Lee captured the Thomas Jefferson invitational tournament, 69-64, over host Jefferson last night. The Lancers led by 47-27, three minutes into the second half, then fought off a furious rally.
Lee, despite a slow start, took an 18-14 lead with 50 seconds left in the first quarter. The Colonials tied the contest at 18 on a jump shot by Jeff Huber with 7:34 to play in the first half.
But a pesky Lancer full-court press and accurate outside shooting by Tommy Carroll put Lee in front at the break 43-25.
The second half was an entirely different story. Lee, which had dominated second-quarter play, began yielding points inside. Colonials Rocky Wilkinson and Tony Bowman worked their way in for easy baskets to close the gap to 62-56 with 3:52 to play.
Guard John Niehoff, selected the tournament's most valuable player, was the ace for the Lancers, who deployed a four-corner offense. When not dribbling around Colonial defenders, Niehoff drove to the basket. Fouled twice in the final 1:26, he hit four free throws to give Lee breathing room.
"I knew at halftime 18 points wasn't enough," said Lee Coach Charles Thompson. "We lost our concentration in the second half and we played too carefully. Jefferson is a good team and this is a big win for us to beat them on their home court."
The play of Bowman, a 6-foot-3 senior, sparked Jefferson in the second half as he came back from benching after drawing his third foul with 4:17 to play in the second quarter. After intermission Bowman scored 18 points mostly on an assortment of five-foot shots banked off the glass.
"They controlled the tempo with the press," said Colonial Coach Dick Wickline, "and we got too far behind in the first half. At halftime, I told our team to concentrate on cutting the lead in half, but with Niehoff handling the ball in the four-corners, we were forced to foul and they hit the shots."
Wilkinson, who totaled 11 points, kept Jefferson in the game in the first quarter with three blocked shots, five rebounds and one basket.
Shorter Lee's quickness and deadly outside shooting proved decisive, especially in the first half. The Lancers connected on 10 baskets from distances beyond 15 feet.
At the Bullis Tournament, Stewart Nash scored 25 points to lead Maret to an easy 67-38 win over Pallotti. Host Bullis got 14 points from Marc Hummon to defeat Prospect Hall, 68-40. Every Bullis player scored.