11/21/04 — MOC wins Pickle Classic

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MOC wins Pickle Classic

By David Williams
Published in Sports on November 21, 2004 2:02 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- After a Mount Olive Pickle Classic Tournament that saw Mount Olive put up 202 points combined, it was a bit surprising to hear Trojan men's basketball coach Bill Clingan talk about improving the defense.

"We need to keep working on defense," said Clingan. "Defense makes your offense. One good ball club's defense turns into offense, and we continue to work on our defense and not give up any turnovers. We need to work more in our half court set. We haven't proven anything yet -- there is a long way to go. This is just two games into our journey."

The Trojans had no trouble in winning their fifth straight Mount Olive Pickle Classic title, blowing out Newberry 102-67 in the championship game Saturday before an enthusiastic crowd of alumni and friends at College Hall.

The game got away from Newberry in the middle of the first half.

Leading 19-11 with 10:36 left before halftime, Victor Young nailed a deep jumper, followed it with an electrifying reverse alley-oop dunk and finished with a three-pointer on his next trip down the floor.

"He gave us a great, great lift," Clingan said. "That's part of the maturity he brings to the table this year."

The seven points from Young ignited the Trojans to a 46-29 halftime lead, and the defense took over in the second half as Mount Olive forced most of Newberry's 21 turnovers during that span.

"Our whole focus this year has been on the defensive end," said Clingan. "We've worked hard and tried to be fundamental in our defense. We try to get pressure and try not to give up silly fouls, overplay or get impatient. We believe in the saying, 'be quick, but don't hurry,' which means to just be patient."

Young, who was named to the Pickle Classic all-tournament team along with teammate Sharome Holloway, helped the Trojan guards harass the Indians the entire game in the backcourt. New Trojan guard Melvin Creddle, freshman Montel Jones and veteran Maurice Horton wore down the Newberry guards with withering man pressure and energetic traps.

Mount Olive held Newberry to 40 percent shooting from the floor while managing to score at a 56.3-percent clip.

Elton Coffield, who led Mount Olive in scoring Friday in the win over Bluefield State, won the tournament MVP honors with 23 points against Newberry. Four Trojans ended the game in double figures, with Holloway pouring in 15 points, Young 13 and Horton 12.

"Elton is going to come of age," Clingan said of Coffield. "Being a sophomore, he has such a better future head of him. His shot is much stronger this year."

Joining the Trojan trio on the all-tournament team were Corey Love of Bluefield State, Shawn Zellars of Lees-McRae and Michael Dease of Newberry, who had 16 points to lead the Tribe.

In the consolation game, Lees-McRae dropped Bluefield State 100-90, to give the Big Blues their second straight game in which an opponent put up 100 points. It was also the first Pickle Classic in its 39-year history to have three 100-point games.

Lees-McRae came out firing, hitting five of six three pointers to open the game. The Bobcats led by 17 in the first seven minutes of the game, and Lees-McRae led 52-37 at halftime.

The Bobcats extended the lead to 25 in the second half before Bluefield State began to chip away at the lead, cutting it to 81-71 with 6:58 to play. But Lees-McRae regrouped and shut down the Big Blues the rest of the way.

Five Bobcats hit double figures, led by Aaron Dugger with 20 and Antwon Brown with 19. Blue Field state got 26 points each from Chawn Martin and Love.

The Trojans will meet West Virginia State on Friday in the opening round of the Bluefield State Tournament. West Virginia State has been picked to win the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

At the game's opening, the former Trojan players were invited onto the floor for the opening tipoff. Clingan presented special recognition awards to four former players for their efforts after graduation in their fields -- Russell Stephens, Eric Barksdale, form assistant coach Steve Clingan and Wells Gulledge.

The biggest crowd reaction of the night came when former Trojan player Corey Moye was recognized. Moye has just returned from duty with his Army unit in Iraq, and the crowd at College Hall gave him a standing ovation.

Newberry (67)

Michael Dease 3 3 1-2 16; Tommy Burke 1 3 0-0 11; Elijah Frasier 2 2 0-0 10; Adam Howell 3 0 2-4 8; Tymere Zimmerman 0 0 5-9 5; Tyler Fisher 1 1 0-0 5; Eric Nwawel 1 0 1-2 3; Parkes Coggins 0 1 0-0 3; David Hampton 1 0 0-0 2; Chris Johnston 1 0 0-0 2; Ben Hooker 1 0 0-0 2.

Mount Olive (102)

Elton Coffield 6 1 8-8 23; Sharome Holloway 3 0 9-12 15; Melvin Creddle 1 0 0-0 2; Victor Young 1 3 2-2 13; Chris Bartley 3 0 3-5 9; Mark Bitzenhofer 1 0 2-2 4; Elijah Rouse 4 0 0-0 8; Plinio Broering 2 0 1-2 5; Moise Tchankeu 3 0 0-0 6; Chuckie Jefferson 2 1 0-0 5; Maurice Horton 6 0 0-0 12.

Halftime - Mount Olive 46, Newberry 29. Three-point baskets - Newberry 10-24 (Burke 3-4, Dease 3-8), Mount Olive 5-19 (Young 3-8, Coffield 1-3, Jefferson 1-1). Rebounds - Newberry 31 (Nwawel 6), Mount Olive 38 (Holloway 8). Assists - Newberry 15 (Frasier 5), Mount Olive 19 (Rouse 6), Turnovers - Newberry 21, Mount Olive 14. Blocked shots - Newberry 0, Mount Olive 2 (Creddle, Jones). Steals - Newberry 2 (Zimmerman, Johnston), Mount Olive 8 (Horton 3).