Frostburg rallies for win in opener

Devon Lesniak © 2008 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Devon Lesniak © 2008 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

Bobcats overcome six-point half deficit to defeat McDaniel in Pride of Maryland

FROSTBURG, Md. – Brian Anderson netted 14 points to lead Frostburg to a 61-54 men's basketball victory over McDaniel in the first round of the 2010 Pride of Maryland tournament on Tuesday.

With the win, the Bobcats (1-0) notch a win in the first round for the first time in the six-year history of the tournament and advance to Friday's semifinals at Stevenson, playing either the host Mustangs or Washington at 6:30 p.m. The Green Terror (0-1) will play the loser of the Stevenson-Washington game in the 2 p.m. game on Friday at Stevenson.

Devon Lesniak (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) led McDaniel with a game- and career-high 20 points in his first game back after a year away from the program.

Mhabhushah Koffa added 12 points and a game-high six rebounds for Frostburg.

Trailing 38-32 on a Kevin Henry (Frederick, Md./Bullis) jumper with 16:40 to play, Charles Bason sparked an 11-1 with a jumper of his own 1 minute, 27 seconds later.

A Troy Dockett basket-and-free throw with 12:41 to play gave the hosts a 39-38 advantage – their first lead since 4-2 just 2:37 into the game.

A Cullen Murray-Kemp (Trappe, Md./Easton) single free throw knotted the game 29 seconds later but four Bobcat charity tosses pushed the lead to four.

One of Lesniak's three triples and a Michael Jarboe (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) jumper gave McDaniel a slim 44-43 advantage but the team's final lead of the night was short-lived. Anderson canned a jumper of his own on the next Frostburg possession, starting a 10-2 burst that put the lead at 53-45 with 4:01 to play. Anderson also capped the stretch off a Green Terror turnover.

Back-to-back baskets from Louis Sarris-Grau (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./Lower Moreland) closed the deficit to four with 2:21 on the clock but a 6-for-8 showing from the line in the final 1:37 helped seal the victory.

Tied at 6-all with 15:21 on the first-half clock, Lesniak drilled a trey to give McDaniel a three-point advantage.

After Murray-Kemp stretched the lead to four, Mac Mintum hit a 3-pointer of his own to slice the deficit to one but a Marcus Dyson (Scotch Plains, N.J./Union Catholic) jumper started a quick 8-3 stretch over a 2-minute, 17-second span. Lesniak hit another triple to cap the burst with 10:15 showing.

A Henry basket stretched the lead to as many as eight with 7:51 to play before the Bobcats trimmed the gap to 24-23 with 4:27 on the clock.

Keyed by a Mitch Belella (Smithsburg, Md./St. Maria Goretti) 3-pointer, McDaniel was able to stretch the lead back to six and take a 33-27 lead into the break.

The Green Terror shot 41.4 percent in the first half, including hitting four of its six attempts from long range, but converted just 32.0 percent of its second-half attempts, including just 1 of 11 from behind the arc.

Sarris-Grau and Henry finished with eight points apiece while Dyson added six. Tyler Rudd (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) added four assists and four rebounds.