By Keith Harrington
The Bennington Martens of the American Basketball Association are entering their second season in 2023. The Martens have some new faces and a new home to go along with several returning veterans.
Bennington tips off the season with a pair of games this weekend at their new digs in the city that carries their name. The Martens will host the Bridgeport Kings on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Mount Anthony Middle School.
The Spartans will be back in action on Sunday afternoon against the Herkimer Generals. Tip off on Sunday is also at 3 p.m.
Last year Bennington split their home games between Rutland, Cohoes and Albany. Havng a gym to call home is a key step forward for the franchise according to co-owner Shawn Pratt.
"I think it's important beacuse we are the Bennington Martens. And we wanted to play in Bennington where we started this idea," Pratt explained. "It's important for our fans in Bennington and our fans from the area to be able to see us as a team and see how we play.
Returning for the Martens this season are Tobias Holmes (Guam University), Alex McCraith (Schenectady Community College), John Ryals (College of Saint Joseph's), Heith Mason (Castleton University), Elijah Nesbitt (Hudson Valley Community College), Josh Gonzalez (Russell Sage), and Anthony Mitchell (Sage College).
Newcomers include Juwan Malone (SUNY Cobleskill), Terrence Squire (Schenectday Community College), Tyjon Gilmore (Dominican and Clayton University) and Elijah Morisst (West Georgia Tech).
The Martens finished the 2021-2022 regular season 7-16 and earned a playoff spot, defeating the Worcester Majors in the first round before losing in the second round.
After making the playoffs in their first season the Martens are looking to take the next step.
"We would like to go deeper in the playoffs. And get to Atlanta where the championship game takes place," Pratt said.