Despite rallying to win three of their final six games, the Cayuga Community College Men's Basketball Team fell one or two wins short of making the postseason in the 2018-2019 season.
The Spartans finished strong, winning three games against Mid-State Athletic Conference opponents in the final two weeks of the season, but closed the season with an 8-14 overall record and a 4-9 mark in the conference, landing outside postseason play.
Coach Tony Borges noted that for the last 13 games of the season, the team was down to a six-man roster, but the team's effort and competitiveness didn't diminish.
"We worked hard, even though we were down a few players. We were in pretty much all of our games, but we just ran out of gas because we couldn't substitute," said Borges. "I know there were some teams who didn't want to play us down the stretch. We left some fights out there. That's all I can ask for as a coach."
The final six games of the season saw the Spartans play some of their strongest basketball. They notched wins over conference opponents Jefferson, SUNY Broome and Tompkins-Cortland, and dropped two close contests to Finger Lakes Community College. Both Tompkins-Cortland and Finger Lakes reached the Region III postseason tournament.
"We were really locked in toward the end of the season. The guys knew we were in the final stretch, and if we wanted to reach the playoffs we had to reel off some wins. We gave it our best shot and came close," said Borges. "Guys could have packed it in and folded on the season, but they didn't do that. They fought hard right to the end."
Sophomore guard Messiah Brown led Cayuga in scoring with 23.4 points per game, which was ninth-best among Division III players in the National Junior College Athletic Association. Brown finished his career at Cayuga with a two-year total of 934 points, and was named to the All-Conference Team and third-team All-Region.
Freshmen guards Stanley Beato and Joe McCoy finished second and third in scoring for the Spartans, with 17.1 and 14.8 points per game, respectively. Sophomore Javon Coleman led Cayuga in rebounding, grabbing 9.4 boards per game, and also averaged 9.3 points per game.
Along with Beato and McCoy, other players eligible for the 2019-2020 season include freshmen Sequan Hicks, who averaged almost 11 points per game this season, and Mekai Dare, who averaged 7.5 points per game.