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Nassau CC falls to Rock Valley in D-III basketball tournament

Marc Campbell, Nassau's leading scorer from the night

Marc Campbell, Nassau's leading scorer from the night before, creates for Nassau Community men's basketball in the National Junior Division III national championship semifinal. Credit: Courtesy Christopher D. DePew

LOCH SHELDRAKE, N.Y. — Nassau Community College’s second trip to the National Junior College D-III men’s basketball championship tournament in the past three seasons was ended by a familiar foe: Rock Valley.

The No. 4 Lions dropped their semifinal matchup to No. 1 Rock Valley, 87-65, Friday night at SUNY Sullivan. Rock Valley ended Nassau’s season in 2014 in the quarterfinals of the same tournament.

Early turnovers and foul trouble haunted the Lions early as leading scorers Marc Campbell and Kavione Green spent much of the first half on the bench. Nassau had nine different first-half point scorers, largely due to the need to turn to the bench because of foul troubles.

“I think it just took away from our ability to put points on the board with the two best players on the bench for a considerable amount of time,” said coach AJ Wynder.

Rock Valley (32-3) used an 11-4 run in a little more than four minutes to take a 17-9 lead with 12:56 remaining in the first half, with Kooper Glick scoring six of the Golden Eagles’ points.

Nassau (27-6) got within six points in the first half, led by Terrell Williams who took over as the sole point guard with Campbell on the bench. Williams had 10 points and two assists as the Lions trailed 45-33 at the half.

Rock Valley is the defending national champion and looked that way early in the game. The Golden Flashes had terrific ball movement and pressure while forcing turnovers and converting them into easy baskets and open looks beyond the arc.

Rock Valley continued its dominance to start the second half with a quick 8-0 run to take a 53-33 lead before Nassau coach AJ Wynder called a timeout. Following the timeout, the Lions responded with a 14-4 run over the next five minutes to cut the lead to 57-47 with 12:54 remaining. Campbell’s four points led the stretch as five different Lions scored.

But Nassau couldn’t keep Rock Valley off the scoreboard for much longer as the Golden Flashes continued to drive the lane and find open shooters.

“We were playing catch-up the whole second half,” Wynder said. “We kept competing for a while but then it got away from us.”

Campbell, who averaged 13.2 points per game in the regular season, finished with 10 points. Williams finished with 15 points with Ulie Mickens adding 11 points. Green finished with nine points, all in the second half.

New York Sports