Chargers too much for shorthanded Tigers in NCCAA Third Place Game
Senior guard Nick Mascorro uses junior Cameron Cramer's screen to try to shedding the Charger defender.
Circleville, OH – The Tigers entered into the NCCAA DII third place game Saturday afternoon down two key players in sophomore Paul TenHarmsel and junior Bradley Rosenzweig. They would face the Lancaster Bible College Chargers (Lancaster, PA), who had fallen short to Arlington Baptist College in the last seconds of their Final Four match-up. To pick up a win, the Tigers would have to overcome this and play their best ball against the Chargers, who only lost two games throughout the season in their NCAA DIII conference.
In the place of TenHarmsel, senior Nick Van Loo would go on to start in his final game in the backcourt with fellow guards Nick Mascorro and Jared Bradford. The Chargers were able to build a five-point five minutes into the game and kept it until a three-point shot from senior Nick Van Loo would take a 16-14 lead for the Tigers. Shortly thereafter, Mascorro hobbled off the floor to the trainer’s table after tweaking his ankle on a drive to the basket. Grace was able to stick around for the rest of the half, not allowing Lancaster to build a lead of more than five points until the very last play of the half. After the ball seemed to be still in his hand at the sound of the first half buzzer, Lancaster guard Naheer Mirza threw up a deep three-pointer and was able to bank it in – the officials counted the basket giving the Chargers a 47-39 lead headed into the half.
It was encouraging for Grace fans to see Mascorro able to return to the floor at the start of the second half. Even with the Chargers showing some solid play on the offensive end to begin the half, the Tigers were able to chip away by nailing three straight three-point shots to cut the Charger lead to two, 53-51. Unfortunately at this point junior Jake Blauwkamp, who had been a huge asset for the Tigers in this tournament thus far, made his way to the bench after he took a Charger defender’s knee into his thigh. The Chargers were able to take advantage of the shorthanded Tigers and extend their lead to double digits just three minutes later, with 13:00 remaining in the game. The Lancaster coaching staff turned to very heavy pressure on defense, resulting in another run that would ultimately be too much to overcome for the Tigers. The Chargers built and kept a 20-point lead throughout the remaining portion of the game. Seniors Nick Mascorro, Nick Van Loo, and Trent Karnemaat would be taken out of the game with one minute remaining, receiving a very deserving standing ovation for all they have given to the Grace Bible College program during their careers. When the final buzzer sounded, Lancaster Bible College earned the third place plaque with a 94-72 victory over Grace. After the game, the Tigers were presented the fourth place NCCAA plaque, which is the eighth best finish ever in Grace Bible College men’s basketball NCCAA DII history.
Points: Cramer 17, Mascorro 14, Bradford 10, Van Loo 9
Rebounds: McKian 10, Rader 5, Four with 4
Assists: Van Loo 4, Three with 1
Steals: Mascorro, Rader, Blauwkamp 1
Blocks: McKian 2, Cramer 1