In the championship game of The Post-Journal Classic men's basketball tournament on Sunday, the host Jamestown Community College Jayhawks faced the task of taking on the Monroe CC Tribunes from Rochester, who had only one loss and are second in the NJCAA Division II poll.
JCC was holding its own, leading through most of the first 27 minutes of play. Then Monroe went on a 13-2 run to take an eight-point lead to spark the Tribunes to a 74-59 victory.
With the win, Monroe moves to 13-1 and it was the Tribunes' second Post-Journal Classic title. The first was in 2007 when MCC also defeated the Jayhawks in the championship game.
Tyreek Jewell of Jamestown Community College is fouled by a Monroe CC defender, but that didn’t stop him from making the layup and then he sunk a free throw to complete a three-point play during the championship game of The Post-Journal Classic on Sunday afternoon. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
JCC was seeking its third straight Post-Journal Classic title and eighth in the 20 years of the tournament. The Jayhawks have now finished second nine times and their record drops to 8-6.
In the consolation game, the Columbus State CC Cougars from Columbus, Ohio, defeated the Westmoreland County CC Wolfpack from Youngwood, Pa., , 91-34.
''Though we've had a pretty fair fall semester, we're not going to win a big-time game unless we play collectively defensively,'' JCC coach Mike Cordovano said. ''We just did not do that. That's where they got us (during the 13-2 run).''
He noted that Monroe had only one 3-pointer in the second half and three for the game. And that's because the Tribunes didn't need them.
''They got to the basket on us and that the was the difference,'' Cordovano said. ''They score, we foul because we're late rotating. Then they're shooting a foul shot and then they set up their press.''
Cordovano added, ''I think, too, we ran out of gas. We're not a very deep team. We go seven or eight (players deep) and when you get tired, I think fatigue sets in mentally more than the physical part.''
There was no fatigue for the Jayhawks in the first half. They jumped out to a 19-10 lead after nine minutes of play and leading the way was Tyreek Jewell with nine points.
With the nine-point lead, JCC switched to a zone defense.
''I think that messed them up,'' Cordovano said. ''I see in the second semester we're going to be switching defenses quite often. We crossed them up, we confused them for a while.''
However, things got messed up for the Jayhawks when Jewell picked up his second foul and went to the bench.
''This is kind of a no-tomorrow game in a way, so we had to sit him down,'' Cordovano said. ''He's a pretty active guy and I didn't want him to get that third. But it did hurt.''
With Jewell on the bench, Monroe battled back and took a two-point lead. Jewell returned to the game with three minutes left in the half and from that point JCC outscored Monroe, 6-2, to take a 33-30 halftime advantage.
The second half started well for the Jayhawks. Monroe committed three turnovers in the opening two minutes and JCC increased its lead. After 6 minutes, the Jayhawks were in front 42-37 and then the tables turned.
The Tribunes went on a 13-2 run for 4 minutes to take a 52-44 lead with 8:45 left to play.
''At about the seven-minute mark of the game we started to play basketball that we can play,'' Monroe coach Jerry Burns said.
What led to the sudden change?
''I thought they (the Jayhawks) did a really good job defensively (in the first half), but we were just settling a little bit too much on offense for the jump shot,'' Burns said. ''We just settled for way too many jump shots and one of our focuses was to get our bigs involved with the game. Dallas Gary came in off the bench. He's not a real big guy (6-foot-5), but he's a very difficult matchup because of his size. He can shoot outside, but he can get the ball to the basket. He and the other kid, Arnold Fripp, did a good job of scoring inside.''
And during that 13-2 run, Fripp started it and Gary capped it with a three-point play.
''First we couldn't run because they were scoring, but they were scoring because they go to the basket,'' Cordovano said. ''They just drove. Gary, the point guard (Tashawn Desir) just drove to the basket at will and we had no answers.''
He added, ''We're a breaking team, we're trying to run. It's hard to run when they score. We can't rebound, outlet and go.''
