HUDSON -- Rande Harper poured in 27 points to help Columbia-Greene Community College defeat Word of Life, 94-42, and give Ryan Parshall his first victory as Twins head coach in the opening round of the Goldberg Classic on Friday.
Columbia-Greene will play Niagara County Community College in the championship game on Saturday at 2 p.m. SUNY Orange will lay word of Life in the consolation game at noon.
Harper drained a three-pointer eight seconds into the game and the Twins never looked back against Word of Life, rolling to a 44-26 by halftime.
"Our team really came together," said Parshall, who at 24 is the youngest collegiate coach in the country. "I'm really proud of them. I've got a great group of guys and they're all playing together well. I feel great, but we have a tough game on Saturday. Niagara made the Elite in Division II of the NJCAA last year. We've got our work cut out for us."
Cameron Thomas followed Harper in scoring for the twins with 12 points. Isaac McIntosh contributed 11, former Hudson High standout Zack Hedgepeth had nine, Kaijah Rodgers eight, Tyrese Carter seven, Myles Ukoh six, Anthony Diaz five, Jason Davis four, Zach Lane two, Mason Beck two and Zach Moro one.
The Twins' defensive pressure bothered Word of Life all game long, forcing numerous turnovers which were then converted into points.
"Defensively, I think we did a great job," Parshall said. "The press, I think they could have been a little quicker, but we started tightening it up a bit in the end, just getting in front of your man, using the sidelines so we can get the backcourt violation or out of bounds.
"Offensively, we put up a lot of points, we threw up some tricky shots and what I really wanted to see, and toward the end they were doing it, was using more presence in the post. For me, it's a matter of making sure all aspects of the game are fine. We got the win, but we've got some things to work on. I loved the offensive tempo, I loved the defensive tempo, I love the talking, but offensively we have to make sure we attack inside a little more and get some free throws."
Ryan Haneman and Quentin Lackey each had 11 points to lead Word of Life.