The Fighting Colonels fell to St. James High School by 64-31 on November 30 during the first round of the Sullivan FCNB Bank-It Championship.
The score was close in the first quarter, with MMA behind 10 to 9, but the Colonels eventually fell behind.
“I believe this team has potential to do some surprising things,” head coach Kevin Bissmeyer said. “We are showing tenacity on the court and a willingness to sacrifice and do things the right way for the team. … Although we came up short this time we will keep pounding the rock; eventually it will all come together.”
Bilguun Byambatsogt ’16 led the MMA scorers with 9 points. Robert Shields ’17 and Jose Elizondo ’18 each contributed 7 points.
The Fighting Colonels returned to the Bank-It Championship on December 1, ultimately falling 88-28 to Park Hills High School. Cadets wrapped up their championship run December 4 with a 56-22 loss to Potosi.
The varsity Colonels fell 71-42 to Owensville in their home opener December 7. Junior Bayar-Erdene Oldokhbayar contributed 17 points and two rebounds. Elizondo finished with 9 points and 3 rebounds. Sean Fitzgerald ’17 and Shields scored six points apiece. The MMA junior varsity team fell to the Dutchmen by 43-26.
Cadets next faced Wright City on December 10, ultimately falling 60-56 in a closely contested match. In the final minute of the varsity game, MMA lessened Wright City’s lead from 10 points to 4 points.
“We are starting to build something,” Bissmeyer said. “The team is getting better at doing the little things the right way. … If we can make a couple small adjustments, with the effort these cadets have been putting in, winning will eventually take care of itself.”
The junior varsity team fell to Wright City 36-29. Notable performers were: Oldokhbayar with 14 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds; Byambatsogt with 12 points and 4 rebounds; and Fitzgerald with 9 points, 4 rebounds and a block.
Cadets earned their first win of the season 66-56 over the Silex Owls in the Centennial Gymtorium on December 15. The score sat at 34-25 at the half and the Colonels continued to win, up by 16 points in the third quarter. Silex took the game to within 8 points late in the fourth quarter, but MMA proved victorious.
“It was a hard fought game with several early lead changes, but MMA was able to pull away,” Bissmeyer said. “The MMA players stayed disciplined.”
Oldokbayar boasted a triple-double with 14 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Elizondo contributed 13 rebounds, 14 points and two blocks. Shields had 9 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds while Victor Armando Leon ’18 made 13 points, 5 rebounds and two blocks.
The junior varsity Colonels defeated Silex by 45-16.
“The JV team took advantage of their height in this game,” Bissmeyer said. “MMA played fast, rebounded well and stayed out of foul trouble which allowed them to pull away as the game progressed.”
Top JV performers were: Julien Mugabo ’17 with 8 points, 6 blocks, 5 rebounds and 3 assists; Jean-Luc Shyaka ’17 with 9 points, 5 rebounds and a block; and Leon with 6 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks.
The varsity Colonels next faced Higbee, falling 52-44 on December 17 in the Centennial Gymtorium. Cadets took a 7-0 lead at the start but fell behind in the second quarter. Higbee’s lead grew as high as 20 points ahead, but MMA fought back and narrowed the gap to 6 points with just over two minutes left in the game. MMA’s record sat at 1-3 going into the holiday break.
Oldokhbayar contributed 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists; Jose Estrada ’16 had 13 points and 8 rebounds.
“We did a good job of getting good shots – they just weren’t falling. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes your shots just don’t fall and the other team’s do,” Bissmeyer said. “The boys showed a lot of heart on the court the last few games. … If we are able to come together as a team and fix the little things after our holiday break, these boys have the potential to do some really good things!”
Though varsity fell, the junior varsity squad proved triumphant 56-25 and entered the holiday break with a 2-2 record.
Cadets notched nine three-pointers total. Oybek Kirkland ’16 led the team with 19 points, 4 rebounds and an assist; Leon, Mugabo and Yinzhou Wang ’17 together combined for six blocks.
