Westmont, Westminster Advance to Tom Byron Final

Submitted by: Ron Smith - December 29th, 2012


Daniel Carlin

The first day of the 37th Annual Tom Byron Classic saw #5 Westmont (10-2) and #7 Westminster (Utah) capture wins to advance to tomorrow’s championships game. Westminster (11-1) posted a 73-70 win over Saint Xavier (Ill.) in the early game. Westmont earned a berth in the Byron championship game for the thirty-third time with an 87-56 win over William Jessup (1-12).

Tomorrow, Westminster will be looking to avenge an 88-81 loss to the Warriors on November 10 in Salt Lake City. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Saint Xavier (11-4) and William Jessup will meet up in the consolation game beginning at 3:00 p.m.

Westminster’s Tallon Robertson recorded 24 points and seven rebounds to help the Griffins edge out the Cougars of Saint Xavier. Saint Xavier’s Brad Karp matched Robterson’s point total and had eight rebounds.

The Cougars led for the majority of the game, though neither team enjoyed more than an eight point advantage at any point. With the scored tied a 63 and 2:45 remaining in regulation, Robertson scored on a jumper to give the Griffins a two-point advantage.

After a free throw by Karp, Robertson struck again to put Westminster up 67-64. Two free throws by Karp with 1:22 to play made it a one-point game before Robertson restored a three-point margin with a layup.

The Cougars’ Jack Krieger (8 points) scored on a jumper in the paint with 1:05 remaining, once more making it a one point game (69-68). However, free throws by Jordan Hayter (6 points, 4 rebounds) and Colton Moon (9 points) put the Griffins up by five (73-68) with eight seconds remaining. Dominque Harvey (11 points, 11 rebounds) scored once more for the Cougars to account for the final score.

The second game proved to be a more lop-sided affair. Westmont’s Mantas Drungys led the Warriors in scoring with 15 points while pulling down six rebounds. Cooper Damron added 13 points and Daniel Carlin notched a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Preston Branson, who played just 13 minutes, recorded 10 points. No starter played more than 18 minutes as Westmont head coach John Moore decided to rest players he will look to in tomorrow’s championship showdown.

Keenan Prince led the William Jessup with 23 points. Kevin Stanley added 13 points and six rebounds.

The Warriors never trailed in the game. By the time six and one-half minutes had expired from the clock, Westmont held a 17-3 lead. As a team, Westmont shot 57.7 percent from the floor while holding William Jessup to 29.8. Westmont also controlled the boards, outrebounding their opponent 47-27.

The Warriors have won the Tom Byron Classic 21 times, including the last five years.

[Saint Xavier-Westminster box] [William Jessup-Westmont box]