SYRACUSE, NY. – December 9, 2010 – Onondaga Community College will play host to one of the premier Division III junior college basketball tournaments in the country this weekend when the 4th annual Onondaga Community College Classic tips off. The host Onondaga Community College Lazers will take on defending tournament champion Sullivan County Community College, from Loch Sheldrake, NY, at 5:00 pm on Saturday in the first of two semi-finals. That game will be followed by a 7:00 pm semi-final matching Anne Arundel Community College of Arnold, MD, and Mass Bay Community College of Wellesley Hills, MA. Saturday’s 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 7-3 record after splitting a pair of road 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 10 seasons. The Lazers are the only Mid-State Athletic Conference school to have earned that distinction. This year, Onondaga has been led by Jesse Gates (Liverpool), who is averaging a team best 16.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Heath Stone (Chittenango) is averaging 11.7 points per game, and is leading the Lazers with 9.3 rebounds per game. Brandon Seibt (Central Square P.V. Moore) is also averaging double figures at 10.6 points per game, while Andrew Lucio (Solvay) is averaging 8.9 points per game and handing out a team best 6.2 assists per contest. Onondaga is coached by Dave Pasiak (Waterville), who is in his 11th season and is Onondaga’s all-time leader in coaching victories with 184.
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 9-3 and ranked number 10 in the country in the latest NJCAA poll. 6’8” forward Cleanthony Early leads a balanced Sullivan attack, averaging 14.8 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Point guard Dashawn Joyner averages 12.8 points and 4.9 assists per game, with Kenneth Bradshaw and Marvin Jean adding 10.8 and 10.1 points per game respectively. Kevin DeVantier is in his 2nd season as Sullivan’s head coach, after moving over from Columbia Greene Community College.
Anne Arundel will enter the tournament with a 4-5 overall record. The Pioneers are making their third Classic appearance, having played in the inaugural event in 2007, as well as being the runners up in the 2009 event. Anne Arundel is annually one of the premiere teams in Region 20, and is led by a trio of second year players. Forward Trey Quinn is the Pioneers’ leading scorer at 15.1 points per game, while guards Dylan Ritson and Eddie Jenkins average 13.8 and 11.9 points per game respectively. Tom Smith is in his 4th year as the Pioneers’ head coach and was named the Maryland Junior College Coach of the Year in 2009.
Mass Bay is currently 11-2 and ranked #9 in the country. The Buccaneers are led by second year guard Mikhail Rubin, who averages 19.3 points per game, tops among all tournament participants. Forward Jason Compere-Arty is averaging 14.3 points per contest, while forward Robert Hunter is contributing 11.3 points and a team best 7.8 rebounds per game. Bill Raynor, a former head coach at NCAA Division I Holy Cross College, is in his 6th season as the head coach at Mass Bay.
Following this weekend’s games, Onondaga will be off for final exams and the Christmas holiday. The Lazers will return to action on January 4, 2010, as they host Columbia Greene Community College at 3:00 pm.
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