Wildcats win, but the Jacks put on a good game
The Humboldt State University men’s basketball lost Feb. 27 against the Chico State University Wildcats, 86-57.
Thursday’s home game wasn’t just another game for the Jacks. It was the last game of the season and senior night. The game was a special night for the team’s seniors, Leland Green, Rob Lewis, Victor Mijas, Jackson Strong, Deion Alston and Zachariah Christian.
“It’s a huge event really, with senior night being number one, our last game of the season, two, and a rivalry game,” Head Coach Steve Kinder said. “It brings a whole different level and a lot of dynamics. There’s a lot of storylines from every player on the team to every coach on the team. As a coach, to see all that in front of you and put that together and experience a night whether we win or lose—it’s special.”
The Wildcats took the lead 8-0 in the first two minutes, but the Jacks were quick to score some points. A three by Jackson Strong and two free throws by Noah Viera left the score at 12-11 with 13 minutes left in the first half. The Wildcats were quick to outscore the Jacks, ending the first half at 49-27.
With only 18 minutes left in the second half, the Jacks showed some senior teamwork. Christian passed the ball to Strong, who then passed the ball back to Christian. Christian passed to Alston, who made two points in the green.
Throughout the game, Alston stepped up and led the scoring. Kinder was proud of him and said he told the assistant coaches they should’ve played him more throughout the season.
“He played with a lot of fire and he played aggressive,” Kinder said. “He did a really nice job.”
Alston had a season high of 13 points, while Strong put up 11. Viera scored a season high of 10 points off the bench and Lewis scored 8.
With three makes from beyond the arc, Strong finished his career with the Jacks after playing for the team for two years. With 173, Strong placed fourth on HSU’s all-time career list in three-point field goals made. His 84 three-pointers is third on the Jack’s single-season list. He made 89 last season, which is second all-time.
Kinder said he wished Strong had played for the Jacks all four years.
“The relationships I’ve built with last year’s team and this year’s team—it’s been great,” Strong said. “The family and the team, the coaches—that’s what it is. It’s just a family and I’ve had such a good time.”
Strong said after he graduates he plans to continue playing basketball—hopefully overseas—to try to play the game he loves for as long as he can.