By Ashton Morgan Hartman, Lake Forest College student
With the help of all 17 players on the Lake Forest College Men’s Basketball roster, forward Nathan Bateman’s philosophy about limitless possibilities led the team to break its historical winning streak of 14, which was set in the 1914-15 and 1915-16 seasons.
The team beat Illinois College on its turf Jan. 25, 71 to 47. The top three shooters were sophomore guard James Stack, senior post player Travis Clark, and forward Drew Grennell.
The Foresters got off to an inauspicious start to the 2011-12 season when several players were injured, but that didn’t slow down the team.
“Injuries are unfortunately apart of the game and with the exception of one, all our guys have battled back to recover from their early injuries.” said Clark.
The team’s track record started off the same way as the 1914-15 season by also losing its first game, which was against Edgewood (61-54). The 2011-12 season tied with the winning streak record on Saturday, January 21, 2012 against Ripon College (83-75).
On Wednesday night the team took a five-hour bus ride to Illinois College to overcome the winning streak.
“Yesterday was the first time I had heard about the records, so I had no idea. We have set no goals, which leave our possibilities to achieve limitless,” said Bateman.
Stack attempted six shots and succeeded in making five. In Stack’s 23 minutes of total playing time he scored 14 points, of which four of the five shots were three pointers. Stack also had three assists and two steals.
In Clark’s 17 minutes of total playing time he scored a total of 13 points in addition to three assists and one steal.
In Grennell’s 23 minutes of total playing time he scored a total of 11 points and had six rebounds.
“It’s exciting for sure,” said Clark after the game. “It was a good team win for us, but we got to keep rolling through one game at a time.”
What is the key to their success?
According to Bateman, “The most important factor is that we are a veteran team that knows what disappointment feels like. We have seven seniors that know what regret feels like and do not want to have any in our final season. We also have had numerous underclassmen step up and become vital members of this team’s success.”
What Bateman is referring to is the team’s past volatile record from 2008-2011. The 2008-09 season had seven wins and 16 losses, and the team came in seventh for the Midwest Conference with six wins and 10 losses. The 2009-10 season had 14 wins and 10 losses, and it came in second for the Midwest Conference with 12 wins and four losses. The 2010-2011 season had 12 wins and 11 losses, with the Foresters coming in fifth for the Midwest Conference with 10 wins and eight losses. No matter what their Midwest Conference standing is, there is still an achievement to be reached.
Though the end is in sight, Coach Chris Conger stated: “There is a lot of season left. We need to keep getting better every day. We have also really appreciated all the crowds lately. Hopefully the students can continue to be so great. It really helped propel us this weekend.”