By: Owen Rode
This marks the second year in a row that the host school in the GMAC tournament does not take home the hardware, Findlay being both of those years.
The No. 6 ranked University of Findlay Oilers hosted the conference tournament this past weekend in the Croy gymnasium.
The Oilers rolled past Alderson Broaddus in the first round 88-62, with the largest lead being 35 at one point. They then met Cedarville for the third time this year, battling with the Yellow Jackets for the entire 40 minutes, the Oilers came out on top at a close 80-78.
For the finals the Oilers hosted Walsh University on Saturday evening but heartbreakingly came up just short of a GMAC conference tournament championship. The team fell 58-52 at home in overtime to Walsh University in the 2019 Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament Championship game. The loss gives the Oilers a 27-4 record on the season.
The Oilers shot a season-low 30 percent (21-of-70) from the floor and made only 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) attempts from behind the three point line. They were also outrebounded by a 50-40 margin and had 11 of their shots blocked by the Cavaliers.
Senior forward Alex White and senior guard Trey Smith each had 13 points to lead Findlay while sophomore forward Anthony Masterlasco had 11 points. Smith added six rebounds, White grabbed five, and Masterlasco had four assists and three boards.
White had a positive attitude towards the loss,
“We know we came up short this year but we can look back and say that we don’t regret anything,” says White. “We played like our lives depended on it and we can all be proud of that. Our focus is now on the larger goal, the NCAA tournament.”
Like White mentioned, the Oilers are still alive. Now that the regular season has ended, it is time for some more March madness. The Oilers have been named the No. 3 seed in the Midwest region. This region includes: Lewis, who the Oilers lost to earlier in the season, and also Bellarmine, who Findlay knocked out in the second round of last year’s tournament.
The first three contests of the Midwest Regional will be held in Romeoville, IL. at the host school Lewis University on March 16-19. Findlay’s first opponent, like last year, is the No. 6 seed Drury University who went 21-11 on the season and finished as the runner-up in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC).
Findlay has reached the Sweet 16 in each of the past two tournaments. Overall they have a 20-13 record in tournament games. They also reached the Sweet 16 in 2008 and the Elite 8 in 2005.
The winner of the Midwest Regional will advance to the Elite 8, which will be held in Evansville, Ind. on March 27-30.