Written by Andrew Ottoson Monday, 26 February 2007 18:00After a victory over Sterling in a double-overtime marathon on Thursday night, the Tabor College men's basketball team played its 2006-07 finale on Saturday.
The Bluejays were eliminated from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference post-season tournament by the top-seeded Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes, 78-53.
KW added to its streak of 17 consecutive wins and advanced to the conference tournament finals against Friends on Monday night.
Tabor advanced to the second-round meeting with KW by downing Sterling, 79-73.
After a 9-9 season in the KCAC, both of Tabor's senior guards were honored by the conference.
Andy Brubacher was selected unanimously for the first-team. Tyler Weinbrenner received honorable mention.
Greg Munroe was named "newcomer of the year" and Kyle Kroeker was named to the all-freshman team.
"At times this season, the team showed how we are capable of playing, but we never arrived at the point of consistency where we could play our best basketball," head coach Don Brubacher said.
"The players gave a sincere effort, but we did not reach the level we thought we could attain this season."
Kansas Wesleyan-Tabor lost to the regular-season conference champion Coyotes on Saturday, 78-53.
"It was a disappointing day for the players and coaching staff," head coach Don Brubacher said. "Kansas Wesleyan is a good team. They executed very well and shot the ball well. They played with great confidence.
"But we did not play very well. We didn't play with intensity and we didn't execute our game plan."
The Coyotes jumped to a five point lead in 3:13, but Tabor pulled within a point when Mike Stoecker scored a transition layup at 15:39.
Marcus Faubion, named KCAC "player of the year," scored to make it a three-point margin, and then scored another 2-pointer on its next possession to lead 11-6.
Tabor bounced back 1:04 later, when Greg Munroe exploded past a defender along the baseline, drawing the foul and scoring a reverse layup.
Tabor came up with consecutive defensive stops immediately afterward. Andy Brubacher came up with a steal at 13:16 and Munroe pulled down a defensive rebound at 12:31.
But the Bluejays did not score following either stop, and KW made it 13-8 at 11:53.
Mike Willis made it 13-10 with a layup assisted by Mike Stoecker, and Willis grabbed a defensive rebound of a Coyote miss.
But Tony Boone stole the ball and sprinted away for a dunk that made it 15-10 at 9:49. Tabor slashed the K-W lead to 15-13 with a 3-pointer on its next possession.
Brubacher dribbled toward the basket and drew extra defenders toward him before passing to Kyle Kroeker, who scored the long shot at 9:18.
A 15-2 Coyote run after that made it 35-15 with 5:13 to go in the first half.
Willis caught a defensive rebound with eight seconds remaining, and Tabor made four sharp passes to cover the length of the floor.
Stoecker tried to put up a shortrange jumper, but was fouled with virtually no time remaining in the half. He made both free throws, the final points in a 6-0 run Tabor put together in the final 1:17 of the half.
The Bluejays trailed 39-35 at intermission and the second half saw KW push its lead to as many as 26 points.
Munroe led all scorers with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Sterling-When Tyler Weinbrenner scored a 3-pointer that tied the game at 42-42 with 8:29 left in the second half, it seemed impossible that either team would top 70 points on Wednesday night.
But Tabor and Sterling played two extra five-minute periods and combined for 40 points in the overtimes.
"At times it was a physical game, but at times (the officials) allowed a lot of contact," Don Brubacher said. "Fouls had an immense impact on this game."
The Bluejays, on the strength of timely shooting and eight consecutive Tyler Weinbrenner free throws, walked away 79-73 winners.
Greg Munroe and Mike Willis set the stage for overtime with the final four points of regulation. Sterling center Jonathan Woods had given the Warriors a 56-52 adavantage with a pair of free throws with 1:50 to play.
With 1:35 to play, Munroe took a feed from Willis and scored a 2-pointer that halved the Sterling lead. With 26 seconds to go, Willis went up strong looking for a putback to tie the game, but was fouled.
At the line with a chance to tie the game, Willis's first free throw bounced twice on the rim, but went through. The second went straight through, knotting the score at 65-all.
On defense, Tabor kept the Warriors from getting an open shot as the clock expired.
The first overtime began with the Bluejays building on the run that ended regulation.
Andy Brubacher drove to the basket, but a tough shot refused to fall. Munroe was in position to finish it off, and Woods was called for goaltending. The score gave Tabor a 58-56 lead, but Munroe was whistled for his fifth foul 15 seconds later.
The Bluejays outscored Sterling 5-1 over the next two possessions. Willis scored all five points in the burst, including a 3-pointer from right wing.
"Despite some inconsistency, we've known all year long that our big guys are capable shooters at medium range," Brubacher said. "(Willis) certainly appeared to rise to the occasion tonight, making those shots at crucial moment."
Then the Warriors rallied with a 9-0 run capped by a 3-point shot made by Dallas Schnurr with 1:20 to go. Woods added a 2-pointer with 26 seconds left.
Tabor trailed 66-63 and called timeout to set up a play.
The Bluejays inbounded the ball successfully, but were unable to get a good look immediately, and called another timeout.
With 11 seconds to go, Tabor inbounded the ball to Tyler Weinbrenner as Willis set a screen high on the left wing.
Brubacher curled behind that screen, took the pass from Weinbrenner and tied the game with a dagger from 21-feet away.
Sterling was unable to strike back, as the play had consumed all but 0.6 seconds of the remaining clock. The second overtime began with the scored tied at 66.
Willis scored the first points of the final period on a 2-point shot assisted by Brubacher at 4:43. Sterling tied the game 30 seconds later, and the score remained at 68-68 for the next 1:45.
Brubacher broke the tie with a 2-pointer with 2:28 to go.
Neither team scored again until Brubacher got open and caught a pass in the left corner.
Woods moved to prevent him from shooting, but Brubacher recognized the mismatch and blew past the 6-feet-10-inch center on a dribble drive. Brubacher drew a foul when Woods attempted to block his layup, and he made one of two free throws for a 71-68 lead.
It was Woods' fourth personal, and on Tabor's next possession, the Bluejays cleared the lane for Weinbrenner. The point guard went straight at Woods and the Sterling starting center fouled out in the resulting collision.
Weinbrenner nailed both foul shots. During the game, he made all 12 foul shots he attempted, including eight in a row in the final minute.
Weinbrenner led all scorers with 24 points, followed by Brubacher (15 points), Munroe (13) and Willis (13).