Repeats as DII Region I Champs
For the second time in as many seasons, Glendale Community
College has captured the NJCAA Region 1 Division II Championship
and earned a berth in the NJCAA District 1 semifinals. The
Gauchos captured the title with a 67-62 victory over Chandler-Gilbert
on Wednesday night.
Glendale will host the District 1 Tournament beginning Friday,
March 5, at 7:30 p.m., when the Gauchos take on Rose State
College. The winner of that contest will move on to face Johnson
County (KS) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the title game for a
ticket to the NJCAA Division II National Championships in
Danville, Illinois, from March 17-20.
In the Region 1 championship contest, Glendale opened the
game with a quick 5-0 run on a long 3-pointer and a two-point
bucket. Chandler-Gilbert responded in following suit to knot
the game at 5-5 just seconds later. The game remained tight
the remainder of the first half and the lead changed hands
several times before Glendale took a 33-32 advantage into
the locker room.
The second half opened the same way and remained close until
a little over six minutes remained in the contest and Andrew
Ellsworth's back-to-back treys put the Gauchos ahead 54-48.
Once again, the Coyotes responded with a 12-6 run over the
next three minutes to knot the score at 60-60 on Ervin Belton's
3-pointer with just under three minutes to go.
Glendale was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line and
Ryan Nelson connected on a driving layup in the final minutes
to give the Gauchos the victory. Glendale's defense tightened
in the closing minutes, allowing Chandler-Gilbert just a pair
of free throws.
Richie Trojanek paced Glendale with 19 points, six rebounds,
and a pair of blocked shots to earn Region I Tournament MVP
honors. Eric Bloom chipped in with 19 points and six boards,
while Andrew Ellsworth connected on 3-of-6 3-pointers for
10 points and Ryan Nelson posted eight points, seven rebounds,
seven assists and five steals.
Chandler-Gilbert was led by Lerin Wells' 16 points and six
rebounds. Terrence Griffin added 15 points and 16 rebounds
for the Coyotes, while Bryant Andrus chipped in with 10 points.