The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

March 22, 2014

Bears block Raiders in semifinal

Phoenix College to face Essex County in championship game

(Continued)

"The strength of our team is our confidence,'' Gordon said. "We are just steady. We never get up too much, we never get too down. The other team makes a run, most teams get down and start yelling at each other. We just have the same demeanor whether we are up 20 or down 20, close game or not a close game.

"They are almost like professionals. They just do their job — workmanlike.''

And when it came down to Brown making the big 3-pointer or the clutch free throws, Gordon said he was the exact guy the Bears wanted in that position.

"He has won the games, a few of them at the line for us,'' Gordon said. "That's a guy that is going to make clutch shots for us and he is our guy down the stretch. We are going to win or lose with Brandon Brown.''

And while Brown had the game-high 22 points and Derreck Brooks, the hero of Thursday's win over Fort Scott, chipped in with 20, Phoenix College got a surprising eight points from Steven Green. The freshman, who missed most of the season with a broken foot, hit a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws in just over 10 minutes of playing time.

"He only started playing in our last regular-season game,'' said Gordon. "The kid is very talented, just a little wet behind the ears. He can really score the basketball.

"I thought we needed some scoring tonight because Cam (Cameron Isreal) hurt his ankle last night. So we needed someone to step up and he step up in a huge way.''

Brendon Pineada-Morales also scored in double digits for Phoenix with 11 points, while Ronald Tademy had a game-high 10 rebounds for the Bears.

While there was plenty of big shots and game-changing plays in the contest, the difference in the final score could also be traced back to a pregame technical on Central Community College for dunking during warmups.

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E-edition
NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014


Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here: http://smu.gs/1iCWKnP

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