There was minimal men's basketball action in the North Coast last week as member schools have sent their student-athletes home for winter break. League squads will return to non-conference action after Christmas with numerous teams either hosting or traveling to holiday tournaments, while conference action picks back up on January 4th and 5th.
ALLEGHENY was idle last week and returns to action on New Year's Eve for a 2:00 p.m. contest against Alfred in Meadville.
DENISON was idle last week and will return to the court in Granville on December 30th for a non-conference matchup against Earlham.
DEPAUW was idle last week and will make its annual trip to Tampa Bay, Florida, on December 29 and 30th for the Tampa Bay Shootout at the Tampa Preparatory School.
HIRAM split a pair of non-conference games last week, first defeating Westminster, 101-65, on Monday before falling to Waynesburg, 84-70, on Wednesday. In the win against Westminster, senior guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow, OH/Stow-Munroe Falls) led the way with 25 points and six assists, while sophomore forward Riley Moore (Grafton, OH/Midview) had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. The Terriers will travel to Mt. Union on December 28th and 29th for the "M" Club Classic, before hosting Wabash and DePauw in league action on January 4th and 5th, respectively.
KENYON was idle last week and resumes play on January 3rd and 4th in New York City at the NYU Holiday Classic.
OBERLIN was idle last week and will not see action again until January 4th when the Yeomen travel to Cairn University in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.
OHIO WESLEYAN was idle last week and will stay local for its holiday tournament as the Battling Bishops will travel to Defiance, Ohio, on December 29th and 30th for the Purple & Gold Tournament.
WABASH concluded the non-conference portion of its schedule last week by picking up its first win of the season with a 67-65 overtime triumph over Trine. Sophomore guard Ross Sponsler (Terre Haute, IN/North Vigo), who hit a three-point shot with less than a minute left in regulation to force overtime, sank the eventual game-winner for the Little Giants in the overtime session on a driving layup with 1:38 showing on the clock to put Wabash up by a 66-65 margin. Sponsler finished the game with 16 points, seven rebounds and one assist. The Little Giants will now be idle until early January when they make a trip to the eastern edge of the conference for back-to-back games against Hiram and Allegheny on January 4th and 5th, respectively.
WITTENBERG, ranked 11th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25, took down Thomas More, 87-70, in its only action last week. Four starters scored in double figures for the Tigers, led once again by senior post Scott Masin (New Carlisle, OH/Bethel) with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Masin has now scored in double figures in eight straight games and has four double-doubles on the season. The Tigers will take a short break from action as they will host their annual Charles B. Zimmerman Memorial Classic in Springfield on December 27th and 28th.
WOOSTER, ranked second in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25, went 1-1 at the Arizona Christian Classic in Phoenix last week. The Fighting Scots opened play out west with a 53-47 win over Westmont on Monday, but were narrowly upended by the host Arizona Christian, 62-60, on Tuesday. Arizona Christian entered the game as the sixth-ranked team on the most recent NAIA Division I national poll. In the two games combined, junior guard Xavier Brown (Bowling Green, OH/Bowling Green) paced the Scots with 34 points (17.0 ppg) after shooting 46 percent (11-of-24) from the field, 43 percent (3-of-7) from beyond the arc and 75 percent (9-of-12) from the free throw line. The Scots return to the hardwood on December 29th and 30th for their annual "Mose" Hole/Kiwanis Classic.