Trailblazers win Regional Championship
Ohio Christian University Men's basketball team punch their fourth straight National Appearance ticket with a win over Kentucky Christian University on Saturday 97 - 90. The Mid East regional tournament started on Thursday night with host team #4 seed Freewill Baptist defeating #5 seed Boyce College 63 - 62 and #3 Crown College defeating #6 Johnson Bible 88 - 53. On Friday #2 Kentucky Christian Defeated #3 Crown College 83 to 71 to advance to the championship game on Saturday. Friday night the #1 seed Trailblazers took care of business against Freewill with a score of 88 - 44. "I told the team this week that it was time to play like we have something to prove and that championship teams play at another level." said coach Christopher. That is exactly what they did on Friday night in front of the home crowd. OCU was on the floor for all the loose balls. They were crashing the boards and then getting out and running the floor. They shot the ball well getting five players in double figures. Senior Guard Tim Baker got on track early shooting 66 percent from the field (6 for 9) and 75 percent from the three point line (3 for 4). The big story for Friday night was 6' 8" Sophomore Center James Nelson. James came off the bench to grab 8 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and an impressive 8 for 8 from the field to get his career high 16 points. "I was really proud of James Friday as he showed what he is capable of doing. I look forward to him growing into his potential."
OCU brought home several regional awards this weekend as well. Tirrell Cumberland had the second most votes for first Team All Region behind KCU player of the year Casey Jones. Senior Tim Baker and Sophomore Jeremy Hays both made First Team All Region. Senior Mike Baker made Second Team All Region, Junior Delorean Glanton and Junior Michael Farrell were All Region Honorable Mention.
Saturday would become another Classic OCU vs KCU match up. Neither team had played their best basketball against each other this year but the fans would be in for real treat this championship game. The first few minutes of the game was a lot of up and down basketball as both teams got through the early game jitters. Then as the teams settled down into their systems it was apparent that good shooting was going to win because nothing was going to come easy around the rim. OCU first team Jeremy Hays was matched up with KCU player of the year Casey Jones. Jeremy was 6 for 8 from the field for 14 points. Casey Jones was 8 for 12 from the field for 19 points. Another great match up was OCU first team Tirrell Cumberland matched up to KCU first team Blandon Clemons. Tirrell went 3 for 7 from the three point line to end with 17 points. Blandon went 3 for 8 from the three point line to end with 17 points. OCU first Team Timothy Baker was the story for the game shooting 7 for 9 from the field and 3 for 4 from the three point line. Tim shot 75 percent from three point land for the entire weekend.
OCU led the entire game but because of very good shooting KCU hung around most of the game. With four minutes to go, Kentucky went on a 3 - 0 run to tie the game 80 - 80. Ohio Christian scored three straight times out of a time out and then used the clock the rest of the game to pull off a second straight regional championship victory against Kentucky Christian.
OCU Trailblazers Tim Baker, Tirrell Cumberland and Jeremy Hays made all Tournament Team.
The Trailblazers got the #5 seed in the NCCAA National Tournament that starts next Tuesday on March 8th in Springfield Missouri. The Blazers will be playing the #12 seed Portland Bible College at 4 pm.