From Staff and Wire Reports – Photo By John Rathbun
Utica – The MVCC Women’s and Men’s Basketball teams are headed to the National Junior College Basketball Tournament!
The men’s team picked up their first ever Region III Championship with a 102-93 win over SUNY Jefferson on Sunday.
The Hawks, who entered the tourney as the #4 seed, used a huge second half to secure their first trip to the national tournament.
Both team trades baskets early on before Jefferson went on a 17-6 run midway through the first half to take a 33-19 lead. MVCC’s Creig Goldson, Devonte Wilson and Janeel Frith put the team on their back as the Hawks countered with a 21-9 run to close the gap to 42-40. Jefferson then rattled off 12 more points and went to the locker room ahead 54-45.
The Hawks came out on fire to start the second half, outscoring the Cannoneers 22-3 over the first five minutes to take a 67-57 lead. The teams traded baskets before SUNY Jefferson rattled off a series of buckets to tie the game at 83 with 4:34 remaining.
Kyron Allen‘s 3 point basket put the Hawks up 86-83 and Frith’s 3 point play with 3:10 left gave MV a 6 point advantage. Jefferson charged back and came within 2 points, 93-91, with 1:10 on the clock.
Wilson, who finished with 31 points, secured the MV win by scoring the final 9 points of the contest by making a couple of layups and going 5-5 from the line. Allen poured in 30 points while Goldson added 22 and Frith dumped in 13 more.
The Hawks, who commited only two turnovers, ourscored Jefferson 23-2 on points off turnovers. MVCC is now 21-9 on the season.
Allen was named to the All Tourney team and Devonte Wilson was named tourney MVP.
The NJCAA National Tournament will be held at Sullivan Community College from March 10-12.
On the women’s side, second seeded MVCC defeated top seeded Onondaga Community College on the Lazers home floor, by a score of 78-75. It was another game that will be remembered as an instant classic. It seems that every time the Onondaga Community College women’s basketball team plays arch rival Mohawk Valley the game comes down to the last possession – and Sunday afternoon’s NJCAA Region 3 final was no different.
In a game of runs that saw no less than a dozen lead changes, the Hawks emerged victorious with a heart-stopping 78-75 win over Onondaga. With the win, Mohawk advance to the NJCAA national tournament in Lincroft, New Jersey at Brookdale Community College beginning on March 10.
The nationally 3rd ranked Lazers faced the #5 Hawks earlier this year with a different result (and 82-81 win at MVCC) – but on Sunday Mohawk used a strong inside game to defeat the host team for the second time in the regional final in the past two years.