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Taranveer Gill (pictured in red), a 6'3" perimeter player from Toronto, Canada, has made a verbal commitment to be a part of the Southwestern Men’s Basketball program for 2014-15. Gill will bring a wealth of experience to the Spartans from his basketball exploits north of the border. Last fall, Gill competed in the Up to the Time Basketball League, netting Rookie of the Year honors as well as being named a second-team all star. He also received an invitation to compete in a junior national tournament held in Michigan. Gill choose Southwestern because of its feel. He said, “I feel like this is a great community that embraces and welcomes everybody in.”
Head Coach Mike Holmes said, “To get back to where we were a year ago, we need some impact guys who will bring some energy to the floor and have some skills not only to learn our system, but to be able to make plays out of it. I think Taranveer will be very well suited to what we do.”
Gill plans to study in the college transfer program and earn his Associate of Arts degree.
Southwestern, a team that attempts to control the tempo, went into ultra tempo control Tuesday night at Iowa Lakes, attempting to knock off the 17th-ranked team in the nation on their home floor. The execution gave Southwestern their chance, but the Lakers were able to make plays in the second half to extend their two-point halftime lead en route to a 52-36 win. For Southwestern, Jared Theis (pictured), Elliott Hamdeed, and Dustin Lyden all played their final games as Spartans. Coach Mike Holmes said, “Our sophomores exhibited a good deal of resiliency this year. We were young to begin with and then our rotation whittled way down, making our circumstances very challenging. Those guys stayed the course and gave very good mental and physical effort throughout the season.”
Southwestern will attempt to pull off the same magic act it performed two years ago by upsetting a number-two seed in regional play. Tuesday, March 4, Southwestern will travel to Iowa Lakes for the first round of the tournament. The Spartans dropped a contest Saturday in the same locale, 64-41. Coach Mike Holmes is hoping history does some repeating. “Two years ago,” Holmes said, “we had a similar circumstance to this year’s group. We were young, we were slowly getting better, and we had to play the two seed on their home floor. We walked away with a huge win and some great confidence. I would love to see these guys achieve the same thing.”
Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be webcast at the Iowa Lakes Community College Web site.
In Mason City Saturday, February 22, Southwestern battled into halftime trailing 31-27, but could not maintain its defensive energy in the second half, succumbing to North Iowa Area, 78-59. Foul differential plagued the Spartans in both halves, as the Trojans attempted 29 free throws to eight by Southwestern. Consistent pressure forced turnovers from an otherwise efficient offense for the Spartans; however, defensive rebounding was eventually exploited. Where the Spartans allowed only three offensive rebounds in the first half, North Iowa Area grabbed 16 second chances in the second frame.
Tanner Kellogg grabbed 10 total rebounds on the evening for Southwestern. Nick Lenhard handed out seven assists. Elliott Hamdeed was an efficient 7-11 from the floor and 5-7 from the line. Southwestern next plays a makeup game with Clinton Tuesday. The game is in Clinton and tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.