January 3, 2010

Spartans Fall in Hampton Inn Coaches vs. Cancer Championship

YORK, PA – The York College women’s basketball team fell hard Sunday afternoon dropping a 64-49 result to the College of New Jersey in the championship game of the 2010 Hampton Inn Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in York. The loss drops the Spartans back to .500 at 5-5 for the year while the Lions take the tournament title and improve their mark to 6-6 overall. The defeat snaps York's streak of six consecutive in-season tournament championships, dating back to the 2006-2007 campaign.

TCNJ, participants in last year’s NCAA Division III Final Four, leapt out to a 12-5 advantage by the 12:14 mark and never relinquished the lead.

The Spartans pulled to as close as one, down 17-16 with 6:45 to play in the first frame, but could not get over the hump.

A five-point halftime lead for the visitors was maximized by three straight triples to open the second half. The Lions suddenly led by 14 at 37-23 only 1:46 into the latter stanza.

The Spartans showed signs of life after head coach Betsy Witman called a timeout following TCNJ’s spurt, and quickly cut the advantage to eight at 39-31. However, that would prove as close as the Spartans would get. The Lions steadily increased their lead from there, reaching a pinnacle of 23 at 58-35 with 7:39 to play, as they secured the 2010 Hampton Inn Coaches vs. Cancer championship.

Tournament MVP Keri Washington tallied seven points, three rebounds, three steals, and two assists in her 25 minutes. Her greatest contributions however, came via hustle plays as Washington consistently disrupted the Green and White by getting into passing lanes and being persistent on both ends of the floor. Hannah Tait, who joined Washington on the all-tournament team, paced the Lions offensively, registering 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting while grabbing seven rebounds. Kelsey Kutch was the second Lion in double-figures with 10 points as she collected eight caroms. Candace Vigo chipped in with eight points and 12 boards.

For the Spartans, junior guard April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) landed on the all-tournament squad as she tallied 10 points and six rebounds. Sparkman now stands at 906 points for her career. Senior Jamie Polan (York, Pa./West York) registered a team-high 13 points, tying her career high, while her consistent hustle provided a glimpse of better days to come for the Spartans.

The championship game brings a close to the 2010 Hampton Inn Coaches vs. Cancer Classic hosted by York College and benefitting the American Cancer Society. The tournament was able to raise $2,732 in the fight against cancer, as 100 percent of the proceeds were donated to the American Cancer Society.

York returns to action on Wednesday, January 6, as they begin a string of Capital Athletic Conference contests. The Spartans head to perennial powerhouse Marymount, taking on the Saints in a 6:00 p.m. tilt from Arlington, Va.

BOX SCORE

Jamie Polan photo courtesy of Mike Zortman