SYRACUSE, NY. - February 26, 2007 - The Onondaga Community College men's basketball team captured their first Mid-State Athletic Conference Championship since 1992 yesterday, defeating Broome Community College, 87-75, in the championship game of the conference tournament at Onondaga. The Lazers, the regular season champion and tournament top seed, had advanced to the title tilt with an 83-71 victory over #4 Corning Community College in Saturday's semi-final. #2 Broome had advanced with a 78-76 victory over #3 Finger Lakes Community College in the other Saturday semi-final.
Against Corning, the Lazers jumped out to a 25-13 lead 8:00 into the contest and never allowed the visiting Red Barons to get closer than within 9 points the rest of the contest. Steve Siechen (East Syracuse-Minoa) led Onondaga with 23 points and also pulled down 9 rebounds. Four other Lazers also hit double figures, with Justin Stern (Jamesville-DeWitt) and Danny Smith (Canastota) tallying 13 points each. Shane Williams (Camillus West Genesee) scored 11 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, handed out 5 assists, and recorded 3 steals and 3 blocked shots. Rich Buckmon (Syracuse Henninger) posted a double double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Smith handed out 5 assists. Onondaga held a 48-35 rebounding advantage.
In the championship game against Broome, a 9-0 run late in the first half broke a 33-33 tie, and the Lazers led the rest of the way. Broome did get within 3 points early in the second half, but Onondaga responded and was able to extend the lead to as many as 18 points in the second half. Siechen again led the way with 26 points, 20 in the second half, and he added 9 rebounds and 7 assists. He was named the tournament Most Valuable Player for his efforts. All five Lazer starters again scored in double figures, as Buckmon posted his second double double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Smith added 11 points and 7 assists, while Stern and Williams had 10 each. Onondaga again dominated the glass, holding a 52-29 rebounding advantage. The Lazers held Broome to 37.7% shooting (26 of 69), while connecting on 34 of 70 (48.6%) shots themselves.
The Lazers now have an overall record of 23-7. They have received a #3 seed for the upcoming NJCAA Region III Division III Tournament, and will receive a first round bye. Onondaga will face the winner of Tuesday's contest between #6 Hudson Valley Community College and #11 Clinton Community College at 8:00 pm on Friday night at Herkimer County Community College.
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