Men’s basketball pays tribute to vet, loses to Chico 79-68

It was only fitting to watch the Sonoma State Men’s Basketball team pay respect to a man who fought for his country on the 82nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. For generations men and women before and after the day that will forever live in infamy, have seized the call and have sacrificed their lives to protect this nation from aggressors. 

Ryan Labar was no different when he heeded the call in 2000. After tours in Kosovo, and two tours in Iraq, Sergeant Labar had to retire due to medical injuries in November 2010. Currently he is involved with the Wounded Warrior Project, whose goal is to help soldiers return home from battle and readjust to civilian life. 

“Veterans need to know that there are people out there that want to help, and understand what they have been through,” said Labar on U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson’s website. “It’s an honor for me to serve my fellow veterans in this position…” 

SSU men’s basketball head coach Pat Fuscaldo, along with seniors Steve Lackey, Jason Walter, and Sterling Arterberry presented Labar with a plaque officially designating him as “Honorary Team Captain” for their game against Chico State.

When the game against the Wildcats began, it appeared the Seawolves were ready to pick up their first conference victory. In the first seven minutes Arterberry was in his full CCAA (California Collegiate Athletic Association) Newcomer of the Year (2012) form by scoring nine points on two free throws, a jumper, and a three-pointer. With points from Justin Herold, James Davis, David Aheim, and Lackey as well, the Seawolves lead 18-7. 

Unfortunately Chico State responded to this lead with a 7-0 run that would slash the lead from 11 points to 4. Finally at the 4:06 mark the Wildcats regained their third place footing with a three-pointer by 2012 Second Team All-CCAA selection Rashad Parker, who would later go on an 11-point tirade.  SSU’s Herold would respond to Parker’s tirade with two layups, and a free throw that would send the teams into the second half with a 38-35 Wildcat lead. 

The second half began with the Seawolves fighting tenaciously to keep up with Chico State. Ahern would go on to score 10 points including a three-pointer with 2:35 left in the game. Arterberry would add to that with another eight points and would have a perfect day from the free-throw line going eight for eight. He also scored 21 points, the highest in his career since his game against Concordia back in 2011. 

Fortunately for the Wildcats, Sean Park had a 12 point blitz of his own in the second half including two three-pointers. He ended up scoring the most points in the game with 24; combined with Parker’s 23 would be two of the final blows that would put the final score at 79-68.  One of the brighter points for the Seawolves was their ability to outscore the Wildcats 36-26 in the paint. Fortunately for Chico State, they capitalized on turnovers 14 times while Sonoma was only able to accomplish that five times.

The Seawolves have only two games left in 2013, which will both be against San Francisco State. First they will head to The Swamp this Friday for a 7:30 p.m. tip off. Then the Gators will come up to the Wolf Den on Dec. 22 at 4:00 p.m. The Seawolves will start the new year with a road match against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Jan. 3.