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ELIZABETHTOWN COLLEGE MEN'S BASKETBALL
Etown Wins Sprint Blue Jay Classic Tournament Title With 103-96 Win over Clark, Loftus Named Tourney MVP, King's Downs Lehman 56-36 in Consolation Game
ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. --- When ninth-ranked Elizabethtown and 20th-ranked Clark (MA) both won their opening round games of the 2002 Sprint Blue Jay Classic Friday, it meant the tournament's championship game Saturday would be a rematch of the 2002 NCAA tournament sectional championship game at Catholic University in March, which Etown won 94-90.
When the Blue Jay Classic championship was played Saturday, it turned out to be not only a rematch of that earlier game, but a repeat as well, featuring all the same elements: a close game down to the final minute featuring outrageously high scoring on both sides with Elizabethtown ultimately coming out on top. The Blue Jays won their tournament's title this year over Clark by a final score of 103-96. In stark contrast to the tournament championship, King's defeated Lehman in the consolation game by a score of 56-36.
Clark (1-1) held a slim lead for much of the early part of the game, until a lay-up by Darryl Brown (Harrisburg, PA/Central Dauphin) tied the score at 17-17 at 11:16 in the first half. At 10:56, Jon English (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddon Township) scored on a lay-up to give Etown a 19-17 lead, its first since 19:25. Clark regained a 20-19 lead at 10:00 on a three-pointer by Dave McNamara, by a three by Etown's Jon Connor (Hershey, PA/Hershey) gave the Blue Jays a 22-20 lead at 9:31, and from there Etown retained a slim lead over Clark until halftime, which the Blue Jays went into with a 51-47 advantage.
Etown (2-0) maintained a slim lead over Clark early in the second half, but was never able to get an advantage larger than six points. At 13:00 in the second half, a three point play by Brent Kenneway gave Clark its first lead in 17 minutes, 65-64. A three-pointer by Etown sophomore Kyle Conrad (Shillington, PA/Governor Mifflin) 12 seconds later quickly returned a 67-65 lead to the Blue Jays, but Clark tied the game at 10:41 on another McNamara three-pointer, 72-72. At 10:29, Ian Daecher (Lititz, PA/Warwick) sank a pair of foul shots to give Etown a 74-72 lead, and the Blue Jays never relinquished their lead from then on.
Clark did, however, climb to within one point of Etown on several occasions, the latest coming at 1:51 remaining in the game when a Trevor Walker three-pointer cut Etown's lead to 93-92. From then on, a series of Etown free throws sealed the victory.
Etown shot 56.9% from the field, 52.6% from three-point range, and 77.1% from the free throw line. Clark shot 53.2% from the field and 40.6% from three-point range, and Clark out-rebounded Elizabethtown 36-28. Clark turned the ball over 17 times, while Etown had nine turnovers.
Etown had six players score in double figures, including Brian Loftus (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks West) and English, who each scored 21 points to lead the team. Daecher finished with 13 points and a team high of six rebounds for the Blue Jays. Chad Heller (New Holland, PA/Garden Spot) scored 12 points and had five rebounds and four assists. Freshman point guard Kyle Stem (Lincoln University, PA/Salesianum) scored 12 points for Etown as well as leading the team with eight assists, and sophomore Conrad scored 12 points from off the bench.
Sean Fleming led Clark with 30 points, while McNamara had 25 points, and Walker scored 20 points.
In the tournament's consolation game, King's (1-1) defeated Lehman (0-2) by a final score of 56-36 to supply the yin to the championship game's yang. King's took firm control of the game early in the first half and took a 32-16 lead heading into halftime. King's shot 37.3% from the field, while Lehman shot 25.9%.
Kasim Holloman led King's with 16 points on six-for-11 shooting. Britt Moore added 14 points to King's total, and Dannie Evans scored 13 points. Lehman's high scorer was Rob Naggie with seven points, and he led the team with four assists as well.
Etown guard Brian Loftus was named the tournament MVP after totaling 51 points in two days. Also named to the all-tournament team was Etown center Jon English. Clark had a pair of representatives on the all-tournament team as well in Sean Fleming and Dave McNamara. Kasim Holloman of King's and Amil Hector of Lehman rounded out the all-tournament team.
Elizabethtown will return to action at home Tuesday, November 26 against Lancaster County rival Franklin & Marshall, which was one of only three teams to defeat Elizabethtown in 2001-02. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
At Elizabethtown, Pa.
At Elizabethtown, Pa.