Locals Bounced From NCAA Tournament
When it came to the second round, the ACC Conference became the huge obstacle that the Rockaway players could not overcome. The Duke women’s team ended the four year career of Clare Droesch. The talented buzzsaw that is North Carolina Tar Heels quickly ended Clark’s dream of entering the Sweet 16.
Droesch had an excellent run in this year’s tournament and it first showed with Boston College’s 65-43 win over Houston. Droesch picked up the scoring slack against a taller Cougars squad by pacing the Eagles with a season high 23 points. She hit 7 of 12 from the floor with three 3-pointers and 8 rebounds.
They faced a tougher opponent in second seeded Duke last Tuesday and the Eagles were not intimidated. Droesch equaled her first game career high in scoring and cut the lead to 50-49 with one of her three pointers with less than 10 minutes in the second half.
Down 61-51, Droesch did not go quietly in her last game. She scored 10 of her 23 points and cut the lead to 68-65 with a three pointer. Bales sealed the game for Duke with two free throws and give them a 70-65 win. The Eagles were not disappointed with their performance. Without the services of injured leading scorer Jessica Deveny, they stayed in the ballgame with the Blue Devils, who had been rated #1 in the NCAA standing for three weeks this season.
Droesch, who may have surgery in the offseason to repair her ailing left foot, was proud of the way the team fought to the end.
“I’ll always look back on my last college game and know that we gave it our all,” Droesch told Susan Bickelhaupt of the Boston Globe last Tuesday. “I couldn’t be any more pleased with my team. I love every one of them.”
Clark had a great all round effort in Iowa State’s 64-53 win over Minnesota in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte. In 40 minutes of action, he scored 14 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and had 5 steals.
Any hopes that they could contend with the #1 seed North Carolina Tar Heels were quickly dashed in a 92-65 blowout last Sunday in Charlotte.
The Tar Heels were so impressive that with foThe scary depth of North Carolina was prominently featured by the 20 points and 15 rebounds from 19 year old freshman phenom Marvin Williams.
Clinging on to a slight lead, the Cyclones committed numerous turnovers as North Carolina capitalized for a 45-33 halftime lead. Clark returns next year as a sophomore and will be joined by talented guards in Curtis Stinson and Will Blaylock.