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Second Semester Basketball Preview

By Scott Lemon, Yellowstone Christian College SID

BILLINGS, Mont. — Both the men’s and women’s team at Yellowstone Christian College saw a wide array of talent in the first two months of competition. Between the two teams, they faced opponents from the Montana Tribal, NJCAA, NAIA, and NCAA D-II levels. The men head into Christmas break holding a 5 win, 12 loss record, while the women sit at 1-11.

The second half of the season will look dramatically different for both squads, however. After racking up nearly 10,000 combined miles since mid-October, the Centurions will only have four lengthy road trips in store before the regular season ends in late February.

The men will trade the cold and snow of Montana for the palm trees and sunshine of South Florida. The men will spend about a week in Miami right after the New Year’s holiday to compete in the Beach Bash Classic, hosted by Florida National University. While in Florida, the Centurions will face off against host Florida National University on Jan. 5, Johnson University (Flor.) on Jan. 6, and Georgia Gwinnett College on Jan. 7, before returning to Billings.

Florida National is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletics Association, a small self-governing association about at the same level as the NJCAA. Johnson University, located in Orlando, is a proud member of the NCCAA Division II. YCC is also a member of the NCCAA; however, they are at the Division I level. Georgia Gwinnett, whose campus is about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta, is an independent NAIA institution.

The women will hit the road on Jan. 14 and head roughly 400 miles east to take on Fort Berthold College in New Town, N.D.

The first home games of 2017 will come on Jan. 20-21, as the women host Salish Kootenai College. Friday will be a night game, and Saturday will be a matinee game to allow Salish to return home at a reasonable time.

The following weekend is a double-dip double-header, as the Centurions welcome in the Bravehearts of Oglala Lakota College (S.D.). The Centurions and Bravehearts will square off on Friday and Saturday, and, again, will play night games on Friday and day games on Saturday.

The women will again hit the road for a mid-week trip, paying a visit to Salish’s gorgeous campus in Pablo, about an hour straight north of Missoula. The Centurions will play Thursday night and Friday afternoon, and finish out the weekend with a double-header back in Billings against Fort Berthold.

Both teams will journey to the Badlands of South Dakota on Feb. 10-11 to take on Oglala Lakota, located in Kyle, about an hour east of the Black Hills in the heart of the Pine Ridge Reservation. The 800-plus mile trip will be the final lengthy trek of the season, unless the teams are invited to post-season play. The two games against OLC will be the final two games of the regular season for the men.

The women, by contrast, will have three games remaining on their schedule. Their final road game comes on Feb. 17 in Poplar against Fort Peck Community College. They will finish off their inaugural season with a pair of home games in late February, facing Gillette College on Feb. 21 and Fort Peck on Feb. 24.

Both teams are well over halfway finished with their respective seasons and have appreciated the support from family, peers, faculty, and community members so far. For more information about the remainder of the season, for full game recaps, and player signings this spring, visit www.gocenturions.com.

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