GC Men’s Basketball Senior Night


Anjali Shenoy

Forward Chris Barks prepares to score at Senior Night

Drew Bogumill, Staff Writer

The GC men’s basketball team beat Flagler University Wednesday, Feb. 22, by a score of 101-87.

This was a big game for the Bobcats, as Flagler is a huge rival of GC. It was also senior night, meaning this would be the last time some players ever play a home game at GC.

Three seniors, forward Christian Koneman, forward Chris Parks, and guard Brandon Thomas, were honored before the start of the game.

The game was a fantastic match up overall with the two teams going back and forth taking the lead until the Bobcats made some second-half adjustments that helped them seal the victory. The Bobcats had five players in double-digits for points and scored a season-high 101 points.

Richard Crawford III, a redshirt junior at GC, led the Bobcats in scoring with a season-high 26 points. Crawford went 5-for-8 from beyond the arc, while also going 5-for-6 from the free-throw line.

Chapin Rierson, a redshirt senior on the team, was the second leading scorer for the Bobcats. He had a season-high of 18 points to go along with his four rebounds and three steals.

Rierson also drained a half-court buzzer-beater to end the first half, putting the Bobcats up five and electrifying the senior night atmosphere.

The Bobcats did not let the momentum slip in the second half, shooting just under 50% from behind the arc.

Sophomore Austin Sloan had 15 points, going 5-for-10 from the field and 3-for-7 from behind the arc. He also had two blocks and a steal on defense.

Brendan Rigsbee, a redshirt freshman, led the Bobcats in 3-point shooting percentage, going 50% from behind the arc (3-for-6) for a total of 14 points. He also shot a perfect 6-for-6 from behind the free-throw line.

Christian Koneman was the fifth player to score in the double-digits, scoring 13 points while shooting 50% from the field.

Both Koneman and Sloan led the team in rebounds, having seven a piece. Of their 14 rebounds, six came from under the Saints’ rim.

Thomas led the team in total assists, dishing out five to his teammates. Thomas finished with three points, going 3-for-3 from the free-throw line.

“That was an all-around great team win,” said Ryan Aquino, GC’s first-year head coach. “We had nine guys dressed. All nine played, and all nine scored.”

A change defensively helped turn the game around for the Bobcats.

“We put a new defense together that we had not run in months,” Aquino said. “We had a couple problems with it in the first half, but we cleaned them up at halftime, and the guys made all the adjustments.” 

The Bobcats have one remaining game on their schedule, and despite their poor record, they plan to approach this final game like it is game one of the season.

“We have one more game on Saturday, and if we win it, we have a really good chance to make the Peach Belt Tournament,” Aquino said. “My goal the whole year has been to play our best basketball at the end of the season, and right now, we are starting to look like we are doing that.”

For Koneman and the rest of the seniors, senior night is not just another game.

“It definitely means a lot more, with it being the last time we get to show out for the fans we have been playing in front of for what feels like forever now.” Koneman said. “It is very sad. I love playing this game, so it is hard to accept that it is all over, and I have to go do actual work.”

Rierson was ecstatic about his team’s performance on senior night.

“It has to be a 10 out of 10,” Rierson said. “The ball movement, as well as the team chemistry, were at an all-time high — not to mention we had five guys in double-digits.”

The Bobcats ended their season with a nail-biting loss to Columbus State 67-65. The team will now begin preparations for the next year as they came up short of making the Peach Belt Conference tournament. They ended the year with a 9-18 record.