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Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 6:24 am | Fair 41º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

Westmont Captures Byron Championship

Warriors whip Puget Sound, 78-75, to win 18th tournament title.

Westmont’s men’s basketball team (6-4) defeated Puget Sound, 78-75, on Saturday night in the championship game of the 32nd Annual Tom Byron Classic. The win marks the 18th time the Warriors have claimed the Byron title and the first since 2004.

Westmont freshman forward Dan Rasp was named tournament MVP after leading the Warriors with 20 points, including a 10-for-10 performance from the free-throw line. Westmont senior guard Josh Ware also was named to the all-tournament team along with Puget Sounds’ Robert Krauel and Antwan Williams. Chris DeMarco of Edgewood (Wis.) and Tammer Farid of Baruch (N.Y.) also received the honor.

"Dan was a clear-cut MVP," Westmont coach John Moore said. "He led us in scoring both nights and Dan took good care of the ball. We ran our offense through him, he was poised when he received the ball and he made his teammates better. For a freshman to be able to do those things is not just uncommon, but it is next to unheard of. He is a guy who is only going to get better and help his teammates rise to his level of play."

In the consolation game, Edgewood (4-6) came from behind to defeat Baruch (4-7), 62-61. DeMarco had 21 points while Charlie Averkamp added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Eagles. Farid led Baruch with 14 points.

Puget Sound (7-1), which came into the game averaging 102 points per contest, presented Westmont with the challenge of containing its fast-paced offense. The Warriors proved to be up to the task.

"I think it came down to the defensive game," Moore said. "We held them to 27 points below their average."

Rasp said controlling the tempo was key to the victory.

"Our guards handled their pressure well and we controlled the tempo," Rasp said. "We played at our pace. When we wanted to speed up, we sped up and got some fast break layups. When we wanted to slow it down, we could slow it down."

Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.

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