King's Experiences Growing Pains in Valley Forge Tournament
The King’s College Men’s Basketball team headed down to Phoenixville, PA, on Thursday, November 15, to play in the Hersha Hospitality Tip-off Classic. Hosted by Valley Forge Christian College, the three-day tournament included two other teams from Florida, Southeastern University and Florida Christian College.
A little background on the competition. Southeastern University is located in Lakeland, Florida. They are a part of the NAIA Division I level and recently moved up to NCCAA Division I. When they participated in the NCCAA Division II level, they won championships in all four men’s sports. They added four new sports in the Fall 2012 semester and will add football beginning in the 2014 academic year, after the construction of their $15 million dollar stadium is completed.
Florida Christian College is located in Kissimmee, Florida. FCC is consistently in the top teams in the NCCAA Division II level in which they participate. Both teams are Christian schools.
The first day King’s faced host Valley Forge in their first game of the season. King’s had played 3 games coming into the night with a record of 0-2 (with losses to Central Penn and Vaughn). The home crowd support combined with a few quick baskets by Valley Forge resulted in a huge push of momentum early on. The Patriots maintained their lead throughout the entire game and ended with a season-opening victory over King’s, 93-32. Valley Forge recently advanced to the NCAA Division III level and was King’s toughest opponent of the week.
Keith Myrick Jr. (So.) and Gezim Usini (Fr.) were the high scorers with 7 points each. The team had 28 rebounds, 14 steals, 34 turnovers and shot 80% from the free throw line.
On Friday, King’s hoped to regain some dignity in their game against Southeastern University. Little did they know they were facing the team that would go undefeated. Once again, the athleticism and King’s inability to settle into their rhythm caused the score to shoot up. Southeastern took the victory 84-37. Even though the margin was significant, it was a 14 point improvement from their first game.
Keith Myrick Jr. and Gezim Usini repeated as high scorers with 10 and 11 points, respectively. As a team, King’s put up 36 rebounds, 9 steals, 29 turnovers and went 42.9% from the line.
King’s went head to head with Florida Christian College for their third and final game. Once again, The New York City Lions were outsized but gave them a fight anyways. They scored more than 10 points higher than they had in their two previous games, but sadly Florida Christian had their highest scoring game as well, beating King’s with a whopping final score of 112-48.
Captain David Dantzler (Sr.) finally made an appearance as the top scorer with 22 points. The consistent shooting guard Keith Myrick Jr. placed second with 10 points. The team marked down 20 rebounds, 8 steals, 23 turnovers and went 40.9% from the line.
The tournament was a good experience for the young King’s team and they learned a lot from playing against the good competition at the Hersha Hospitality Tip-off Classic. They look forward to coming back next year and performing better.
This Thursday, November 29, King’s will play Pratt Institute, an NCAA Divisoin III team. Two days later they will face Cooper Union.