Blazers Receive At-Large Bid To National Tournament
This weekend began as planned for the number one seed Ohio Christian University as they defeated number five seed, Boyce College 86-63, in the NCCAA Mid-East Regional Tournament. The Trailblazers had a buy on Thursday, while the Boyce Bulldogs played Johnson Bible College to advance to the semi-finals. Number two seed, Kentucky Christian University, defeated number three seed, Freewill Baptist Bible on Friday in the semi-finals, and advanced to the Championship game on Saturday. The Championship game on Saturday featured rivals Ohio Christian and Kentucky Christian, who split their season’s league games. The entire season led to this game, and both teams were determined to bring home a banner.
The Blazers came out hot offensively, and played strong defensively. OCU led most of the first half. Freshman, Delorean Glanton, came off the bench and shot 60% from the three point line. KCU went on a run in the last two minutes of the first half, and went into the locker room with a six point lead, 40-34. OCU came out in the second half, and continued to play strong defensively, and were good on the boards, but struggled to put the ball through the hoop. The Trailblazers never did recapture the lead in the second half. In the end, Kentucky Christian won the game on the foul line, shooting twenty-four of thirty-one foul shots. At the other end of the court, Ohio Christian only went to the foul line twelve times, making only seven. KCU defeated OCU 79-64. Delorian Glanton led all scorers with 19 points, 5 boards, and 1 steal. Stefan Vasiloff had 15 points and 12 rebounds. Timothy Baker contributed 10 points, and 6 boards. Center Michael Baker, and forward William Lomax combined for 12 points and 9 rebounds.
While the Trailblazers were disappointed about not being named Mid-East Regional Champs, they brought home plenty of individual awards. Rickshontae Spell, Timothy Baker, and William Lomax were the three Trailblazers named to the All-Tournament Team. Stefan Vasiloff and Rickshontae Spell were both named to the 1st Team All-Region. Receiving 2nd Team All-Region honors were Timothy Baker and William Lomax. Michael Baker received Honorable Mention. The players were not the only ones to receive recognition Saturday evening. Coach Curtis Christopher was named the Mid-East Region “Coach of the Year.”
Due to the Trailblazers strong regional play, and their number one seed, the National Tournament committee gave OCU an at-large bid to the NCCAA II National Tournament. The Trailblazers (8) leave next week for Springfield, Missouri, where they will play on Tuesday in the first round against North Central University (9). If they win, they will play the number 1 seed, Grace Bible College, on Thursday.