SYRACUSE, NY. – February 11, 2008 – The Onondaga Community College men’s basketball team captured a pair of home wins over the weekend and in the process reached the 20 victory mark for the season. On Saturday, the Lazers came away with a hard fought 66-63 Mid-State Athletic Conference win over Corning Community College. That victory raised Onondaga’s conference leading record to 8-1 and clinched a berth in the Mid-State Championship Tournament, to be held February 23 and 24 at the home court of the regular season champion. Onondaga is the defending conference champion. The Lazers backed that effort up with an 87-70 win over North Country Community College yesterday, a result which avenged North Country’s 96-85 win over Onondaga on January 21. The Lazers now have an overall record of 20-5, and have won 7 straight games and 10 of their last 11.
The contest against Corning was tightly contested throughout. After Onondaga jumped out to a 15-8 advantage, Corning quickly closed to 15-14, and neither team held a lead of more than 4 points from that point on. With the game tied at 59 and just over one minute remaining, Shane Williams (Camillus West Genesee) scored on a drive to give the Lazers the lead. Kevin Barrett (Syracuse Bishop Ludden) then forced a Corning turnover and scored on a goaltending violation to put Onondaga up 4. Zack Thomsen (New Berlin Unadilla Valley) then connected on 3 of 4 free throws, and when a desperation Corning three-point attempt at the buzzer missed the mark, the Lazers escaped with the win. Williams paced Onondaga with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Barrett and Chris Vincent (Baldwinsville C.W. Baker) added 10 points apiece, while Thomsen handed out 5 assists and Brett Liedka (Syracuse Bishop Grimes) pulled down a team best 9 rebounds. Onondaga limited Corning to 28 of 71 (39%) shooting, while connecting on 19 of 47 (40%) themselves and holding a 42-36 rebounding advantage.
Against North Country, Thomsen scored all 11 of his points in the first half in staking the Lazers to a 48-39 halftime lead. The margin fluctuated between 3 and 12 points throughout most of the second half. Then, with North Country still within 6 at 76-70, the Lazers closed out the game on an 11-0 run over the final 4 minutes. Williams again led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Vincent added 16, and Thomsen and Luke Schrader (Herkimer) each tallied 11. Jason Kondra (East Syracuse-Minoa) handed out a team best 7 assists and Barrett pulled down 10 rebounds. Onondaga made 31 of 65 shots (48%), while North Country hit on 29 of 73 (40%) attempts. The Lazers held a 46-42 rebounding advantage.
Onondaga returns to action on Wednesday with a Mid-State contest at Broome Community College. Tip-off is 8:00 pm.
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