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Horizon win third consecutive championship

May 12, 2004 - Eastern Basketball Alliance (EBA) - Harrisburg Horizon News Release

Dominance is a trait that any sports franchise would like to have. And this year’s Harrisburg Horizon had it.

They had it when they won their first five games by an average margin of 25 points. They had it when they outscored Schuylkill 18-11 in overtime to win what had been a close game. And they had it in their season finale when they crushed Philadelphia by 34 points to finish the year with an 8-1 record and their third consecutive EBA championship.

With last year’s EBA MVP Dave Jannuzzi playing in Texas to start the year, Harrisburg was going to have to depend on other players to score. It was forward Kevin Rowe who answered the call, scoring 32 points to lead the Horizon to a 24-point victory over New York in the season opener. Rowe kept it going by averaging 27 points over the next four games. The Horizon followed Rowe’s lead and won easily over Delaware, Wilkes-Barre, Schuylkill, and Philadelphia.

What came next was Harrisburg’s only loss of the season. With veteran guard Mike Shue out after re-aggravating an off-season wrist injury, the Horizon lost at home to Brooklyn 91-83. Harrisburg led 41-40 at halftime, but could not withstand Brent McCollum’s 15-point effort in the second half.

With Shue out again, Harrisburg looked shaky in the first half at Delaware. But the Horizon managed to come back from being 17 points down in the second quarter to win 114-108. Rowe led the way for Harrisburg with 24 points.

Still trying to regain their early-season form, the Horizon were forced into overtime by Schuylkill. Jamal Palmer’s triple-double and Dave Jannuzzi’s 25 points helped them hang on for a 116-109 victory. Jannuzzi had made his first appearance for the Horizon three weeks prior against Philadelphia.

Everything came together in the final game of the season, when the Horizon jumped out to a big lead against Philadelphia and never looked back. They won 122-89 over Philadelphia to win another league title. This time it was Mike Shue, making a triumphant comeback, who led Harrisburg in scoring with 27 points. With Shue back in the lineup, the Horizon looked like the team that was so dominant early in the season.

The Horizon had some peak performers this year, but Coach Al Clocker says that the for Harrisburg’s continued success relies on continuity and teamwork. And Harrisburg had it. Wendyl “Brutus” Daniels dominated teams inside. Forward Willie Chandler was a force both in the paint and on the perimeter. Every role player did his job and Clocker’s team-oriented style worked once again.

Now Clocker will look to re-establish his team’s dominance in their quest to win a fourth consecutive championship.

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