27th win qualifies Hounds for Nationals at Hutch
The Moberly Area Community College Men’s Basketball Team defeated Highlands CC (Ill.) 78-70 on Saturday evening at the Fitzsimmons-John Arena to capture the NJCAA Midwest District Championship. In a game between the Region 16 Champion Moberly Greyhounds and the Region IV Champ Highlan Moberly grabbed an early lead and eventually lead 35-30 at the half. Moberly grabbed an early 45-34 lead in the second half and would never trail but saw Highland cut the lead to three twice during the half before Moberly clinched the game the last two minutes. Freshman guard Tyrek Chambers had an outstanding game in leading Moberly in scoring with 25 points(10-19 from the field), fellow freshman guard Dezi Jones scored 17 points(4-4 from 3 point range) and sophomore forward Eddie Creal had 13 points and 7 rebounds. 6-8 post Adam Ahnold had 14 points to lead Highland while Fleming, Kerr and Nwagbaraocha all had 11 points.
“Just another tough, gutsy performance by our guys in a big game,” said Coach Pat Smith, “First of all, I give Highland a lot of credit as they are a really good team who had won 12 straight and 19 of 20 games. They played really well and did a great job handling our pressure. Every time we would get up 8-12 points they would find a way to come back and get within 3-5 points. However, our guys always found the answer by just staying with what we do and who we are. This team is so balanced and while you might face guard Kelo Sullivan, now you have to deal with Tyrek Chambers, Dezi Jones and Eddie Creal. Tyrek was very offensively aggressive and I just felt going in he was due for a good game; he’s just too good of an offensive player and we just stressed keep defending and everything will be ok. I thought we defended really well and with just one player back from last seasons National Tournament team, I’m just so proud of how this team has developed and what they have become. What a crowd we have Saturday evening and I’m just so thankful for the support we receive from our college and community. Just so pleased to be making back to back trips to Hutch and thankful to this team.”
Moberly improves to 27-6 on the season with their 7th straight victory, Region 16 Champions and their 17th win in their last 19 games. They will be making back to back trips to Hutchinson, Kansas for the National Tournament and their 3rd trip in the last 5 seasons. Highland ends their season with a 27-7 record. Moberly will find out today with the NJCAA Selection Show what their seeding and opponent will be at the Nationals.