Lions fall in final MIAA contest


Kristen Stacy | The Chart

Senior Randy Clark goes hard to the basket during the matchup against Missouri Western State University Feb. 14 in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

And that’s a wrap. The Lions (20-11, 12-7 MIAA) made a valiant run in the conference championship tournament but a day after beating the defending National Champion Mules of Central Missouri, they fell in the title game to rival Pittsburg State 91-65.

It was a difficult end to a season mired in a second-tier stalemate. The Lions struggled against elite MIAA competition with six of the seven conference losses against the upper half of the division. Three were in sequential games, with two coming back to back against Central Missouri (24-6, 14-5 MIAA) and the next at the hands of Northwest Missouri (23-6, 15-4 MIAA), all before the season-ending loss to the Gorillas in Kansas City.

“I feel really optimistic about next year,” said junior Taevaunn Prince. “I think we will be able to do a lot of special things and finish where we left off.”

The Lions have a lot to look forward to following 2014, with a top talent in Prince, a young and possibly dominant scorer in freshman Charlie Brown, the soon-to-be all-time leader for anything Southern three- point related junior Austin Wright and a head coach in Jeff Boschee who took over a program flying high and kept the wind beneath its wings.

So what’s next? Well, for the Lions it will be back to the drawing board, and on to the recruiting trail, a place that Boschee has shined, finding Prince this past offseason, and a place that will be of paramount importance in the Lions’ future.