HUNTINGDON, Pa.- Case Western Reserve went on a 14-2 run midway through the second half to take a lead it would not surrender as the Spartans defeated Juniata 66-60 to claim the championship of the 25th annual Doc Greene Tournament. The loss puts the Eagles record at 5-3 overall while Case improves to 3-4 on the season.
The Spartans scored the first seven points of the game to lead 7-0 and went ahead 13-4 following back-to-back three-point shots from Colin Zucker and Sam Hansen. JC cut into the deficit with a 10-2 run with five of those points coming from Jacob Holsopple (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) to make the score 15-14 with 12:41 to play.
Case Western upped its lead up to four points, 20-16, with 8:51 to go in the half. The Eagles mounted a 14-5 run to go up 30-25 with just a tick under a minute remaining on the clock. The Spartans would close the gap to one point on a layup from TJ Duckett and a three-point shot with time expiring from Jon Paul Sinacola as Juniata clung to a 32-31 lead at halftime.
Case tied the game at 37-all early in the second half but a pair of free throws from Marcus Lee (Carrolltown, Pa./Bishop Carroll) followed by a Brandon Martinazzi (Cresson, Pa./Bishop Carroll) jumper put JC ahead 41-37. Two straight layups from Duckett allowed the Spartans to tie the game at 41-41. Those baskets were part of the 14-2 run that staked the visitors to a 51-43 lead with 8:33 to play in the game.
Juniata cut the Case lead to 53-49 after another pair of free throws from Lee with 5:12 left on the clock. A 7-2 Spartan run increased their lead to 60-51 with 3:04 remaining in the contest. It was still a two-possession game after a trey from Paul Martello (York, Pa./York Catholic) got the Eagles to 64-60 with 28 seconds to go. Kyle McIntosh sank two free throws for the Spartans as JC missed two three-point attempts in the final seconds.
Lee led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting. He was a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe. Holsopple dropped nine points in 15 minutes off of the bench. Damon Rickens (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds while Seth Brewer (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) led in steals with four.
Lee was named to the All-Tournament Team. Javier Alvarez represented Case Western with Duckett earning MVP honors.
Overall, Juniata had the better shooting percentage than Case Western 45.1%-40.3%. The Spartans did have an advantage behind the three-point arch as it converted 34.6% of its opportunities to 21.1% for JC. Rebounds favored Case Western 38-32. The Spartans took advantage of 11 Eagle turnovers as it scored 14 points compared to five points for the Eagles off of nine Spartan miscues. Case led in the paint 28-22.
The Eagles return to the court on December 19 when they travel west to play Pitt-Bradford. Tip-off will be at 5:00 p.m.