By Matthew Osterhouse | email@example.com
Photo by Johanna Falzone
PHOTO CAPTION: Saints forward Eddie Fowler defends Francis Marion guard Kendrick Robinson.
Head Coach Bo Clark realized he had a challenge at the beginning of the season. The challenge turned out to be more than he expected.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” Clark said. “But you don’t realize how tough it is until you actually go through the 18 game schedule.”
The Saints first season in the Peach Belt Conference ended with a 6-12 record in conference play and many close losses. Overall, Flagler finished the season with an 11-16 record.
The Saints still had a chance to earn a playoff berth by winning against conference foe UNC Pembroke to end the regular season, but they lost.
Clark is disappointed with the season, but has confidence the team will improve.
“We’ll definitely get better next year,” Clark said. “There’s no doubt about it.”
The Saints are losing one senior next season, Adam Dixon, but will have five seniors returning. Most gained valuable experience as juniors.
Junior Kenny Moore led the team in rebounding with an average of 6.4 per game, and junior Eddie Fowler averaged 12.7 points per game.
Junior captains D.J. Ferguson and John Pietkiewicz will both be back next season. Pietkiewicz led the team in scoring, averaging 15.6 points per game. Ferguson led the team in minutes, steals, and assists.
In addition, Ferguson contributed 11.3 points per game and earned PBC All-Conference Third Team honors.
The Saints need to improve defensively, and are hoping that new recruits will provide a consistent presence on the boards.
Clark is skeptical of making predictions, but believes his team has a chance to be a top contender.
Can Flagler compete for the conference title?
“Well I don’t know if we’re there yet,” Clark said. “But I would hope that the experience that we got this year would maybe put us in that position.”
The PBC is a strong conference.
For the second year in a row, four teams will represent the conference in the Division II NCAA Tournament. “The talent level in this league is very very good,” Clark said.
The Saints look to build on their experience this season, and are determined to win more games.
“I am not going to sit here and say we are 6-12, and we’re satisfied with 6-12,” Clark said. “Because we got to get better.”