SYRACUSE, NY. – December 3, 2012 – The Onondaga Community College men’s basketball team traveled to northern New York over the weekend and wound up splitting a pair of games at Clinton Community College and North Country Community College. On Saturday, the Lazers found themselves down by 23 points at halftime and never recovered, falling 105-92 to Clinton in Plattsburgh. Onondaga rebounded in Saranac Lake on Sunday, however, and handed North Country their first home loss of the season, pulling out a 92-84 victory. The Lazers ended the weekend with an overall record of 6-4, while Clinton raised their record to 5-4, and North Country fell to 8-2.
On Saturday, Clinton used an 18-4 run over 5 minutes in the middle of the first half to build a 29-13 advantage. The Cougars continued to pull away over the rest of the opening session, gradually building a 52-29 halftime lead. Clinton continued to build their advantage after the break, and when Chris Miller scored off of a Lazer turnover, the Cougars had their biggest lead at 69-41 with just over 14 minutes to go in the game. At that point, Onondaga finally came alive and started to climb back. A 35-20 Lazer run brought Onondaga to within 89-76 with 6:00 to go. After Clinton built the lead back to 100-80 with 2:53 remaining, Onondaga staged one last ditch rally, and when Dylan Amo (Hermon-DeKalb) scored on a rebound basket the Lazers had narrowed the gap to 8 points with 1:01 to go. The Lazers then forced a Clinton turnover on the inbounds, but were unable to connect on two three-point attempts, and Clinton made 5 of 6 free throws to secure the win.
David Haye (Spring Valley Ramapo) paced Onondaga with a game high 27 points, 24 coming in the second half. Adam Misener (Liverpool) added 12, and Vaughndell Brantley (Cicero-North Syracuse) also hit double figures with 10. Amo and Brantley both pulled down 5 rebounds, while Mike Granato (Auburn) handed out 5 assists. Miller led Clinton with 26 points, while 6’9” forward recorded 16 points, 17 rebounds, 9 assists, and 6 blocked shots. Clinton connected on 44 of 78 (56.4%) of their field goal attempts, while the Lazers only made 29 of 82 attempts (35.4%). Clinton also enjoyed a commanding 56-38 rebounding advantage.
In contrast to Saturday’s game, on Sunday the Lazers and Saints remained close throughout the first half, with neither team holding an advantage of more than 4 points. After North Country’s Michael Boyea connected on a pair of free throws, the Saints headed to the halftime break with a 34-30 lead. The teams continued to battle on nearly even terms early in the second half. With Onondaga leading, 53-52, and 12:21 to go in the contest, North Country went on a 9-0 run to give the Saints their largest lead of the game, 61-53, with more than 11 minutes to go. Onondaga began to rally, however, and when Robbie Cooper (Port Byron Dana L. West) capped a 13-3 run with a three pointer, the Lazers had regained the lead at 66-64 with just over 7 minutes remaining. The teams went back and forth over the next several possessions, and when North Country’s Jared Heden scored off of an assist from Boyea, the game was tied at 70. Misener connected on a three-pointer to put the Lazers back in front, then Tyler Bliss (Liverpool) scored on a rebound basket and Haye knocked down another three, and suddenly the Lazers had a 78-70 lead. North Country wasn’t able to get closer than 5 points the rest of the way, and the Lazers had their first win in Saranac Lake since February of 2007.
Haye led the Lazers with 23 points and also pulled down 7 rebounds. Tyler Wood (Broadalbin-Perth) added 14 points and 7 assists and Misener chipped in with 13 points and 3 steals. Bliss recorded a double double with 12 points and 20 rebounds. Boyea led the Saints with 24 points and 15 assists. Steve Carder added 19 points for North Country. Onondaga made 31 of 73 shots from the floor (42.5%), while North Country connected on 34 of 678 attempts (50.7%), but only 4 of 27 from behind the three-point arc. The Lazers made 20 of 27 free throws, compared to 12 of 22 for the Saints. Onondaga held a 46-43 rebounding advantage and forced 19 Saints turnovers while turning it over 14 times themselves. Onondaga also took 7 charges in the contest.
Onondaga closes out the fall semester this weekend when they host the 6th annual Onondaga Community College Classic. The Lazers will open the tournament at 5:00 pm on Saturday, when they host Delaware County Community College of Media, PA, in the SRC Arena and Events Center. Delaware County is the defending Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference champion. The second semi-final will see Anne Arundel Community College of Arnold, MD, face MassBay Community College of Wellesley Hills, MA. Anne Arundel and MassBay are ranked #6 and #13 respectively in the most recent National Junior College Athletic Association Division III national poll. Saturday’s two winners will play in the Classic Championship Game on Sunday at 2:15 pm in the SRC Arena, with Saturday’s losing teams meeting in a consolation game on Sunday at 2:00 pm in Allyn Hall.
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