Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 20 February 2007 18:00With a pair of wins in the final week of the regular season, the Tabor College men secured the fourth seed in the conference post-season tournament.
Tabor went on the road and defeated Sterling on Thursday, then capped 2006-07 on Saturday by dismantling Bethany in front of a full house.
Bethany-Tyler Weinbrenner sparked Tabor to a 45-30 halftime lead, and the home team went on to win 94-69.
Weinbrenner snapped a 6-6 tie with a 3-pointer at 15:28 and turned a 12-10 deficit into a 13-12 lead with another dagger 2:09 later.
Weinbrenner's second 3-pointer sparked an 11-4 Tabor run, and the Bluejays never trailed afterward.
Andy Brubacher fleshed out the burst with a free throw at 12:48, a 3-pointer at 11:50 and an assist on a 2-pointer finish by Greg Munroe.
Munroe scored six straight points and Bethany responded by sending a second defender at him. But at 8:26, Munroe made the Swedes pay for paying extra attention to him.
Facing a double-team, Munroe threw a dart to Weinbrenner and the Bluejay pointman swung the pass to Caleb Good, who was left wide open. Good nailed the 3-pointer and gave Tabor its first double-digit lead of the night.
The shot sparked the second big run of the first half-Tabor outscored Bethany 8-2 over the next 4:36-and the Bluejays pushed their lead to 19 points with 1:13 to go.
The second half began with Tabor's postmen delivering four straight scores.
Assisted by Munroe, Weinbrenner swished a 3-point shot 55 seconds into the period. On Tabor's next possession, Mike Stoecker assisted Munroe on a 2-pointer.
Tabor's third possession of the second half ended with Weinbrenner setting up Munroe for a two-handed dunk in transition.
Stoecker followed with a 3-point play 23 seconds later. Brubacher and Stoecker scored the next two baskets as Tabor's lead grew to 25.
Tabor's defense continued to create opportunities in transition. At 14:37, Weinbrenner threw an alley-oop lob for Munroe-the play fizzled, but Munroe reset himself and scored.
A 21-4 run ensued as Bethany struggled to slow the Bluejays. Momentum shifted so far toward the home team that even when the Swedes contested a shot, Tabor still scored more often than not.
At 12:24, Brubacher made it a 28-point game with a floater that arced high over a Bethany defender along the baseline. That score made it 68-40 and signaled that the game was over with 12:24 still remaining on the clock.
From that point, the Swedes outscored the Bluejays 29-28.
Munroe led the team with 19 points followed by Weinbrenner (18), Stoecker (16) and Kyle Kroeker (12). Tabor shot 32-of-56 (57 percent) for the game. The Bluejays also tallied 23 assists and 10 steals.
Sterling-With the higher seed and a home game in the conference tournament on the line, Tabor got 20 points from Andy Brubacher and defeated the Warriors, 83-78.
Tabor fell behind 5-0, tied the game at 7-7 and took its first lead of the night on a free throw by Eric Weinbrenner.
A 7-3 run gave Sterling a 14-10 lead 5:26 into the half. Tabor regained the lead at 15-14 on a Mike Willis 2-pointer with 12:31 to play in the first half.
A 12-4 run gave Sterling its biggest lead of the half, 26-19, with 9:18 left.
Caleb Good drilled a 3-pointer off a pass from Tyler Weinbrenner and Tabor evened the game for the third time at 33-33 with 5:55 to go in the period.
A 7-0 run over the final 1:56 gave the Bluejays a 43-37 halftime lead.
Landon Stover, Sterling's primary scoring threat, swished a 3-pointer at 16:50 that launched a 12-2 run in favor of the Warriors. During the run, Stover scored a 2-pointer at 15:03. Stover hit another 3-point shot at 14:31, prompting a Tabor timeout.
The Bluejays bounced back with a 9-0 run capped by a pair of foul shots scored by Mike Stoecker.
Stover scored another 3-pointer, good for a 63-59 advantage, but Greg Munroe scored four straight points to tie the game at 63.
On the tying score, Munroe caught a pass from Eric Weinbrenner near the right edge of the free throw line and exploded past two Sterling defenders.
Both Warriors reached for the ball as he went by, but neither was able to disrupt Munroe's concentration as he powered in the tying points.
Stover answered with a putback of his own miss at the other end, but picked up his fourth personal before the ball before Tabor brought the ball across the half-court line.
Sterling pushed its lead to 67-63, but Brubacher scored five unanswered points in 37 seconds.
Munroe added a 2-point shot for a 70-67 advantage, but the pivotal play came at the defensive end.
Sterling's Mac Stevenson grabbed a defensive rebound and threw it ahead to Stover, who sprinted toward what looked like an easy layup. But Kyle Kroeker out-raced him and cut him off on his way to the basket.
The resulting collision was seen differently by the referees-one called a blocking foul and one called it a charge-resulting in a double-foul.
It was Stover's fifth, and because the possession arrow favored the Bluejays, Tabor was awarded the ball.
Sterling called a timeout and rallied to tie the game twice-70-70 at 3:54 and 72-72 at 2:46-before Brubacher drained a 3-pointer with 1:00 to go.
After Stoecker stole the ball from Sterling tower-of-power Johnathan Woods, Brubacher added to the lead with a pair of foul shots with 35 seconds remaining.
A 3-pointer made it 81-78 with 23 seconds left, but Tabor shredded Sterling's press defense.
Kroeker misfired on the first attempt, but Willis iced the game with a putback at the offensive end.
On defense, Willis got a hand on Sterling's last gasp, a 3-pointer put up with three seconds left.
Brubacher led the Bluejays with 20 points followed by Munroe (17), Willis (15) and Stoecker (13).
Coming-With its two wins, Tabor evened its KCAC record at 9-9. The Bluejays also secured the higher seed and home-court advantage in the first round of the conference tournament.
The tournament begins with a play-in round of games on Monday night, with the first round set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
Tabor's first-round game is a rematch with Sterling in Hillsboro. Tabor defeated Sterling twice in the regular season.
The men's conference semi-finals will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday. Tabor would meet the winner of the game between Kansas Wesleyan and Ottawa/Bethany.
The championship round is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, at the gym of the highest seeded team.