By Sara Lamb Contributing Writer
The University of Maine at Farmington Men’s basketball team boasts a nine game winning streak as their season comes to a close. The men’s team came into th
e North Atlantic Conference (NAC) in 5th place as they headed into the semifinal round of playoffs at New England college after Defeating the Thomas Terriers 92-83 at the quarterfinals.
Although the team fell short of the final match with a score of 71-56, they had a season for the record books, winning 14 of their 26 games and beating the top two teams in the conference. Alan Young, a Junior forward, called their nine game winning streak “a great confidence booster for us.”
Prior to the game, Eric Berry, a Senior captain of the team, said in an email interview, “We’re peaking at the perfect time. We have high confidence, and now we just have to win three more.” Berry said the team was hopeful that they could win it all because they had beaten the top two teams.
Berry said that it felt good to be the captain of a tight-knit group of guys who all got along and shared a unifying goal. Berry took it upon himself to personally prepare for the first playoff game.
“I [was] watching film of the opposing team, getting treatment from the athletic trainers, and getting shots and practicing,” Berry said.
Young expressed that the sport will always be important to him no matter what.
“I have played my whole life and I’ve worked very hard to get to where I’m at,” Young said. “Basketball is a sport that has made me a more competitive and successful person and I owe that to the sport.”
Dick Meader is the head coach of the Men’s Basketball team and has coached at UMF for 25 seasons. In that time, Meader has brought close to 20 of his teams to the playoffs and has won the North Atlantic Conference championship once in 2010. When asked about the game plan for the first playoff game, Meader said, “nothing really different except we got a couple guys back.” Meader is referring to the return of players Billy Ruby and Amir Moss, who were in better shape than when they played the Thomas Terriers.
Meader added that the Men’s Basketball team is “a group of guys that are very unselfish, and it’s fun to watch them play. They work hard in practice trying to get better, they do what you ask them to do, and it’s just a good group of guys, good students. It’s always fun.”