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New Oxford sees positives despite loss to Lancaster Mennonite

It wasn't the result that he wanted, but New Oxford coach Sean Bair was pleased with how his boys' basketball team played in a 65-57 loss to Lancaster Mennonite in the championship game of the 18th annual GWABC Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday at Gettysburg.

New Oxford (1-1) led, 16-13, after the opening quarter and held a 28-16 advantage midway through the second quarter. But the Blazers ended the half on a 13-2 run, including the last nine of the frame, pulling within a point at halftime, 30-29.

There were five lead changes and a tie in the first four minutes of the third quarter until the 4:20 mark, when Blazers forward Isaac Beers hit a 3-pointer from the left corner, part of his 12-point quarter. That trey started a 10-3 spurt for Lancaster Mennonite, which held a 50-44 lead heading for the fourth quarter.

Beers, a 6-foot-3 junior, transferred from Lampeter-Strasburg in during the offseason and earned an all-tournament selection after netting a game-high 21 points in the title tilt.

"Isaac is a coach's son, his dad coaches at (Lancaster Bible College). He's a hard worker who understands the game well," Lancaster Mennonite coach Geoff Groff said. "He's been working hard to fit in with the guys."

New Oxford trailed by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter but closed the gap to 61-57 on John Wessel's bucket with 1:10 to play.

"We gave a max effort tonight. We played hard and we played together," Bair said. "I felt that we played better than we did (Friday) even though we didn't win tonight."

Lancaster Mennonite (2-0) center Javan Terry fouled out with 1:20 to go, but not before contributing 11 points and seven rebounds and finished the tournament with 32 points and 18 boards.  He took home the MVP trophy.

Wessel (15 points, 12 rebounds) and Ben Lehman (12 points) earned all-tourney nods for the Colonials and Jordin Brown (18 points) nabbed the Hustle Award.

On a sour note for the Colonials, senior point guard Trevor Floyd went down with a right knee injury with 2:44 left in the first quarter and didn't return to action.

"We're going to miss Trevor for however long that he's out," Bair said. "He's a leader for us. Not just with the varsity, either. He goes to the middle school practices to help out and he's like having a coach on the floor for me."

New Oxford opens YAIAA Division I play Tuesday when it welcomes William Penn at 7:30 p.m.

In the consolation game, Shippensburg rolled past Gettysburg, 66-31. Ship senior Cody Gustafson had 16 points to lead all scorers and Gettysburg was led by eight points from freshman Charles Warren.