Linfield men’s basketball back from bonding in preparation for conference play 


JJ Anderson

Dempsey Roggenbuck with the ball

Serrina Cabral, Staff Writer

The Linfield men’s basketball team played at The David Wells Classic this past week in California. The Wildcats came out strong with a win over La Verne University but fell short to both Pomona-Pitzer University and Claremont McKenna University. This concluded the Wildcat’s tournament record to 1-2. 

In the first game, Linfield controlled La Verne University from the very start, winning 84-67.  The Wildcats shot 7-22 from three, 3-7 for free throws, and had a 56.9% field goal percentage. In the second game, the Wildcats came up short against Pomona-Pitzer, losing 76-83 in overtime. Where Linfield had shot 24-70 FG, 10-38 3-pointers, and 18 for 28 free throws. 

In the last game of the tournament, the Wildcats came out strong but fell short to Claremont McKenna University by 72-79. The Wildcats shot 23-63 FG, 10-28 3PT, and 16-19 FT. The leading scorers throughout the tournament were senior Max Lommen, senior Dempsey Roggenbuck, and junior Aaron Baune.

COVID-19 had a big effect on the men’s schedule last year by not letting them travel out of state, and it limited how many games they were able to play. It had a big effect on the organization as a whole. 

This past week was the first time the Wildcats were able to travel since 2019, making the team emotional. Having the opportunities they didn’t have last year not only made them excited for away trips but also taught them to cherish them as well. 

“We basically have two groups of freshmen that haven’t traveled,” senior Max Lommen said. “Seeing them experience traveling was really cool. It made me remember what it felt like in their position.” 

Traveling for the first time in two years brought excitement for the upperclassmen, but for the freshman, it was something new.

“It was definitely a learning experience for all of us [freshmen],” freshman Trey Bryant said. “I feel like we learned a lot from the trip about basketball and my teammates.”

Having the chance to travel has given the team so many opportunities to see the potential of this year’s team. 

“It was super fun implementing our new guys,” senior Dempsey Roggenbuck said. “Getting to know everyone a little bit deeper was really fun.”

Not only was this trip a business trip for the men’s basketball team, but it also gave them a chance to get to know each other better and create a tight bond.

“These trips you’re very much forced to be with each other,” Roggenbuck said. “Whether it’s driving to games, food, or anywhere, there’s never a moment you’re alone, or off doing your own thing.”

The Wildcats getting to travel this early on in the year gave them many chances to get to know one another and create that team dynamic.

“Being together 24/7 for six days, forced us to become closer as a team,” Lommen said. “Which I believed it did.”

To get a better opportunity off the court and out of the hotel, the team had the opportunity to go to Disneyland, which was the first time the team had the chance to do a bonding activity like this.

“Going with the team was super cool, it’s not a common thing everyone gets to do,” Lommen said. “I’ve been there a lot so being able to be a guide to those who have never been, was really fun.”

Having this opportunity gave many athletes a chance to get to experience what Disneyland is really like and to make it even more special they did it with their team.

 “The last time I had gone was when I was three, so I’m not going to count that,” Bryant said. “It was very exciting  for me to go to a place like that with my teammates.”

Having this opportunity not only gave them the chance to create memories but gave some of the upperclassmen to remember some old ones.

“It was a very fun experience,” Roggenbuck said. “One of my favorite parts was seeing one of our old teammates there that had graduated five years ago.”

This shows the culture that the men’s basketball team has created throughout the years and how it has continued to strengthen with the leadership of the senior classes.

“We try our best to be a family within our team,” Roggenbuck said. “We try to know our roster from top to bottom.”

This not only makes the team strong but it also shows that it’s bigger than just basketball.

“Linfield as a whole is a family,”  Roggenbuck said. “I still get texts from guys who are 2, 3 years out and still stay in touch with the team.”