CALIFORNIA PACIFIC CONFERENCE
FIRST SEMIFINAL – End of a Dynasty! The 2nd seeded UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT MERCED GOLDEN BOBCATS ended the half-decade run in which the (3) CALIFORNIA MARITIME ACADEMY KEELHAULERS dominated the Cal Pacific Conference.
The opening Half was a Defensive Epic, ending with the Golden Bobcats on top of the Keelhaulers 29-21. Cal Maritime, as usual, didn’t give up and forced Overtime with a 55-55 tie to end Regulation. The 1st Overtime session ended knotted up at 63-63 but in the 2nd OT UC-Merced emerged with a 71-70 triumph! Cole Taira led this consummate team effort with his 12 points.
SECOND SEMIFINAL – This game pitted the top seeds – the UNIVERSITY OF ANTELOPE VALLEY PIONEERS – against the 4th seeded SIMPSON (CA) UNIVERSITY RED HAWKS.
The Pioneers made sure to avoid all the sturm und drang of the First Semifinal and bolted out to a 42-30 lead over the Red Hawks by the Half. From there Antelope Valley’s virtual Teenage Crime Wave continued (bad movie fans will get it) as they smothered Simpson U by a final count of 83-58. The Pioneers were led by Sheldon Blackwell’s 19 points and 6 rebounds.
THE SUN CONFERENCE
OPENING ROUND, GAME ONE – The 3rd seeded THOMAS UNIVERSITY NIGHTHAWKS took the court against the 6 seeds – the COLLEGE OF COASTAL GEORGIA MARINERS.
The Nighthawks utterly dominated the Mariners on both sides of the ball and held a commanding 42-28 lead by Halftime. After the break Thomas University coasted the rest of the way for a 77-65 victory. Katrell Myers tossed in 24 points to lead the way for the Nighthawks.
OPENING ROUND, GAME TWO – Up next the 5 seeds – the SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY FIRE – faced the 4th seeded WARNER UNIVERSITY ROYALS.
The mild upset was telegraphed by the break, with the Fire on top of the Royals 42-35. The 2nd Half was hard-fought, but Southeastern University held on against the Warner U rally. The final score was Fire 73 Royals 70. Grant Bryant put up 18 points for the winners, while his teammate Isaac Barsh logged a Double Double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
APPALACHIAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – The two teams left standing in this Conference’s Tournament were the top seeds – the UNION COLLEGE BULLDOGS – and the Cinderella 7 seeds – the TRUETT MCCONNELL UNIVERSITY BEARS.
A casual spectator might have assumed it was a clash of the top two seeds given how tight the game was. At Halftime the Bulldogs held a slender 29-27 edge over the Bears. An equally competitive 2nd Half ended with Union College triumphing by a final tally of 73-69. Dominique Lindsey’s 22 points led the way for the Bulldogs, followed by K.J. Duronslet’s Double Double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. * THE BULLDOGS ADVANCE TO THE NATIONAL TOURNAMENT *