Rogers finding big-time game at small-town Lebanon Valley



January 07, 2004|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Tamika Rogers is right.

"I'm doing it all," Rogers said cheerfully Monday after listening on the telephone to her accomplishments for Lebanon Valley College at last weekend's Rinso Marquette Invitational basketball tournament in Annville, Pa.

In the championship game Saturday, the 5-foot-11 Rogers (Milford Mill) scored a team-high 19 points and had nine rebounds, two blocks, two steals and two assists as the team beat York College, 76-72, in overtime.

Rogers hit the deciding basket with 34 seconds left in overtime when she converted a three-point play for a 74-72 lead.

The junior forward had scored 14 points and pulled down 11 rebounds Friday in an opening-round 75-64 victory over Mary Washington.

The tournament Most Valuable Player, Rogers was named the Commonwealth Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

But Rogers said she doesn't see herself abandoning the workmanlike inside game she has used to average 11.2 points and 7.6 rebounds for Lebanon Valley (8-1).

"I like to play inside, clean up the boards and get the ball to my teammates," she said. "On the offensive boards, I'll take the put-backs or I'll get the ball to someone else."

Defense is also a major part of Rogers' game. She averages more than one steal and one block a game.

"My main focus in high school was defense, and it might have cost me some college opportunities," said Rogers. "But everything has probably turned out for the best. I really like it up here [in small-town Annville], and we should go to the NCAA [Division III] tournament if we can beat Messiah and win our conference."

Two former Randallstown High standouts, junior starting point guard Crystal Gibson and freshman reserve forward Monica Johnson, are also having an impact on the successful Lebanon Valley march this season.

Gibson, 5-9, is starting for a third straight season, leading the team and Commonwealth Conference in assists with 5.7 a game.

Johnson, 5-10, averages 6.0 points and 3.7 rebounds.

Hammond All-American

Virginia sophomore midfielder Kelly Hammond (St. Mary's) has been selected a second-team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Hammond led the Cavaliers in goals (12) and points (30), and her team-leading six game-winning goals were the second-highest single-season total in school history.

Hammond was a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick and was a one-time choice as the ACC Player of the Week.

Byers is best

Junior guard J.D. Byers (Westminster) is leading the Lebanon Valley men's basketball team in almost every important category.

Byers is first in scoring (18.3 average), assists (4.5 a game), free-throw shooting (93.9 percent on 31-for-33 shooting), minutes a game (37.0), and steals (1.7 a game).

He was the MVP of the Rinso Marquette Invitational last weekend after hitting two free throws with 4.3 seconds left to give the Flying Dutchmen (6-4) a 71-70 victory over Rutgers-Newark in Sunday's championship game.

Byers had team-highs of 17 points and seven assists in the win.

Et cetera

Gettysburg sophomore forward Jen Bengel (Roland Park) is pacing the Bullets (3-8) in scoring (16.5 points a game) and rebounding (10.6 average), in addition to averaging 2.5 assists and contributing a total of 13 steals and eight blocks.

Have a Postcard? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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