Men’s basketball looks to Dixon, Ferguson, Pietkiewicz to lead
By Matthew Osterhouse | email@example.com
Photo contributed by John Jordan
The Flagler College men’s basketball team is learning by doing. In the first year of Peach Belt Conference play, the Saints are 7-6 overall and 2-2 in the conference.
The heart of the season is still to come.
Flagler won two exhibition games and one regular season game to open the season, but lost the next three. Since that time, the Saints have won important conference games against Armstrong Atlantic and Lander, and lost to conference foe Augusta State.
To win in this [conference], we are really going to have to come to play every night, because if we don’t we are going to get beat,” said head coach Bo Clark.
As of Jan. 19, Augusta State was 14-1 overall and 6-0 in the conference. Augusta State ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division II according to the NABC/Coaches Poll on Jan. 12.
Flagler played Augusta State on Jan. 6 in Georgia. The Saints kept it close in the first half, but were dominated in the second half.
“That was really like playing Duke or North Carolina to a certain degree,” Clark said.
Unfortunately for Flagler, Augusta State is not only in its conference, but also in its division. The Peach Belt is broken down into east and west divisions, and the top four teams from each division make it to post-season play.
Clark likes the improvement the team is making and considers qualifying for post-season play a realistic goal. “I think our team is getting to know each other every practice and trust in each other. . . I think our keys will be our defense and rebounding,” he said.
With only one senior, center Adam Dixon, on the roster, Flagler is leaning on the experience of two junior guards. John Pietkiewicz and D.J. Ferguson, both captains, will be pivotal in leading a young Saints team.
After a Jan. 18 win over Trinity, Pietkiewicz led the team with 16.1 points per game and Ferguson led the team in steals and assists.
Junior forward Kenny Moore and freshman center Chad July led the team in rebounding, with 81 and 83, respectively, after the win over Trinity.