SYRACUSE, NY. December 9, 2009 Onondaga Community College will play host to one of the premier Division III junior college basketball tournaments in the country this weekend when the 3rd annual Onondaga Community College Classic tips off. The host Onondaga Community College Lazers will take on Anne Arundel Community College, from Arnold, MD, at 3:00 pm on Saturday in the first of two semi-finals. That game will be followed by a 5:00 pm semi-final matching Sullivan County Community College of Loch Sheldrake, NY and MassBay Community College of Wellesley Hills, MA. Saturdays winners will meet for the Classic championship at 4:00 pm on Sunday, while the two losing teams will meet in a 12:00 noon consolation game.
Onondaga will enter the tournament with a 3-5 record after splitting a pair of games against Clinton Community College and North Country Community College last weekend, Onondaga has established itself as one of the most consistent programs in Region 3 of the NJCAA, having qualified for post-season play in each of the last 9 seasons. The Lazers are the only Mid-State Athletic Conference school to have earned that distinction. This year, Onondaga has been led by Sairron Miller (Syracue Bishop Ludden), who is averaging a team best 13.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Christian Smith (Syracuse Henninger) and Brad Romancik (LaFayette) are also averaging in double figures, posting 12.1 and 11.6 points per game respectively. Dave Foltz (Auburn) is averaging 9.1 points and a team best 5.0 assists per game. Onondaga is coached by Dave Pasiak (Waterville), who is in his 10th season and is Onondagas all-time leader in coaching victories with 170.
Anne Arundel will enter the tournament with a 5-3 overall record. The Pioneers are making their second Classic appearance, having played in the inaugural event in 2007. Anne Arundel was the Region 20 runner up in 2008-09, and is led by returning All-Region selection Kevin Coates, who is averaging 16.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game this season. Freshman forward Michael Atkins averages 15.9 points per game, while Kevin Hunt and Clyde Gross average 12.6 and 12.3 points per game respectively. Tom Smith is in his 3rd year as the Pioneers head coach and was named the Maryland Junior College Coach of the Year last season.
Sullivan County has established itself as one of the elite junior college programs in the country. The Generals have captured four NJCAA Division III National Championships, with the most recent coming in 2007. Sullivan is currently 11-0 and ranked number 4 in the country in the latest NJCAA poll. Pre-season 1st Team All-American guard Moses Dayee leads Sullivan with 15.6 points and 5.6 assists per contest. Backcourt mate Terry Coleman is averaging 14.5 points and 5.3 assists per game, and Evan Pope averages 10.0 points per game. Kevin DeVantier is in his 1st season as Sullivan's head coach, after moving over from Columbia Greene Community College.
MassBay is the defending Region 21 champion and finished 6th in the 2009 NJCAA Division III National Tournament. The Buccaneers are currently ranked 15th in the country and have an 8-2 record with 2 games still to play before heading to the Classic. Jamal Judge and Jakeem Cobb return this season and lead the Buccaneers with 17.3 and 16.2 points per game respectively. Freshman Mikhail Rubin adds 16.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest, while Isaac Jenkins chips in at 10.5 points per game. Bill Raynor, a former head coach ad NCAA Division I Holy Cross College, is in his 5th season as the head coach at MassBay.
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