SYRACUSE, NY. – February 25, 2008 – Onondaga Community College men’s basketball players Zack Thomsen (New Berlin Unadilla Valley) and Shane Williams (Camillus West Genesee) were both named to the National Junior College Athletic Association Region III All-Region Second Team today. Thomsen, a 6’2” point guard, is averaging 12.2 points and a team leading 4.8 assists per game. He also leads the Lazers with 66 made three-point field goals, and is shooting a team best 42% from the three-point line and 79% from the free throw line. He has been the Lazers’ leading scorer 10 times this season, 9 of which were Lazer victories. Williams, a 6’5” forward, leads Onondaga in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 16.2 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. He is Onondaga’s all-time single season and career rebounding leader, having grabbed 326 rebounds so far this season, and a total of 628 rebounds for his career. He has been the Lazers’ leading scorer 13 times and the leading rebounder 22 times. Both Thomsen and Williams are being actively recruited by multiple scholarship level schools.
On Saturday, Thomsen and Williams were also named to the Mid-State Athletic Conference All-Conference Team. The All-Conference Team was announced between semi-final games of the Conference Championships, conducted over the weekend at Broome Community College. Thomsen and Williams were joined on the All-Conference Team by Zach Huston, Rob Krowiak, and Nicholas Kjaerholt of Broome, Brandon Williams and Jordan Koch of Finger Lakes Community College, Sean Anderson of Tompkins Cortland Community College, Rodney Bartholomew of Corning Community College, and Chris Noel of Jefferson Community College. Huston was named the Conference Player of the Year, while Onondaga’s Dave Pasiak (Waterville / Clarkson University) was named the Conference Coach of the Year. It was Pasiak’s third Coach of the Year award, with the others coming in 2002 and 2003. Onondaga’s Kevin Barrett (Syracuse Bishop Ludden) was among the other players receiving All-Conference votes.
In the Mid-State semi-final on Saturday, Onondaga faced Finger Lakes. The Lazers, who shared the conference regular season title with Broome, trailed the Lakers 59-50 with 5:13 remaining. At that point, Onondaga went on an 11-0 run, capped by a Chris Vincent (Baldwinsville C.W. Baker) three-pointer, to take a 61-59 lead with 1:22 to go. After Finger Lakes tied the contest at 61, both teams came up with defensive stops, giving Onondaga the ball with under 20 seconds remaining. Jason Kondra (East Syracuse-Minoa) penetrated and found Williams, who drove and scored with 2.3 seconds left to give the Lazers a 63-61 lead. When a desperation three-pointer from just over half court bounced out at the buzzer, Onondaga escaped with the win. Williams recorded 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Lazers, while Vincent added 14 and Kondra handed out a team high 8 assists.
Onondaga advanced to Sunday’s final to face host Broome, who had defeated Tompkins Cortland, 93-61, in the other semi-final. With Broome holding a one point lead midway through the first half, the Hornets went on a 19-2 run over the next 5 minutes to take a 37-19 lead and gain control of the game. Onondaga was able to battle back to within 9 points on several occasions in the second half, the latest coming with 51 seconds remaining, but they could get no closer as Broome came away with a 96-82 victory and the Conference championship. Williams had another strong game with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Thomsen added 17 points, 6 assists, and 4 steals. Vincent added 15 points and Kondra recorded a career best 14 points.
Onondaga now moves on to the NJCAA Region III Tournament. This is the 7th consecutive season that Onondaga has qualified for regional play, the longest streak among Mid-State Athletic conference schools, and the 3rd longest among all Region III schools. The Lazers have received the #5 seed for the regional tournament, and will play #4 seed SUNY Cobleskill in a quarter-final contest on Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm at Herkimer County Community College. This will be the first meeting between the Lazers and the Tigers since the 2000-2001 season. The winner of that contest will advance to a 1:00 pm semi-final on Saturday, also at Herkimer County. The championship game will be held Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm in Herkimer. The complete regional schedule is as follows:
First Round – Tuesday, February 26
#9 Fulton Montgomery Community College at #8 Tompkins Cortland Community College, 7:00 pm
#10 Mohawk Valley Community College at #7 Clinton Community College, 7:00 pm
#11 Jefferson Community College at #6 Finger Lakes Community College, 7:00 pm
Quarter-Finals – Friday, February 29, at Herkimer County Community College
#1 Hudson Valley Community College vs. Fulton Montgomery-Tompkins Cortland winner, 1:00 pm
#4 SUNY Cobleskill vs. #5 Onondaga Community College, 3:00 pm
#2 Herkimer County Community College vs. Mohawk Valley-Clinton winner, 6:00 pm
#3 Broome Community College vs. Jefferson-Finger Lakes winner, 8:00 pm
Semi-Finals – Saturday, March 1, at Herkimer County Community College
Hudson Valley-Fulton-Montgomery-Tompkins Cortland winner vs. Cobleskill-Onondaga winner, 1:00 pm
Herkimer County-Mohawk Valley-Clinton winner vs. Broome-Jefferson-Finger Lakes winner, 3:00 pm
Final – Sunday, March 2, at Herkimer County Community College
Semi-Final winners, 1:00 pm
Onondaga Community College
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