The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

March 2, 2013

Rhema sinks OCC in semifinals

Rhema Bible College turned up the defensive pressure in the second half and defeated Ozark Christian College 84-70 Friday night in the semifinals of the men’s ACCA National Championship at OCC.

Rhema will play for the championship against Dallas Christian at 6 p.m. today at OCC. Ozark Christian will face Hillsdale, which fell to Dallas 82-72 in the first semifinal game, for third place at 2:15 p.m. in Young Gymnasium at Missouri Southern.

Rhema broke away to a 64-54 lead with a 9-0 run that featured two baskets off steals and a 3-pointer midway through the second half.

“We definitely lost the momentum in the second 0half against their half-court trap,” said OCC head coach Chris Lahm. “That and their ability to knock down 3s and our inability to knock them down.”

Rodney Altidor, a 6-foot-2 freshman, led Rhema with 19 points, including back-to-back baskets off offensive rebounds that gave Rhema a 73-61 lead with 4:28 to go.

Kasey Byrd added 15 points, including two 3-pointers, and Parris Hoskins scored 12 points, including two 3-pointers. Dewayne Foster came off the bench and made all three of his 3-point attempts.

“The thing that jumps out at me is the 3-point shooting, 2-for-16 for us and 10-of-26 for them,” Lahm said.

Kyle Wicklund, a 6-6 senior, led the Ambassadors with 17 points and nine rebounds but was held to seven points in the second half. Phillip Donna scored 13 points in a reserve role and Zac Hill had 10 points.

After going into the lockerroom at halftime tied at 33, Rhema took the lead for good 50-48 on a 3-pointer by Foster with 13:09 to play. Donna scored on an inbounds play to cut Rhema’s lead to 55-54 at the 11:14 mark, but that was as close as OCC came.

Trailing 64-54, the Ambassadors scored five quick points on a 3-point play by Wicklund, assisted by Cameron Woodring, and two free throws by Kendall Wingert.

Rhema responded with a 12-4 run that included 3-point goals by Brody Christian and Byrd as the visitors built a 76-63 lead with 3:52 remaining. Rhema closed out the game by making six of nine free throws in the final 1:24.

Multnomah will face Arlington Baptist for fifth place at 12:30 p.m. today at OCC. Champion Baptist will play for seventh place against Barclay at 12:30 p.m. at MSSU.

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