James Nosek | Press Box Perspectives Editor/Columnist
It’s pretty hard to describe Mason’s 54-47 upset win over the defending state champion LaSalle Lancers. To beat a team like that in a game that really didn’t mean that much to the Comets, shows that this team is for real.
If you didn’t go to the game, shame on you, it was electric and actually that was the surprising part. I doubt most of the people at the game were expecting to see Mason upset LaSalle.
We knew why they were there– to watch the top team in the city and possibly one of the best teams in state but as we found out, a lot of people were dead wrong.
Actually, who didn’t show up was the Cincinnati Enquirer and that’s probably because they thought LaSalle would cruise by with an easy win. In yesterday morning’s paper, there was a good feature article about a basketball player who is having a career year but of course it wasn’t written about JD Sprague or Darin Harris or Michael Van Kleunen, no, it was about LaSalle’s Josh Lemons. No surprise there because he is a top-notch player, but the point is, to release an article like that on the same day of LaSalle’s game with Mason, that is not a lot of respect to the Comets.
It was almost like a declaration that LaSalle was far superior to Mason.
But just like they have done all year, Mason keeps winning the right way and is starting to change people’s minds. With the win against the Lancers, they have made a statement to the school, the conference, the city, the state and the Enquirer; even if head coach Greg Richards won’t admit it. The game was a win-win for the Comets even if they would have lost because LaSalle is an out-of-conference powerhouse, a loss to them would only hurt the emotions of the team, not their GMC record.
With this team striving for a GMC title, this win might give it to them. Sure there are nine more games to be played but what the LaSalle win does is give this team is some unneeded confidence.
The win is like putting another layer of chocolate syrup on your ice cream, it’s awesome and taste’s great but unnecessary. But if someone just puts the syrup on your ice cream for free, of course you’re not going to turn it down, you’ll be determined to eat it all. That’s what the win was for the Comets, like that extra chocolate syrup.
Before the LaSalle win, the Comets already won six straight games including an exciting comeback win last Friday night, so if they did lose to LaSalle, it would have just been a small bump in the road but no mountain to climb.
That’s what makes this year special, not that the team is now 10-1 and coming off the upset win, no, it is the way they are carrying themselves. The whole mind set against LaSalle was to win and win no matter what.
It didn’t matter if LaSalle had a combination of college and NBA players, they would think they could win and sometimes that’s the difference. Earlier in the season, it was hard to tell if this team really believed in their goal of “be the first,” but after the LaSalle win; it is in full swing and not on a decline at the moment.
So say what you want about the game, maybe that LaSalle had their worst shooting night of the year or senior Josh Lemons struggled like “La-Brick” (LeBron James), but you have to agree that Mason made a statement, and if they win the GMC this year, they will definitely look back at this one as a huge driving force.