SYRACUSE, NY. – February 22, 2009 – The Onondaga Community College men’s basketball team has received the #8 seed for the National Junior College Athletic Association Region III Division III Tournament, to be held next Friday through Sunday at Jefferson Community College. The Lazers will face the tournament’s top seed, Hudson Valley Community College, in Friday’s opening contest at 1:00 pm. Hudson Valley, the #3 ranked team in the nation in the most recent NJCAA poll, will come into the game with a 28-2 record, while Onondaga has a 14-15 record following a 67-64 loss to Finger Lakes Community College on Saturday in the semi-finals of the Mid-State Athletic Conference Championship Tournament. Onondaga’s regional tournament bid is the 8th consecutive for the Lazers, the longest active streak among Mid-State Athletic Conference schools, and the third longest in all of Region III. The entire regional tournament schedule can be found at the end of this release.
Onondaga forward Matt Potter (New Berlin Unadilla Valley) added to his accolades by being named to the NJCAA Region III All-Region 3rd Team for the 2008-09 season. Last week, Potter also earned Mid-State Athletic Conference All-Conference honors. Overall on the season, Potter, a 6’6” forward, is averaging 14.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.6 blocked shots per game, and is shooting 56.4% from the floor. He has already established a new Onondaga single season record for blocked shots with 75 to this point, and has twice tied the Lazer single game mark of 21 rebounds, accomplishing that feat in wins at Broome Community College on January 17, and Tompkins Cortland Community College on February 17. He was the MSAC Co-Player of the Week for the week ending January 18.
On Saturday, Onondaga fell behind 13-2 at the start and played from behind most of the way against Finger Lakes in the Mid-State Athletic Conference Semi-Finals. The Lazers, the tournament’s #3 seed, trailed by as much as 13 points in both halves, before mounting a late rally which saw them take a 64-63 lead on a Jason Kondra (East Syracuse-Minoa) three-point goal with 1:22 remaining. Onondaga came up empty on each of its final three possessions, however, and was unable to hold off the 2nd seeded Lakers. Kondra returned from an ankle injury which had sidelined him for 3 games to lead Onondaga with 26 points, 18 coming in the second half. Zach Chawgo (LaFayette) was Onondaga’s only other double figure scorer with 11 points. Potter pulled down 9 rebounds, while Jordan Barzee (Syracuse Christian Home School) handed out a team best 5 assists. Onondaga suffered from a poor shooting day, connecting on only 19 of 59 shots from the floor (32.2%), compared to 26 of 53 for the Lakers (49.1%). With the win, Finger Lakes advanced to today’s championship game, where they faced tournament host and top seed Jefferson Community College, a 94-74 winner over #4 Corning Community College in Saturday’s other semi-final. In the championship tilt, Jefferson came away with a 78-72 win and the conference title.
Onondaga will next play on Friday in the NJCAA Region III Division III Tournament. The complete tournament schedule is as follows:
Quarter-Finals – Friday, February 27, at Jefferson Community College
#1 Hudson Valley Community College vs. #8 Onondaga Community College, 1:00 pm
#4 SUNY Delhi vs. #5 North Country Community College, 3:00 pm
#3 Herkimer County Community College vs. #6 Finger Lakes Community College, 6:00 pm
#2 Jefferson Community College vs. #7 Mohawk Valley Community College, 8:00 pm
Semi-Finals – Saturday, February 28, at Jefferson Community College
Hudson Valley-Onondaga winner vs. Delhi-North Country winner, 1:00 pm
Herkimer County-Finger Lakes winner vs. Jefferson-Mohawk Valley winner, 3:00 pm
Final – Sunday, March 1, at Jefferson Community College
Semi-Final winners, 1:00 pm
Onondaga Community College
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