* NJCAA1 CHAMPIONSHIP *
RED WHITE AND BLUE CHAMPIONS – In an “All Florida, All the time” battle for the National Championship in NJCAA Division One the 3rd seeded COLLEGE OF CENTRAL FLORIDA PATRIOTS faced the upstart 9 seeds, the NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE RAIDERS, for the 2013 title. As they have so often this season the Patriots got the better of the Raiders (and nobody can blame the Tuck Rule – I’m kidding) once again. CCF completely shut down the Raiders standout player Chris Jones in the 1st half – and I mean shut down as in HE GOT ZERO POINTS. Meanwhile, Patriots star and tournament MVP Eugene McRory led his team with 23 points. CCF led 43-33 at the break and in the 2nd half withstood a spirited charge from the Raiders to win by a score of 74-69. Congratulations Patriots!
* NJCAA2 CHAMPIONSHIP *
WARRIORS TAKE THE TITLE – In the NJCAA Division Two Championship Game the 4th seeded REND LAKE COLLEGE WARRIORS got off to a 19-3 lead over their opponents, the 7th seeded MORAINE VALLEY COLLEGE CYCLONES, and never looked back. The Cyclones, who had excelled in spotting postseason opponents leads only to come storming back (see what I did there), finally dug themselves too big a hole to get out of. By halftime the game was a yawner, with Rend Lake College sporting a 48-26 advantage. The Cyclones performed better in the 2nd half but the Warriors were far too cagey to let them get very close. The final score in this game was Warriors 87 Cyclones 69. Congratulations to Rend Lake College!
* D3 FINAL FOUR *
THE TOP SEED TAKES A FALL – Chalk up another upset for the UNIVERSITY OF MARY HARDIN- BAYLOR CRUSADERS! Yesterday in the NCAA Division 3 semifinals the Crusaders brought down the top- seeded UNIVERSITY OF ST THOMAS TOMMIES. The Tommies, who had lost only ONE game this season prior to last night, actually led at halftime by a score of 38-33. After the break the Crusaders made their move, tossing up 41 points on the offensive side of the ball and limiting UST to just 29 points on the defensive side. With this 74-67 victory the UMHB Crusaders move on to the D3 Championship game.
DEFENSIVE ARMAGEDDON – In the other semifinal of the evening the 2nd seeded AMHERST LORD JEFFS took on the 3rd seeded NORTH CENTRAL CARDINALS. The Lord Jeffs are usually noted for their potent offense but yesterday they proved they could also keep pace with a defensive juggernaut like North Central. In this clash of blocks and steals the Lord Jeffs (love that name) compiled a 29-22 lead by the break. In the 2nd half both teams turned their already impressive defensive efforst up to 11, with the Cardinals limiting Amherst to just 23 points and the Lord Jeffs once again holding North Central to 22. Amherst won 52-44 and will face the Crusaders for the D3 title.