The Jayhawks pulled within four with 4:45 left to play, but from that point, Monroe outscored the hosts, 12-1, to wrap up the 15-point win.
And Burns agreed with what Cordovano said about the Jayhawks running out of gas.
''Jamestown has six solid players and that's why we kept pressing them,'' he said. ''I just thought that we could wear them down a little bit. That's why I wasn't overly concerned to be down at halftime, I felt we could wear them down.''
Gary led Monroe with 17 points and six rebounds while Greg Williams had 12 points and seven rebounds and Malcom McNair and Fripp had 10 points each.
Gary finished The Post-Journal Classic with 37 points in two games and was named the most valuable player. Joining him on the all-tournament team was Desir with 23 points in two games.
JCC was led by Davonte Dunham with 22 points and Jewell had 21 points and nine rebounds.
Jewell finished with 39 points in two games and Dunham had 37 and they were also named to the all-tournament team.
The consolation game had a slow start for both teams offensively as Westmoreland County had a 5-0 lead after 1 minutes of play. Columbus State tied the game three minutes later at 5-5 and never was tied or behind again.
With seven minutes left in the half, the Cougars were in front by 10 and that the was doubled by halftime, 36-16.
The Wolfpack couldn't get its offense going and three times were guilty of shot-clock violations.
In the second half, Columbus State kept increasing its lead which was up to 26, 46-20, after five minutes of play and just two minutes later the margin was 36 after the Cougars ran off 10 straight points.
It was all downhill from there for an 91-34 win as Columbus State upped its record to 8-4 and Westmoreland County, the only Division III team in the field, fell to 6-6.
Andre Bond was the scoring lead for the Cougars with 23 points while Michael Condo had 17 points and eight rebounds, Jalen Brown had 11 points and Keevin Tyus 10.
Condo finished with 35 points and 19 rebounds in two games and was named to the all-tournament team.
Andy Carter, who came into the tournament as the second leading scorer in NJCAA Division III with a 28.2 average, led the Wolfpack with 16 points and was named to the all-tournament team after scoring 45 points in two games.
The Post-Journal Classic was the last action for JCC this semester. The Jayhawks don't play again until Jan. 5 when they play host to Butler County CC at 3 p.m. The women's teams will play at 1 p.m.
Desir 3 2-3 9, KenJohnson 2 2-2 6, Josiah 2 0-0 4, Zimmerman 0 0-0 0, Gary 6 4-5 17, McNair 4 0-0 10, GWilliams 6 0-0 12, Fripp 5 0-2 10, Berry 2 2-2 6, Totals 30 10-14 74.
Dunham 7 6-8 22, Newell 1 1-1 3, Jewell 9 3-6 21 Forrest 2 0-0 4, Stokes 3 1-2 7, JaWilliams 0 0-0 0, Sterling 1 0-0 2, Totals 23 11-17 59.
Halftime-JCC 33, Monroe 30. 3-point goals-Desir, Gary, McNair 2, Dunham 2. Total fouls-Monroe 12, JCC 11.
WESTMORELAND COUNTY (34)
Szatkowski 0 2-4 2, Storkel 1 0-0 2, Carter 5 4-6 15, Cochran 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 0-0 0, EMcKlveen 2 0-0 5, CMcKlveen 2 0-0 4, JoWillams 2 0-0 5, Walls-Mitchell 0 1-2 1, Totals 12 3-13 34
COLUMBUS STATE (91)
KerWilliams 2 1-1 3, Condo 5 6-6 17, Berry 2 2-2 6, Bond 10 0-0-0 23, Lucas 1 0-0 3, JamBrown 0 0-0 0, Wilkins 2 3-4 7, JalBrown 4 3-3 11, Tyus 5 0-0 10 Hopewell 1 2-2 4, Totals 34 17-20 91.
Halftime-Columbus State 36, Westmoreland County 16. 3-point goals-Carter, EMcKlveen, JWilliams, KWilliams, Condo, Bond 3, Lucas. Total fouls-Columbus State 9, Westmoreland County 13.