Several North Coast men’s basketball teams were in competition over the holiday break, led by DePauw (2-2, 6-5) winning the Tampa Bay Shootout for the eighth year in a row and Wittenberg (2-2, 8-3) winning its second straight Charles B. Zimmerman Memorial Classic in Springfield. The bulk of this week’s schedule features conference contests, highlighted by a battle for first place on Thursday night as No. 24 Denison (4-0, 8-1) will host Ohio Wesleyan (4-0, 7-4) for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff in Granville.
ALLEGHENY suffered a 97-59 loss against La Roche in its only action over the holiday break. Senior Evan Zabriski (Jupiter, FL/Jupiter) eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in the game with a team-high 17 points, while freshman Jordan Rawls (Pittsburgh, PA/Taylor Alderdice) scored 14 points and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
DEPAUW won its eighth-straight Tampa Bay Shootout title to close out 2016 with wins over Wentworth, 56-43, and SUNY-Canton, 70-69. Senior Nate Jahn (Terre Haute, IN/North), who scored 10 points in the title game, was named the tournament MVP after averaging 6.5 points, 3.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game, while junior David Vogel (Bluffton, IN/Norwell) joined Jahn on the all-tournament team after scoring 20 points in the two games combined.
HIRAM closed out the 2016 calendar year with a pair of victories at the Otterbein Smokey Ballanger Classic over Waynesburg, 74-59, and Washington & Jefferson, 94-62. In the win over the Presidents, the Terriers posted season-high totals in points, scoring margin (+32) and rebounding margin (+28). Junior center Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookside) notched his seventh double-double of the season in the win over the Yellow Jackets with 19 points and 16 rebounds, while classmate Paul Ortiz (Canton, OH/McKinley) scored a team-high 13 points against the Presidents.
KENYON dropped a 76-53 decision against Wittenberg on December 19th, before falling 10 days later against Westminster by a narrow 74-73 margin. Junior Phillip Crampton (Madison, CT/Daniel Hand) led the Lords with 16 points against Wittenberg, while freshman Ben Stern (Arlington, VA/Flint Hill) paced KC against the Titans with a team-high 18 points.
OBERLIN returned to action over the break in California with a pair of losses against Claremont-M-S, 60-57, and UC Santa Cruz, 67-60. Senior Jack Poyle (Avon, OH/Avon) led the Yeomen with 22 points against the Staggs, while classmate Nathan Cohen (San Francisco, CA/Urban) posted a team-high 12 points in front of a hometown crowd against the Banana Slugs.
OHIO WESLEYAN split a pair of games at Wooster’s “Mose” Hole/Kiwanis Classic, falling to No. 25 Washington (MO), 82-66, before logging an 85-63 victory over Hobart. Senior post Ben Simpson (Lake Bluff, IL/Lake Forest) was named to the all-tournament team after running his double-double streak to four-straight games, highlighted by a 29-point, 13-rebound effort in OWU’s 22-point win over Hobart.
WABASH extended its winning streak to four games with a pair of non-conference wins over the break against Franklin, 71-65, and Earlham, 101-53. Freshman post Harrison Hallstrom (Naperville, IL/Central) led the Little Giants with 22 points in the win over Franklin, while classmate Colten Garland (Washington, IN/Washington) averaged 21.5 points over the two-game stretch, led by a career-high 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting against the Quakers.
WITTENBERG picked up four wins in games played between December 19th and January 1st, highlighted by a pair of wins at its own Charles B. Zimmerman Memorial Classic against Geneva, 77-52, and Millikin, 55-49. Senior wing Jaelin Williams (Springfield, OH/Shawnee) was named the tournament MVP after finishing the two-game stretch with 32 points on 12-of-27 shooting from the field and 4-of-10 shooting from three-point range. Williams also tossed in 17 points in Wittenberg’s 76-53 league win over Kenyon on December 19th and added a season-high 10 rebounds in a 77-72 win over Heidelberg on December 22nd.
WOOSTER rounded out a west coast trip with an 87-82 loss against Lewis & Clark on December 21st, before splitting a pair of games at its own “Mose” Hole/Kiwanis Classic. The Scots opened the two-day event with an 85-72 win over Hobart, before dropping a 94-91 overtime thriller against No. 25 Washington (MO) on December 30th. Sophomore guard Reece Dupler (Newark, OH/Lakewood) scored a career-high 21 points in the win over Hobart, while senior Dan Fanelly (Uniontown, OH/Green) sent the game into OT against WashU by nailing a shot with just 4.9 seconds left in regulation. Dupler, who was named to the all-tournament team, finished the three-game stretch with 48 points after shooting 58 percent (21-of-36) from the field and 43 percent (3-of-6) from beyond the arc.
DENISON was idle over the holiday break.