College Hoops: Flyers end DCCC season
Six days after handing Sandhills Community College a 41-point loss, Davidson County Community College had the same Flyers swoop in and bring the season to an end.
In the first semifinal of the Region X tournament Saturday afternoon in Wytheville, Va., DCCC let a second half lead of 12 slip away into a 98-89, season-ending loss. The Storm finish the year ranked eighth in the nation with a 22-5 record.
Davidson led 46-40 at the half, then scored the first six points out of the break to go up 12. The dynamic of the game changed when DCCC forward C.J. Woodberry went down with an ankle injury. He was greatly missed on the glass, as the Storm were outrebounded 68-45. Sandhills was able to rally back, eventually taking the lead and running away to reach the finals where they lost to top-seeded Caldwell.
“We really struggled around the rim the rest of the game without C.J.,” said Storm coach Matt Ridge Tuesday afternoon. “After he went down, we just didn't respond well mentally or physically. You have to give Sandhills credit. They played really hard and dominated the boards. Rebounding has been an Achilles heel for us all year and unfortunately Saturday afternoon that was a big reason our season ended.”
At the junior college level, the loss is a hard one to accept given what the Storm accomplished this season. With no at-large bids like in the NCAA, a team must win their conference tournament to advance to the playoffs. Ridge is not a huge fan of the rules.
“I think it is unfortunate that there are no at-large berths in junior college,” he said. “You can have a great regular season, but if you have one bad game you are done. I think there are a lot of teams around the country that should be in the national tournament that aren't. It is what it is and hopefully some of our sophomores will get an opportunity to go on and play at another school.”
It was the sixth season in seven years that Davidson has either won outright or shared the regular season conference championship. That is something Ridge says this team can be very proud of considering the heightened level of competition.
“For this team to accomplish that feat this year in our league is phenomenal,” Ridge said. “The league this year was as good as it has ever been from top to bottom.”
Notes: Woodberry scored 15 points before his injury and was later named 1st Team All-Region … Ace Chalmers, Daniel Lawson and Robert Story were named 2nd Team All-Region.