Thursday, March 17, 2005


Haverford's Gabriel (Kingwood NE) finishes stellar career

Leaving a part of a winning program behind at Kingwood Northeast Christian Academy, Mark Gabriel, other than getting a fine education at Haverford College in Philadelphia, knew there was opportunity on the basketball court to be had. The team had only had three winning seasons since 1966 and the last one was in 1995-96 when the Fords went 14-11.

Just less than three weeks ago, Gabriel capped a collegiate career that few could top as firmly entrenched himself as one of the best players in Haverford College’s long history.

The senior forward, who was the team captain the past two seasons, led Haverford into postseason Centennial Conference action on February 24th by scored 23 points in its first postseason win since 1976-77 with a 71-53 decision over Johns Hopkins. Two nights later in the semifinals at Franklin & Marshall, two of Gabriel’s game-high 22 points included a game-tying layup with 29.7 seconds to play. However, a basket by F&M’s Bryan Teschke with 2.7 seconds ended the Fords’ postseason run and 14-12 season. (The year before, Haverford played to a .500, 12-12 season.)

Gabriel was the Centennial Conference’s leading scorer in 2002-03 and came back from a foot injury last season to average 18.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game during a 6-1 run to the conference tournament. And in 2004-2005, Gabriel finally reached the pinnacle of Haverford’s recent success by becoming the first first team All-Conference selction since 1996 (Jamal Elliott).

The 6’4” Eagle, Idaho native ended up as the fifth leading scorer in school history with 1,439 points, three spots in front of Houston Strake Jesuit’s Mukul Kanabar. Kanabar scored 1,102 from 1996-2000. Gabriel also pulled down 556 career rebounds, good for 9th on the all-time list. However, only three players – Dick Voith (’77), Mike Racke (’81) and Dave Stubbs (’77) – pulled down more points and rebounds than Gabriel.

Gabriel’s 17.3 points per game career scoring average was 4th in school history and 3rd all-time in the Centennial Conference. The 1,439 points mentioned earlier also left him 10th on the Conference’s all-time scoring list.

He also was in the top ten during his career in the following categories: field goals made (545, 4th), field goals attempted (955, 6th), field goal percentage (.571, 2nd), free throws made (343, 4th), free throws attempted (421, 6th) and free throw percentage (.815, 2nd). The field goal and free throw percentages are also 2nd and 5th in the Centennial Conference all-time.

Gabriel, however, could not unseat Kanabar as the school’s leader in minutes played or minutes per game. Kanabar had the edge 3,083 to 2,619 in minutes played and 32.8 to 31.6 in average minutes per game.

The duo were not the only Texas private and parochial school players during that time. Houston Westbury Christian's Matt Begley was on the Haverford team from 2000-2004.

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