Glendale 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.


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