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2018 NJCAA MBB Division I Tournament (First round report)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Vincennes 81; Kaskaskia 45
          Third-ranked and top seed Vincennes University scored the first seven points of the game and never trailed, beating eighth-seeded Kaskaskia, 81-45, in the opening game of the District 16 Tournament at Rend Lake College.
          The Trailblazers (30-1) were led by freshman guard Ty Gadsden who hit five of his six treys in the first and scored 21 points.
          Lony Francis, Jr., scored 16, C.J. Hedgepeth had 11 points and Pun Tisdale added ten to move Vincennes into Thursday’s District semi-final against fifth-seeded Shawnee which upset number-four Wabash Valley, 68-65, in game two.
          Jaylen Johnson scored 11 points for Kaskaskia while teammate Justin Shaw had ten.
          Vincennes led 37-21 at halftime and quickly put the game out of reach early in the final frame, taking a 62-29 lead into the final ten minutes of the game.
          VU hit 51 percent (33-65) for the game and a torrid 20-34 (59%) in the final half, holding the Blue Devils to just 36 percent (17-47).
          Vincennes polled a 41-22 edge in rebounding led by George Dixon’s ten boards.
Shawnee 68; Wabash Valley 65
          Shawnee pulled-off a mild upset, taking out Wabash Valley, 68-65, in game two of the tournament.
          The Saints (19-11) jumped out to a 12-0 lead before the Warriors’ first-basket 3 ½ minutes into the game.
          Wabash recovered, taking a 24-23 lead on a Josh Thomas basket with 6:50 to play in the half. There were two ties and two lead changes before the teams went to the locker room tied 33-all at intermission.
          Shawnee built a 42-35 lead two minutes into the second half and then didn’t score a field goal for the next nine minutes, allowing the Warriors to 51-44 advantage. The margin eventually reached 56-48 and 60-52 on a Jalen Newsom trey with six minutes to play.
          Shawnee scored eleven straight points grabbing the lead for good on a Sayveon McEwen trey with 2:47 left.
          Wabash missed six free throws in the final seven minutes .
          Newsom’s three-point attempt at the buzzer to tie the game fell short.
          McEwen led all scorers with 24 points including four treys. Rob Howard, Jr., scored 12 points.
          Wabash (21-10) was led by Marcel Cherry with 15 while Marcus Garrett scored 13.
John A. Logan 96; Lincoln Trail 61
          Sophomore guard Jaiveon Eaves buried three treys in the first two-and-one-half minutes of the game, setting the stage for an easy, 96-61, John A. Logan win over Lincoln Trail in game three.
          The lead stretched to 40-19 with four minutes left in the first half – Logan led 45-29 at the break.
          Eaves hit five treys and scored 17 points for Logan (26-5) while David Sloan netted 13.
          LeAaron Cain led all scorers with 23 points, Casius Bell, Jr., scored 18 and Justin Williams had ten for the Statesmen (10-21).
SWIC 104; Olney Central 101, overtime
          Jalaam Hill’s half-court basket with 0:00 in overtime gave Southwestern Illinois a 104-101 win over sixth-seeded Olney Central.
          The winner came after OCC’s Tyler Witz tied the game with a pair of free throws with :01.6 left, bringing the Blue Knights from five points down with 1:12 to play.
          Third-seeded SWIC (24-7) jumped out to an early edge before Olney grabbed its only lead in regulation, 27-26, on a Davion Warren basket with 10:07 left in the first half.
          After a 29-all tie, the Blue Storm got to a 48-41 advantage at the intermission and led by as many as nine points in the final period.
          But, Olney (21-10) kept coming back, forcing the overtime at 89-all on Josiah Wallace’s jumper just inside the arc at the end of regulation.   
          OCC’s only led in overtime was 91-89 on a Wallace  basket.
Hill scored to break a 93-tie - Javonte Perkins and Braden Fitzerrells buried treys to kept SWIC in front, but Wade Coomer’s trifecta with 44-seconds got the Blue Knights within one point, 101-99, setting up Witz’ free throws and Hills’ game-winner.
          Perkins led SWIC with 25, Kenny Roberson tossed in 23 and Hill’s winning bomb gave him 13 for the game.
          Wallace and Erikas Jakstys combined for 60 points. Wallace filled the scorebook with 37 including 18 in the first half while Jakstys scored 23 – 13 in the opening half.
          Vincennes plays Shawnee in Thursday’s opening semi-final at 6 CST (7 EST) and John A. Logan meets SWIC in the nightcap at 8 CST (9 EST).
Informational release provided by Dave Hunter

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