How does a young man from a big city like Baltimore find happiness and success at a small Division II basketball school in a remote little town like Colchester, Vt.?
"I grew up a lot," said former Calvert Hall standout Delbert Randall of his life at Saint Michael's College. "I used to be the type that if I didn't know you, I kept to myself and liked it that way."
However, that all changed when Randall ventured into Colchester and began meeting people.
"They were so friendly and down to earth, it was easy to get to know them," said Randall, a senior. "And they're good basketball fans who know the game."
Soon, the townspeople and college students would realize that Randall, a 6-foot-6, 245-pound power forward, was going to be more than just another basketball player. He has been an inside presence for four years, and as a freshman reserve who averaged 4.5 points and 3.0 rebounds he was part of a 27-4 run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division II tournament.
On Tuesday night, Randall reached the 1,000-point milestone in his career by scoring 18 points in a come-from-behind, 85-75 victory over Southern Connecticut State. Last Saturday, he surpassed 500 career rebounds.
Early this season, Randall became the first player in school history to get 100 blocks and 100 assists. He now has 126 blocks, which is second on the school's all-time chart.
"I know I could have played at the D-I level, but I wound up here and I'm glad I did," said Randall. "If I ever get homesick for the big city life, I go to Boston, which is three hours away."
The winning abated for Saint Michael's in the Northeast-10 Conference after Randall's freshman season because of injuries and player departures.
Randall was hampered his entire junior season by two bulging discs in his back, which led to pain in his left leg. He is mostly healthy now and leads the team in scoring (12.8), rebounding (6.3) and blocks (34).
Saint Michael's has won three of its past four games but is still 8-15 overall and 5-14 in the Northeast-10.
Johns, Lewnes sparkle
Boston University sophomore wrestler Zack Johns (McDonogh) has recorded eight pins this season on the way to a 19-6 record at 157 pounds.
Also, freshman 165-pounder Sam Lewnes (Mount St. Joseph) is 17-11 for traditional power Oklahoma State, which is 16-1 and ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Pyzik marches on
Senior Lynchburg College guard Abby Pyzik (Mercy) picked a good time to break the school record for career assists.
Pyzik was only 25 miles from her Westminster home Sunday when she handed out nine assists in an 81-73 victory over host Hood College of Frederick.
The nine assists gave her 350, and the 15 points raised her career total to 1,050, which is third-best at the school.
Another former Baltimore-area standout, 6-2 freshman forward Caroline Wesley (Institute of Notre Dame), gave an impressive performance Sunday for Lynchburg. She hit eight of 13 shots from the field while scoring a game-high 19 points to go with her game-high 13 rebounds.
Wesley tops the Hornets in rebounding (7.9 a game) and blocked shots (2.0), and is second in scoring (11.3) to Pyzik.
Have a postcard? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 410-833-5349.