Men’s Basketball makes a home stand comeback



Aaron Thompson against Saginaw Valley

Brooke Young

Ashland University’s Men’s Basketball team has started to make a comeback in their recent home game stand. Despite a rocky start to the conference season, the Eagle Men are beginning to make a comeback on the hardwood, winning four straight games during their homestand.
“We establish who we are,” Coach John Ellenwood said.

Most recently the Eagles walked away with a victory on Feb. 1 over Lake Superior State.

“It’s one of those things where you can get in a hole,” Ellenwood said.

The toughness of the weeks and the road trips got to the team. Before facing Michigan Tech, the team had only one day of practice, due to a mandatory seven-day break.

The mentality of the team had to shift.

“We came back and I told the guys, reality has to change. We have to fight. We have to stay in this tournament,” Ellenwood said. “We had to sit down and establish where we were, what we could accomplish. We had to know what our goals were.”

Junior Forward Derek Koch said, “I’m going to put myself in a position to help out my teammates.”

On Jan. 23, the Eagle men walked away with a victory over Northwood, where Koch scored 22 points and helped tremendously to secure the win.
The changes in mentality began to reflect on the hardwood, as the Eagle Men scored victories over Northwood, Saginaw Valley, Ferris State, and Lake Superior State.

Aaron Thompson’s performance against Saginaw Valley, with 19 points and 13 rebounds, helped the Eagles to score another win.
Brandon Haraway, Rodrick Caldwell, and Derek Koch all had over 20 points against Lake Superior State on Feb 1.

However, the biggest win of the season came on Jan. 30.

“On my end, there was a lot of anxiety,” Ellenwood said about the Jan 30 matchup against 11 ranked Ferris State. Senior center Drew Noble was out due to a concussion. The starting lineup was going to be different for this game.

When there is a player of Drew’s expertise unable to play, there is a lot of worry, Ellenwood said.

“The mentality [of the Ferris State Game] was we’re going to fight. We are going to be tough. A tough team today. We don’t care if we win, or if we lose, but we are going to show up as a tougher team today,” Ellenwood said.

The team relied on one another.

“We were each other’s motivation,” Koch said, “Everyone in the locker room knows we can beat anyone as long as we play for each other. We are a big family, and we will do anything for each other.”

6”7’ Freshman, CJ Karsatos, stepped up to the plate scoring 12 points for the team against Ferris State.

“My mindset was I was going to play my role and if the ball came my way to take a confident shot, and lucky enough that my teammates found me open, I was fortunate to knock those shots down,” Karsatos said.

Karsatos praised his teammates and the coaches for putting him in the right situations to “exceed” saying that “all I had to do was play as hard as I could.”

“It was very special to come out with a win that night, especially with the adversity this team has been through this season,” Karsatos said.
The Eagle men will take to the court again on Feb. 6 against Davenport and look to continue their renewed mentality.

“They can see the end of the road. I asked them: ‘What do you want it to look like?’” Ellenwood said.