« on: Yesterday at 03:55:35 pm »
Oswego State 75 Oneonta State 70
Congratulations to The Lakers on their Regular Season Crown and Tournament Championship. Last year you made the Sweet 16. I Hope you go even further this year. Good Luck.
The Lakers broke on top quickly and had a 12-3 lead after 3:30 of the first period. Oneonta almost caught up at 12-10, but Oswego outscored them 13-5 to open up a double digit lead at 25-15 with 12 minutes left. The Lakers now had a comfort zone and that's not a good thing for their opponents. The lead grew to 15 points and just as the Red Dragons were closing some ground, cutting their deficit to 9, with under a minute in the half, Mr.Clutch buried a pair of 3's, 35 seconds apart and the Lakers trotted off the court with a 53-38 halftime lead. The two 3 pointers gave Sortino 68 points over his last 65 minutes of playoff basketball. That's bigtime ballin.
Oneonta needed to get back into the game quickly to have any chance and they did just that scoring the first 4 points of the half forcing Coach Leone to take a quick time out. That didn't slow them down much as they scored the next 5 points coming out of that TO. Suddenly the lead was only 6 points instead of 15. If at first you don't succeed, take another time out, and that's what Coach Leone did. This time it worked as the Lakers responded with a pair of buckets to build it back to a 10 point lead.
Over the next ten minutes the Lakers' lead fluctuated between 10 and 14 points as the Lakers got contributions from several different players to hold the Red Dragons at bay. But with time running out and Oneonta down 69-56 with under 7 minutes left to play, the Red Dragons' Big Three scored 9 unanswered points, to pull them within 4 points of the Lakers, the last 3 coming on a 3 point play from Mikey McElroy. It was the closest they had been since the 13:16 mark of the first half. The Lakers turned the ball over on their next possession and the Red Dragons had a chance to cut it to a one possession game. McElroy's jumper rimmed out however, which allowed the Lakers come down and score on a drive by who else...Sortino. He was fouled on the play and he hit the free throw to stop the bleeding and make it a 72-65 3 possession lead with 1:53 remaining. That breathing room didn't last long as Oneonta fought back to make it 72-70 on a free throw from Lawrence Coleman, a jumper from McElroy, and a layup from Coleman but time was short and Oneonta had to foul with 13 seconds left. It was a touch of irony that the guy going to the line for the clinching free throws, was a member of the Red Dragons last year. Ian Schupp, who originally played for the Lakers, left, and came back home this year, made both freebies to salt away the championship for Oswego. Oneonta missed their last attempt from the field, went to the line and missed both free throws, with 6 seconds on the clock. Sortino was fouled and he made 1 of 2 for the final points of the game. A valiant comeback effort by the Red Dragons but they just ran out of time. And frankly, the way the Lakers played all weekend, I don't think more time on the clock would have made a difference.
Brian Sortino, most likely the SUNYAC Player of the Year, had 27 points to once again lead all scorers. He added 4 rebounds and 5 assists, along with the Most Valuable Player award of the SUNYAC Tournament. His 48 points the night before against Buffalo State set a Max Ziel Gymnasium record and he was just a point away from tying the highest scoring game in program history. He has been a pleasure (and a pain) to watch over the past 4 years and I wish him well.
Ian Schupp had 22 points, 7 rebounds and 1 assist. Schupp and Sortino combined for 8 of the team's 9 three pointers (4 each) and was a major reason the Lakers walked off the court with the championship trophy. Oneonta was only 4x16 from long range.
Tyler Pierre was a beast off the glass as he had a game high 15 rebounds to go along with his 7 points, 1 assist and a steal. He came off the bench and saw 17 minutes of court time.
Jamir Ferebee had 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal.
Keith Tyson had 6 points, 9 boards and a steal.
Mykelle Krecko had 4 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assist.
The Red Dragons
Lawrence Coleman had 23 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a steal.
Mikey McElroy had 19 points, 6 rebounds and a block.
Frankie Kelly, had 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.
Dwayne Freeman had 6 points and 4 rebounds.
Ian Schultz had 4 points, a team high 9 rebounds, a block and a steal.
Jack Kolosky had 4 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Oswego improves their record to 21-6 and will wait for the NCAA's selection show on Monday at 12:30 to find out who their next opponent will be. I hope they get to host a 4 team pod on the first weekend. I'm pretty sure Rochester will host and possibly St. John Fisher may get sent there. If Brockport gets a bid (they're on the bubble) they may go to Rochester as well. Union could go to Oswego and then there's St. Lawrence and possibly Skidmore. I'm not sure if the Liberty League would get 3 bids. I know the SUNYAC won't. And the YAC may not get 2 but I have my fingers crossed that Brockport gets one. There will be lots of fingers crossed in Brockport on Monday around lunchtime.
Oneonta's season comes to an end with a 17-11 record. I don't know if they intend to play in the ECAC tournament.