In the 2018-19 season, the Adrian College Men’s Basketball Team finished with a record of 6 wins and 19 losses. The Bulldogs were last place in the conference with a 3 win 11 loss record and were looking into a rebuild process over the off-season. Ranked to be last in the conference the dynamic duo of Senior forward Jeremy Kalonji and Junior Guard Jordan Harris, under the direction of Coach Kyle Lindsey walked into the season with a chip on their shoulder. This season, their goal was to turn it around.
One of the biggest hurdles the Bulldogs would have to achieve this goal was their out of conference schedule. The men’s team ended up with some impressive wins over teams such as Manchester and Mount Union where Senior Jermey Kalonji scored a season high 31 points. As well as wins over teams like Hiram where Junior Jordan Harris scored a career high of 40 points. AC was able to tie their last season win total of 6 going into the new year with a 6 win 5 loss record in the out of conference battles.
With conference play starting up, the Bulldogs coming in as the 8th place underdogs were looking forward to stirring up the conference as Adrian was able to take down some of the conference’s big hitters. During the first half of conference play the Bulldogs finished just under .500 with a 3-4 record. Winning their bouts against Kalamazoo, Olivet, and Calvin College respectively.
Winning less than half of the games in conference play, AC knew they had to turn it around if they wanted any hope of making the Conference tournament. As the second half of conference play commenced, Adrian was able to shock the conference winning 5 of their 7 remaining conference games. The Bulldogs finished conference sweeping their conference series against Kalamazoo and Olivet College, splitting their conference series between Hope, Trine, Albion, and Calvin College. The Alma Scots proved to be the only challenge in the conference for Adrian as the Scots took the conference series but that wouldn’t stop the Bulldogs from reaching the MIAA tournament placing themselves as the number 3 seed.
Adrian took on the Hope Flying Dutchmen in the first round at home. The Bulldogs continued their hot streak in the conference as AC knocked off the Flying Dutchmen with a 83-73 win. AC then traveled to the host of the MIAA Conference Tournament Albion College to take on a strong Calvin College team. A game that went to the wire. Adrian was able to pull away the 80-78 win from a thunderous dagger of a dunk from Junior Trine transfer Robert Warrick. With the win over the Calvin Knights, Adrian was one game away from making history.
AC was set to take on the Trine Thunder in the MIAA Conference Tournament Championship. From tip-off it was a close match up going into halftime as neither team was able to pull away as the game tied 29-29. As the second half of play was played. Adrian College was able to pull away knocking down clutch free throws and making big defensive stops. As well as the help of Adrian’s Dynamic Duo of Harris and Kalonji as they combined for a total of 53 points. Winning Adrian their first MIAA Men’s Basketball Conference Tournament title and sealing their place in the NCAA Men’s Division 3 Basketball Tournament for the first time in Adrian History.
Adrian traveled to Illinois to take on North Central College in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Division 3 Tournament. Sadly, all great things came to an end. The Bulldogs suffered a first round loss to the Cardinals 54-69. As the record breaking season came to an end the Bulldogs were able to look back on some key moments and lots of memories made this season. The Adrian College Men’s Basketball Team looks to repeat a historic season again next year.