DANVILLE, Ill. – The Central Community College men’s basketball team lost to Mott (Mich.) Community College, 58-57, in the consolation round of the NJCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The Raiders went up 57-56 with 32 seconds to play when Blake Daberkow made one-of-two free throws. The Bears passed the ball for the entire 30 seconds of the shot clock before Nate Brown sank a jump shot to take a one-point lead. CCC’s inbound pass was stolen away, and the Bears prevailed.
In the first half, CCC built a 20-11 lead at the 10:58 mark when Mott responded with an 11-2 run to tie the game at 22. The Raiders went on to lead 34-30 at the half. CCC went nearly seven minutes without a score to open the second half and later took a 39-36 lead with 12:26 to play. The Bears rattled off a 12-2 run to take their biggest lead at 48-41 with 8:39 remaining. The Raiders chipped away at the deficit and eventually took lead at the 3:25 mark, 53-52. CCC took another two-point lead, 56-54, with just under two minutes to go.
Trey Deveaux led the Raiders with 19 points while PJ Davis scored 11 points off the bench. Jayden Byabato and Derrick Merwick each hauled in 10 rebounds.
“To lose two games by a combined three points at the national tournament is heartbreaking, but I can never ever fault the fight of our guys” said CCC head coach John Ritzdorf. “Luckily, our defense was good enough to keep us in it, and we had definitely a chance to win.”
With the loss, the Raiders finished the 2022-23 season with a mark of 22-11.