Small College Sports

Coe men's basketball eager to hit the road for conference tournament

Kohawks are in postseason for first time since 2015

Coe’s Josh Schmitt (1) attempts a shot during a game at the Small Multi-Sport Center in Mount Vernon on Saturday, December 29, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Coe’s Josh Schmitt (1) attempts a shot during a game at the Small Multi-Sport Center in Mount Vernon on Saturday, December 29, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Coe men’s basketball team has been a bit of an anomaly this season.

The Kohawks won just five games at the arena that bears their name. Away from home, they won nine of 13.

“We like playing on the road,” said Coe senior Calvin Winker, who will travel with the Kohawks to Simpson for an American Rivers Conference tournament quarterfinal game on Tuesday at 8 p.m. “We like traveling. We like going to someone’s home court and winning and beating them there. I think all of us are happy that we are actually playing an away game. We have a good opportunity to do that against Simpson.”

Coe (14-11, 8-8 A-R-C) has won at least 14 games and qualified for the conference tournament for the first time since the 2014-15 team finished 16-10. The Kohawks have not won a conference tournament game since 2012.

“We’re just very grateful to be a qualifier for this tournament,” seventh-year Coe Coach Bryan Martin said. “We’re very excited to be in the mix. Everybody is 0-0 and we feel like honestly we’re one of the teams that can win it. Obviously it is a one-game-at-a-time approach. We like where we’re at right now.”

The quarterfinal meeting with Simpson (15-9, 9-7) is a rematch of the regular-season finale on Saturday, when Coe was on the wrong end of a 22-4 burst to begin the second half and lost by two points at home. On Jan. 19, Coe defeated Simpson on the road.

“It will be interesting,” Coe senior Nolan Timp said. “We will probably focus less on our normal pregame routine, a little less on their personnel being that we just played them. We will probably watch more film from Saturday, learn from that and learn why we went on that huge drought to begin the second half.”

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The American Rivers Conference women's basketball tournament also begins Tuesday. Like the men, the Coe women (15-10, 9-7) earned a No. 5 seed and will play a road quarterfinal. Fourth-seeded Luther (11-12, 10-6) will host the 7 p.m. tilt.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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