Trine University from Angola, Indiana captured the 2016 Fred Raizk Memorial Tournament championship Sunday afternoon, defeating Wilmington College, 61-53, at Hermann Court’s Fred Raizk Arena.
Wilmington (5-7) had defeated Kenyon, 65-61, in one of the opening round games Saturday night, while Trine (9-3) advanced to the title contest with a 72-63 win over Berea.
Wilmington placed two players on the all-tournament team — Brittaney Jefferson (12 points Sunday) and Mary Moyer, who pulled down 11 rebounds and added nine points in the title game. Moyer had 11 points in Saturday’s victory over Kenyon.
Also selected to the all-tourney team were Kenyon’s Charlotte Bussema and Berea’s Adrian Williams.
Leading the way for Trine was tournament MVP Alivia Recker with 13 points in the title game and Hayley Martin, who was in double figures in both contests for the Thunder. Trine has now posted wins over three Ohio Athletic Conference teams this season, having earlier victories against Baldwin-Wallace and Heidelberg.
The Lady Quakers battled back from an early double-digit margin (19-9) and pulled within three points at halftime, 25-22. Trine extended the lead to 44-37 after three periods, but Wilmington kept chipping away at the deficit and pulled ahead in the final period. Eventually, Trine took control of the game in the closing minutes of the hard-fought contest.
The game was tied eight times and the lead switched hands seven times. Wilmington’s last time leading the contest was on a trey by Ja’Cole Tabor at 5:24, giving the Lady Quakers a 49-46 advantage. The final tie was at 53-53 on Moyer’s layup in the paint at 1:52. Unfortunately for the Lady Quakers those were the final points they would score for the remainder of the contest.
Despite losing the title, WC head coach Jerry Scheve was proud of his squad’s effort and despite its recent spate of injuries, benefited from several new players stepping up to keep the Lady Quakers in the contest. WC battled through its share of obstacles, losing a couple of players (Ellie Kivell and Emily Harman) and received significant contributions off the bench.
“The girls just kept battling tooth and nail all weekend long, and we had to overcome a lot of adversity. We had some players really step up for us tonight. Ja’Cole Tabor hit some big three’s and Lexi Kingsberry gave us a strong effort off the bench. Courtney Hillis (from Springboro) also gave us a spark and we just kept on fighting all game long.”
Scheve also spoke about the significance of maintaining the tournament, named in honor of the legendary coach and administrator Fred Raizk, for whom the playing floor at Hermann Court was renamed in December 1997. He also asked Fred’s son David to address his team following the game. David also participated in the post-game ceremonies, awarding the individual plaques, plus the runner-up and championship plaques to the respective team captains.
“Fred was always an inspiration to our teams over the years. I can remember the times he would get in his car and drive over here even when he had a neck brace. He just wanted to be here and support our teams. That’s the kind of person he was. I guess you can call me ”old-fashioned” but those kind of things are special. Fred Raizk embodied the qualities of which Wilmington College is all about. That is why we just want to continue his legacy, by keeping this tournament going.”
Wilmington resumes conference play Saturday, traveling to Mount Union for a 3 p.m. tipoff.
Follow Bill on Twitter @learjet.