AU men’s basketball looks to newcomers after conference loss

Eagles see the return forward Ethan Conley


Olivia Pliske

The Eagles have relied on rotational bench pieces and sparks off the bench with a variety of newcomers.

Olivia Pliske, Reporter

The Ashland Eagles men’s basketball team finished with a tough loss against Great Midwest Athletic Conference rival Findlay Oilers this past Thursday, December 1. 

The Eagles held their own up until the last 4 remaining minutes of the game, where the Findlay offense turned their 65-64 deficit into a lead that won the game, 76-68. Senior guard Brandon Harroway led the Eagles with 20 points against the Findlay Oilers, which moved him to the 21st position in all-time leading scores for Ashland. 

Senior Ethan Conley made his season debut after an injury that postponed his start to the season. 

“It was such a great feeling to be out on the court,” said Conley about returning back to the team. “When I sustained my injury, I thought that I would be out for the season which was heartbreaking. Sitting out a couple of games has only made me more eager and determined to win our conference. Our young players have heart and determination. No matter the grade class, those are the kinds of people I want to play basketball with. In the end, we all are competitors, and I enjoy every moment I’m on the court with them.” 

“Having Ethan Conley back was tremendous, we loved every part of it. He was able to give us a lot while battling the injury and trying to come back,” said freshman guard Simon Wheeler. “I’m so proud of the steps he [has] taken and I can’t wait to see him get back fully and even better than he was before.” 

Senior forward CJ Karsatos also had many good things to say about Conley being back on the court with their team. “It was great to see Ethan back knowing how hard he worked to get back to 100%,” Karsatos stated. “It’s also great for our team to have him back from a leadership perspective as he is a great mentor for our younger guys.”

With the Oilers being one of Ashland’s biggest rivals, they look forward to their next game against them which they will be hosting in Kate’s Gymnasium on January 19 where they will be seeking redemption with an eye on the prize. 

“It’s definitely going to be different for our younger guys seeing the rivalry for the second time and on our home floor,” Karsatos explained.

“When the rematch comes back around it will be an even better game. We’ll have even more chemistry with each other and we will hopefully be healthy,” said Wheeler. “… [but] most importantly we will be in front of our great home crowd this time around.” 

After having a 1-1 series split record with the Oilers from the 2021-2022 season, the Eagles have high hopes of repeating last season and dominating Findlay on their home court. 

The Eagles look to their next GMAC competition this Thursday, December 8, as they take the court for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.