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ELIZABETHTOWN COLLEGE MEN'S BASKETBALL
Etown Breaks Season Win Record With 95-66 Win Over Lebanon Valley; Blue Jays Now 21-2 Overall; Rocky Parise Three Assists Away From Tying Program Season Record
ANNVILLE, Pa. --- In the 1963-64 season, the Elizabethtown College men's basketball team finished the year 20-5, setting a program record for wins that would remain unmatched until last season, when Etown went 20-6. The 38 year-old record was finally broken on the road at Lebanon Valley Saturday afternoon, as the Blue Jays won a 95-66 Commonwealth Conference game to improve to 21-2 overall and 11-1 in the conference. Lebanon Valley falls to 16-6 overall and 8-4 in the conference with the loss.
Although Lebanon Valley never held the lead at any point over the course of the game, the Flying Dutchmen did stick close throughout much of the first half. The teams were tied 12-12 with 12:06 to go in the first half before Elizabethtown embarked on a ten point run over the next two and a half minutes.
Etown maintained a lead of about ten points until the final two minutes of the first half, when Lebanon Valley, sparked by Chris Kreider's (Hummelstown, PA/Lower Dauphin) four points in 20 seconds, began to cut the gap. With 30 seconds remaining before halftime, Lebanon Valley's Evan Harlor (Danville, PA/Danville) hit a three pointer to cut the Blue Jays' lead to 41-37. Etown took a seven point lead into halftime courtesy of a three-pointer by Rocky Parise (Harrisburg, PA/Bishop McDevitt) just four seconds before the buzzer.
The Blue Jays opened the second half with seven unanswered points. Etown began to put the game out of reach at 15:50 when a layup by Ian Daecher (Lititz, PA/Warwick) made the score 55-43 and sparked a nine point Blue Jay run over the next two minutes. Etown's lead hit 20 points for the first time in the game on a three-pointer by Jim Barron (Tamaqua, PA/Tamaqua) at 9:41.
The Blue Jays assumed a brief 30 point lead with 11 seconds left to play when freshman Kyle Conrad (Shillington, PA/Governor Mifflin) hit a three-pointer. A layup by Lebanon Valley's Kyle Hassler (Reading, PA/Reading Central Catholic) three seconds before the end of the game cut the final margin to 29 points.
Five Blue Jays hit double figures in scoring, and they were led by Chad Heller (New Holland, PA/Garden Spot) with 17 points. He also led Etown with four steals and six rebounds, and he had four assists as well. Brian Marquette (Lebanon, PA/Cedar Crest), had a memorable Lebanon County homecoming, coming off the bench to score 14 points on the strength of six-for-eight shooting from the field.
Brian Loftus (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks West) chipped in 14 points for the Blue Jays while dishing out four assists and making three swipes, and center Jon English (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddon Township) scored 12 points and had three assists.
Etown point guard Rocky Parise (Harrisburg, PA/Bishop McDevitt) scored 10 points, aided by a perfect three-for-three performance from the three point line, and pulled down four rebounds. Most importantly, though, was that Parise had six assists, bringing his season total to 152, just three assists away from the program single-season record of 155 that he set in 2000-01.
Kreider led Lebanon Valley with 23 points, and John Sharkey (Reading, PA/Reading Central Catholic) was LVC's only other double-digit scorer with 10 points. Darren Pugh (Shippensburg, PA/Shippensburg) led Lebanon Valley with 10 rebgounds while scoring eight points, and John-David Byers (Westminster, MD/Westminster) led the Flying Dutchmen with seven assists.
Etown returns to action at home against conference rival Messiah Tuesday, February 12. Game time is 8:00 p.m., and it is Etown's final home game of the regular season.