On Friday night, students gathered in Barnes Gym to witness Mountaintop Madness, Covenant’s spin-off of the nationwide, college basketball extravaganza otherwise known as Midnight Madness. And, even though Covenant’s version of the event was not held at midnight, plenty of excited fans, players, and coaches still turned out to witness the Scots tip-off the 2010-2011 basketball season.
To start, both the men’s and women’s teams were introduced to the student body. After the formalities were over, the teams held inner-squad scrimmages that showcased and previewed the talented players who will be balling it up on the court this year. After the scrimmages, the night was then capped off by the three-pointer and dunk contests.
The three-pointer contest was won by junior Margaret Cross, who proved that she will once again be a threat from beyond the arc in the upcoming season. And while dunk contests and Covenant College are not usually mentioned in the same breath, juniors Sam Bowman and Chase Foster’s thrilling throw-downs proved otherwise.
For the first round dunk, Foster threw a perfect “alley-oop” over the backboard to the 6’7” Bowman to promptly slam home. The jam was good enough to put them in the final, where the dynamic duo then wasted no time in taking it to the next level. Bowman threw the ball off the glass to Foster, who then headed the ball out of the air and back into Bowman’s hands for the winning dunk.
With the initial excitement of the contests and scrimmages now behind them, the squads will resume focus on the upcoming seasons. The Lady Scots will begin this season with a young team and a new leader in Head Coach Corey Mullins. Coach Mullins was hired this past summer, and has worked tirelessly to prepare the Lady Scots for the upcoming season. With the graduation of All-American forward Erika Forland and the departure of former coach Tami Smialek, the Lady Scots will now rely heavily on Mullins and juniors Cross and Hannah Craft for leadership and scoring this year.
On the other side of the court, the men’s team will strive to improve greatly upon last year’s three win campaign. Coach Taylor and the 11 new players he brought in last season now have a year’s experience under their belts, and should be much stronger this year. Having lost only one senior, the Scots returned every key contributor from last year’s team and added some new faces that will be looking to make an impact. Junior forward Sam Bowman will once again dominate the blocks this year, and sophomore wings Callum Sears and Damien Chaney will look to improve upon their stellar freshman years. The Scots will be extremely young again, but with a year of experience under their belts, they can only improve. And if the dunk contests, three-point showdowns, and intense scrimmages were a sign of things to come, Covenant basketball fans could be in for an exciting 2010-2011 season.