A pivotal stretch of the season is upon the Fort Lewis College men’s basketball team.
Coming off a pair of home victories against Western New Mexico and New Mexico Highlands, the FLC Skyhawks (14-6, 11-5 (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) are preparing for a four-game road trip that includes trips to CSU-Pueblo (11-8, 9-6 RMAC) and No. 1-ranked Metro State (20-1, 17-0 RMAC).
“This is definitely the biggest part of our schedule coming up,” FLC assistant coach Bob Pietrack said Saturday. “It starts with Pueblo, who beat us here in our gym.”
The ThunderWolves defeated the Skyhawks 93-87 on Dec. 7 at Whalen Gymnasium. FLC players promised to be prepared for the rematch.
“They made a lot of 3s against us the first time. The ball screen, that also hurt us,” FLC senior guard Nick Tomsick said. “This week in practice, we really gotta work on good closeouts, guarding the 3-point line and really working on the ball screen. I think that will help us out a lot.”
The FLC men sit in sole possession of third place in the RMAC standings with just six games remaining on the schedule. The four-game road trip includes games against UC-Colorado Springs and Regis, two teams FLC handled at home earlier this season. The games against CSU-Pueblo and Metro State will be big tests.
But Pietrack said his team can’t focus on just those two games.
“For all the teams in the RMAC now that are in the playoff hunt, every game, the next conference game, is the most important game,” Pietrack said. “We are not looking ahead to anything. All of our focus will be on Pueblo on Friday night.
“Anytime you go on the road, you have to be extra focused.”