 in the Region 16 tournament semifinals. The loss dropped the Pirates final record to 18-10 in Coach Esry's first season.
"This was not how we wanted to go out but overall we had a good year and there is no reason our guys should hang their heads. Special thanks to our 6 sophomores, Major Finley, Lorenzo Chisholm, Brandon Burden, Teyontae Jenkins and Demetrius Houston Jr., who were leaders for us all season on and off the floor," remarked Esry of the finality that is inevitable with any postseason loss.
In the game, it was a struggle for the Pirates to put up points. At the half, the team was down 22-19. In the end, the final total of 50 points was the season low mark offensively. "You have to give a lot of credit to St. Louis and how they defended us all night. They were able to speed us up offensively and we just couldn't hit a shot because of it. We had some good looks but I felt we rushed them because of their defense," commented Esry.
Jalen Gant led the Pirate scoring with 13 points. He also added 10 rebounds for a double-double.
The 18-10 final record was a 5-win improvement over the previous year's mark. The season was marked by some big wins, including a road victories over ranked MCC-Penn Valley and Johnson County teams plus a spirited win over St. Louis Community College to close out the home season. Look for continued growth of the program in years to come.