Blue Knights defeat Dakota College at Bottineau 104–98
The men’s basketball team at Dakota County Technical College took on Dakota College at Bottineau Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dakota Gymnasium in Bottineau, North Dakota, for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 13 Championship. The Blue Knights (19–10) beat the Lumberjacks (22–11) 104–98 to advance to the NJCAA District VII Championship.
DCTC will face the Southeast Community College Storm (14–12) in the District VII playoff game Sunday, Mar. 6, 2016, at 1 p.m. on the Blue Knights home court at the Inver Hills Athletic Center on the Inver Hills Community College campus in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. Southeast defeated the Central Community College Raiders (14–15) 93–67 in Beatrice, Nebraska, Feb. 28, to win the Region 9 Championship. The winner of the District VII Championship will advance to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Danville, Illinois, March 15–19, 2016.
First-ever Region 13 Championship
DCTC Head Coach Ben Davis reported that the win over Bottineau represented a first in the history of the college’s basketball program. “We’ve never won the NJCAA Region 13 Championship,” Davis said. “We are playing our best basketball of the season coming down the stretch. We’ve picked it up on defense and are rebounding much better both offensively and defensively. Every player on our team has bought in one hundred percent to what we are trying to accomplish.”
Davis added that his team’s toughness on the road has paid off. “The players are determined to make their mark,” he said. “We’ve had some hard challenges in tough environments on the road. We are looking forward to playing at home against Southeast Community College. The players have done a really good job coming together as a team. They are excited about getting the chance to advance to the national tournament for the first time in the team’s history.”
NJCAA DII District VII match-up
NJCAA colleges are assigned a specific NJCAA region when they join the association. The NJCAA guarantees each member college’s inclusion within the association’s regional structure. In most cases, region assignment is based on the college’s geographic location. The winners of Region 9 and Region 13 compete in the District VII championship.
- DCTC Blue Knights: Region 13 includes Minnesota, North Dakota, Upper Michigan Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin.
- Southeast Storm: Region 9 includes Colorado east of the Continental Divide, Eastern Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming
Coach Davis on Southeast: “They play some really good DI teams in their conference. They’ve got some big players, a couple 6’10 centers and a 6’8 forward, and their guards can score. Southeast does a little of everything; they shoot and drive well.”
Win over Bottineau
The Blue Knights were out front 48–35 at the half, but the Lumberjacks fought back, outscoring DCTC 63–56 in the second half. DCTC 6’0 sophomore guard, Keenen Bellaphant, led all scorers with 37 points. Bellaphant also went 17 for 20 from the foul line and pulled down five rebounds. Blue Knights Noble Fahnbulleh, 6’3 sophomore guard, and Jarrett Williams, 6’5 freshman forward, scored 15 and 14 points, respectively. JJ Morris scored 25 points for the Jacks, going 5 for 10 from 3-point land.
“We played very well defensively against the top-scoring team in the nation,” Coach Ben Davis said. “We held Bottineau to 35 points in the first half and built a good lead. They play a strong press and run, but we’re good at adjusting to an opponent’s style and taking them out of their game. This was a huge win away from home against a very tough team.”
To learn more about NJCAA DII basketball at DCTC, contact:
Men’s Basketball Head Coach
Or visit GoBlueKnights.com
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