NCTA Aggies open season with road win
ST. MARY'S, Kan. -- The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture men's basketball team will begin the 2004-05 campaign with a road trip and three games in three nights.
On Thursday, the team opened the season with an 88-50 victory over St. Mary's College at St. Mary's, Kan., near Topeka.
The Aggies led at halftime 43-17.
Josh McClain scored 14 of his team-high 22 points at intermission and Seth Swanson added 13 of his final 19. B.J. Luke of Curtis added 15 points.
Wauneta-Palisade alum Matt Klima led the Aggies with 10 rebounds. Ryan Sedlacek grabbed 6 boards.
Eleven of 12 players on the roster scored for NCTA, which shot 37 percent from the floor and 69 percent from the free throw line.
"We came out really hot," said NCTA coach Del Van Der Werff. "Against most teams, we will be undersized. The guys did a good job of getting out and running and gunning."
At 8 p.m. on Friday, the Aggies will play Messenger College in the Joplin, Mo., Classic.
Saturday at noon the team will go up against Oklahoma Baptist of Oklahoma City.
Two starters and three reserves of the 2003-04 team will give some experience to the young Aggies.
Three other reserves from the past season and 10 freshmen will add some strength to the team.
Van Der Werff said the freshmen will have to come on strong early in the season for the Aggies to be contenders for a bid to the National Tournament in Massachusetts in March.
The Aggies came off of a 2003-04 season with one of the tallest teams on record and will have one of the shortest teams on record this season.
After averaging 6 feet, 6 inches per man last season, the team will be looking at a 6-foot average this year.
Only the 6-9 Ryan Sedlacek returns with any height from last year's team. Six-foot McClain is the other returning starter.
Sophomore Seth Domek, Freshman Cody Haiar and freshman Brogan Arendt have shown some pre-season promise.