Box Score March 1, 2003
Wolverines rally to win PAC championship
GREENVILLE, Pa. -- Junior center Phil Bushre (Swartz Creek, Mich./Swartz Creek) sank two free throws with 4.0 seconds left to give the Grove City Wolverines a 60-59 victory over host Thiel in the championship of the Presidents' Athletic Conference tournament Saturday afternoon at Rissell-Beeghly Gymnasia. It is Grove City's first conference title since 1999.
Thiel took a 59-58 lead with 13 seconds left on a runner from Shane Manley. Out of time-outs, the Wolverines quickly pushed the ball up the floor. Bushre got the ball on the block and spun to the basket, drawing a foul. Bushre, who missed his first three free throws in the game, made both to put Grove City on top.
Daryl Moore's desperation three-point attempt fell well short at the buzzer, giving Grove City the PAC title.
The second-seeded Wolverines (18-8) rallied from a 10-point deficit in the first half to eventually grab a 54-48 lead in the second half. After Thiel led 36-29 at halftime, Grove City started the second half with a 13-2 run. Presidents' Athletic Conference player of the year Nate Maurer (Pittsburgh, Pa./Linsly School) started the run with a three-pointer while Tanner Prosser (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brentwood) tied the game with consecutive layups.
Maurer, who finished with 29 points, hit a jumper from the corner while sophomore guard J.D. Collar (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson) sank two free throws. Thiel (16-11) came back to tie the game at 46 but Maurer scored six straight for the Wolverines and Andy Vlajkovich (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) capped the 8-2 spurt with two foul shots.
Maurer finished with nine rebounds, helping Grove City out-rebound the Tomcats 31-25. Prosser added 11 points, six boards and five assists.
The Wolverines also held Davis, Thiel's leading scorer at 19 points per game, to only 14 points. Mike Banach added nine for the Tomcats.
It is Grove City's fifth conference championship since 1989 and second under fifth-year head coach Steve Lamie. Maurer also earned First Team honors from the PAC coaches while Prosser and Bushre were Second Team picks. Vlajkovich received honorable mention.
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