“[Our] shooting tonight was outstanding,” Bissmeyer said. “The boys are doing a great job of getting to their spots and taking confident shots when the opportunity presents itself.”
SOUTH CALLAWAY TOURNAMENT
The MMA basketball Colonels faced New Bloomfield in the first round of the South Callaway Tournament on January 12, falling 49-77. According to head coach Bissmeyer, cadets “played well in spurts” and narrowed the score to as close as 21-24 but were unable to sustain their efforts. Estrada led the team with 13 points. Byambatsogt contributed 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
MMA’s young team experienced growing paints during the South Callaway Tournament, finishing 0-3 overall.
“The boys need to find ways to dig down deep and continue competing even after they go down by a few baskets,” head coach Bissmeyer said.
MMA fell first to state contender New Bloomfield by 77-49. Leading scorers were Estrada with 13 points, Byambatsogt with 10 points and Leon with 7 points.
The Colonels fell January 14 to New Haven by 41-26, shorthanded with several players sitting out. In the final game of the tournament on January 15, MMA fell 60-42 against North Callaway.
“The talent is here and the effort is there, but the leadership, the winning expectation and the teamwork need to catch up right now,” Bissmeyer said.
The varsity basketball team fell 43-64 and the JV team lost 32-34 versus Wellsville-Middleton R-1 on January 22 in the Centennial Gymtorium.
Cadets faced New Bloomfield on February 2, falling 30-78.
The following day, they played North Callaway for the second time this season. This time cadets proved victorious 44-42 on their home court. The game marked the first time in history in which MMA’s varsity basketball team defeated the Thunderbirds.
With just 4.9 seconds remaining in the game, with the Colonels trailing by one point, Oldokhbayar cut through the defense to score a layup with just 4 seconds remaining on the clock. After MMA hit a free throw to put the Colonels up by two, North Callaway proceeded to miss two free throws of their own. Time ran out with the Colonels earning their second victory of the season.
“The game went back and forth with both teams playing well,” Bissmeyer said. “The improvement from two weeks ago to tonight has been tremendous. The cadets are working hard every day in practice and becoming better teammates. Their defense is improving every contest and players are learning how to work within their roles to help the team succeed.”
Oldokhbayar led the Colonels with 19 points, 11 steals, one rebound and one assist. Shields contributed 10 points, two rebounds, two steals and an assist. Fitzgerald added six points, 11 rebounds, two assists and one steal. Elizondo finished with four points and three rebounds. Freshman Nyamkhuu Chinguun added three points and five rebounds. Leon added six rebounds, three blocked shots and two points.
The JV team lost 48-33 to the Thunderbirds. Top performers included: Shyaka with 9 points and 4 rebounds; and Donald Williams ’18 with 6 points, 4 rebounds and a steal.
MMA’s varsity basketball team led by 15 points at halftime but ultimately fell 57-51 versus Calvary Lutheran on February 5.
“The boys came out playing well but lost focus in the second half,” Bissmeyer said. “We are doing things well enough to stay close in most games, but we have to play more consistently if we want to win.”
Top performers were: Shields with 12 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals; Oldokhbayar with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 4 steals; Leon with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks; Elizondo with 9 points, 10 rebounds and one block; and Fitzgerald with 8 points, 3 rebounds and one steal.
The JV team fell 46-40. Top scorers were: Williams with 14 points and 4 steals; Kirkland with 12 points, 2 rebounds and 3 steals; and Mig Gisa with 2 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals.
The MMA Colonels faced off against Clark County in district play on February 23, falling 71-38 in their final match of the season. MMA totaled 8 steals, 9 blocks and 7 turnovers as a team, shooting 31.9% from the floor.
Oldokhbayar led the scorers with 17 points, one rebound and one steal. Fitzgerald contributed 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a block. Elizondo notched 4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks and 2 steals. Shields added 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block, while Leon contributed 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 blocked shots.
“We had one of our best defensive showings of the season,” Bissmeyer said. “They made really difficult shots.”