The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Cross-town blow out

Two days. Two games. Two wins. Quaker men’s basketball opened their season by beating the Methodist University Monarchs 91-72 on Nov. 17.

Seniors Rhett Bonner, Clay Henson and Tyler Sanborn, commonly referred to as the “Big Three,” teamed up to score a combined 54 points, to lead the team to 1-0.

“We are just a small part of what we do,” said Sanborn.

There is a strong supporting cast behind the Big Three. First-year Josh Pittman impressed the crowd with nine points in the Methodist contest, having only played 16 minutes.

“He’s a freshman … He’s a freshman” was chanted by the exuberant student section, adorned in white for the season opener’s “white-out.”

Sporting News’ pre-season nationally ranked #2 Quakers have many new faces in addition to Pittman’s. Sophomore transfer Tobi Akinsola and first-year guard Travis Tracey scored for a combined 17 points against the Monarchs and played for 25 total minutes, which helped conserve the energy of the Quakers.

On the day following the Methodist game, the Quakers traveled to the Greensboro Coliseum to extend their perfect record against Greensboro College in the second part of the double-header with women’s basketball against The Pride.

The Coliseum hadn’t been home to the cross-town rivalry since 2006, which was the last time the two teams played in overtime. The Quakers won by four that year, lost by five the following year and won by 21 in 2008. Seven minutes into this year’s game, and the Quakers were up 28-0 – no mercy from the Guilford side.

“We definitely did not expect to jump out like that,” said Sanborn. “But it really showed what we can do if we play well and play together.”

Five minutes later, the score was 40-3 in favor of Guilford.

After only five minutes of play, Guilford wasn’t turning back. The hype around the rivalry game quickly turned into which team’s cheering section was louder.

There was no question that the Guilford section, more commonly referred to as the “Maroon Platoon,” headed by junior Derik Walters, wearing black for the “Black Out,” was more rowdy, mostly due in part to the Quakers’ performance.

“It’s always fun to play and dominate Greensboro,” said Walters. “Their fans had nothing to say because their team was getting killed.”

The Quakers’ 100 percent free-throw shooting in the first half helped accumulate their big lead, which allowed the starters to rest before halftime.

The second half boasted more time for the Quaker bench players, as Henson and Sanborn played 16 and 11 minutes respectively, still dropping 14 and 11 points.

Sophomore Gabriel Lowder had seven points and one block in his 11 minutes, as Pittman shot 50% off the bench from the floor, scoring seven points and adding two assists in his 17 minutes.

Some Pride fans left the contest prematurely, and the rest followed them at halftime.

“It got boring,” said sophomore women’s basketball player Laura Kopald. “We sat down after halftime with no one to cheer against.”

It was a successful cross-town rivalry for the Quakers, now 3-0 to start the season, having beaten Averett 81-56 on November 2.

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