The Leader sports roundup: February 27 2018

By Cole Sheeks, Sports Editor

Follow him at @ColeSheeks

Men’s Track and Field

Despite an overall team effort that placed eighth out of nine teams at the CCIW Indoor Championships, junior Victor Ogbebor finished second in the 55-meter sprint on Feb. 23 with a time of 6.47 seconds.

This accomplishment was the highlight of the event for EC, as Ogbebor’s feats of speed and athleticism earned him a place among the All-CCIW squad.

Other performances of note included the EC distance medley relay team, which finished seventh and Joe Rivas, who placed 12th in the mile.

Men’s Lacrosse

Mac Harden received CCIW Player of the Week honors last week as he led the Bluejays in scoring throughout their opening games of the season.

Harden, a junior attacker, confounded opposing defenders as he scored six goals and assisted on two more, leading his team to a split of their first two games of the 2018 campaign. He returns for the men’s lacrosse team as a two-time first-team All-CCIW selection.

In the Bluejays road opener, the team traveled to Michigan, where they defeated Wittenberg University, 13-11 on Feb. 17.

Harden netted four goals and fellow EC attacker, sophomore Ty Funderburk, added three of his own while the Bluejays rallied to score nine times in the second half after trailing by four goals at the intermission.

Game two of the season did not feature the same happy ending, with our local lacrosse heroes falling to Aurora University on Feb. 21 by a final score of 8-7.

This matchup took place in frigid conditions, as Langhorst Field played host with the Bluejays beginning their home schedule.

EC competed throughout this back-and-forth affair, besting Aurora in shots on goal (21-15) and limiting their turnovers (allowing 15, while creating 20).

Yet, it was ultimately not enough, as Aurora scored six second half goals and handed the Bluejays their first loss.

EC heads up to Mequon, Wisconsin to face Concordia University Wisconsin on Feb. 28 at 3 p.m.

Mens Hoops

While the men’s lacrosse team began their season, the men’s basketball team concluded theirs as they fell to nationally ranked Augustana College on Feb. 20 in Rock Island, 79-77.

Despite missing the conference tournament, their 13-12 final record represented progress for the Bluejays after the team finished with an 8-17 mark last year.

Junior forward Jeremy Ireland was named to the All-CCIW second team while freshman guard Jake Rhode took home conference Freshman of the Year honors.

Both players made their EC debuts this season, as Ireland led the group with per-game averages of 14.8 points and 8.5 rebounds and Rhode adding 13.3 points of his own along with a team-leading 5.1 assists.

They figure to return next season when they will once again join guard Ryan Patton and forward Derek Dotlich in search of the programs first postseason appearance since their consecutive bids in the 2015 and 2016 CCIW tournaments.

Wrestling

A trio of Bluejay wrestlers have advanced to the NCAA Championships via strong performances at a regional tournament on Feb. 24.

Jimmy McAuliffe, Josh Lawson, and Anthony Munoz all competed valiantly as they represented the EC colors on the mat.

The NCAA Division III Championships will take place March 9 and 10 in Ohio.