SYRACUSE, NY. – February 20, 2008 – The Onondaga Community College men’s basketball team closed out regular season play last night with an 88-85 home win over Tompkins Cortland Community College. The win raised the Lazers’ overall record to 21-7 and gave Onondaga a share of the Mid-State Athletic Conference regular season title. Onondaga and Broome Community College finished with identical 9-3 records in conference play. Broome earned the #1 seed and the right to host the conference championship tournament this weekend by virtue of having a 4-0 record against Tompkins Cortland and Finger Lakes Community College, the other two tournament qualifiers.
Last night, the visiting Panthers jumped out to an early 13-7 lead, but Onondaga rallied for a 39-37 halftime advantage. The Lazers then opened the second half on an 18-0 run to open up a 57-37 lead with 15:40 remaining. Tompkins Cortland rallied, however, and fought back to within 80-78 with 1:13 to go. A Zack Thomsen (New Berlin Unadilla Valley) jumper, followed by 6 consecutive made free throws, allowed the Lazers to hold on for the win. Chris Vincent (Baldwinsville C.W. Baker) led Onondaga with 20 points. Shane Williams (Camillus West Genesee) added 17 points and 9 rebounds, while Thomsen totaled 14 points and 6 assists. Ryan Chapman (Syracuse Bishop Ludden) chipped in 12 points, all in the first half. The game marked the final home appearance for Lazers Thomsen, Vincent, Williams, Chapman, Pete Byrne (Syracuse Bishop Ludden), Cameron Manley (Fort Plain), Pat Crowley (Union Springs), Luke Schrader (Herkimer), Kevin Barrett (Syracuse Bishop Ludden), Brett Liedka (Syracuse Bishop Grimes), and Ben Johnson (Sherburne-Earlville). The victory was also the 200th head coaching win for Onondaga head coach Dave Pasiak (Waterville).
The Lazers had entered last night’s game off of their first back to back defeats of the season. Last Wednesday, the Lazers fell behind early and never recovered in an 88-58 loss at Broome. Williams paced Onondaga with 17 points and 9 rebounds, Thomsen added 13 points and 5 assists, and Vincent added 10 points. Onondaga fell again on Saturday, 79-77, to Jefferson Community College. In that contest, the Lazers held a 6 point lead with under 3:00 remaining, but 4 Onondaga turnovers fueled a closing 10-2 run by the Cannoneers, with the game winning basket coming with 1.1 seconds remaining. The loss ended Onondaga’s school record 10 game home court winning streak. Williams again led the Lazers with 31 points and 14 rebounds, while Thomsen and Vincent each hit double figures with 13 and 10 respectively.
Onondaga looks to defend its Mid-State Athletic Conference Championship at the conference tournament at Broome this weekend. The #2 seeded Lazers will take on #3 Finger Lakes at 5:00 pm on Saturday. Top seeded Broome meets #4 Tompkins Cortland in the 7:00 pm nightcap. The semi-final winners will meet for the conference championship on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm, also at Broome.
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