Men's Basketball Wins District VII Championship, Punches Ticket to National Championship Tournament

Men's Basketball Wins District VII Championship, Punches Ticket to National Championship Tournament
The Montgomery College men's basketball team is the 2018 NJCAA DIII District VII Champions! The Raptors trounced Sandhills Community College Flyers (Pinehurst, NC) 85-59 in the semifinals and defeated Prince George's Community College 85-71 in the finals to punch their ticket to Loch Sheldrake, New York, to play in the 2017-18 NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship March 15-17. This is the first trip to the national tournament for Keith Byrd and the Raptors and the first for any MC men's basketball program since 2007. 

On Saturday, March 3rd, the Raptors ended the Sandhills CC Flyers' chances of taking their third trip to the NJCAA DIII national tournament in the semifinal game of the District VII Championships. Ranked No. 8 last week in the Division III national poll, Sandhills came into the game with a record of 27-5 while scoring over 100 points per game. The game was evenly matched early on but with 8:30 left in the first half the Raptors went on 14-4 run that lasted nearly five and half minutes. The Flyers were able to bounce back to pull within seven points at halftime 36-29. 

The second half was all Montgomery College, as the Raptors slowly, but consistently, started to extend their lead over the Flyers and outscored them 49-30 in the final 20 minutes. Everyone who suited up scored for the Raptors, led by Chris Johnson, who recorded a game-high 16 points, five rebounds, and two assists -- alongside Ramel Davidson, who recorded his 9th career double-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and three assists. Collin Turner netted 13 points, and Afanna Ofor recorded 10 points and seven rebounds in the 26-point victory over Sandhills CC. 

Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYdSTi8BEpQ 

On March 4th the Raptors faced off against Prince George's Community College Owls for the third time this season, and the final result wasn't any different. With six ties and seven lead changes in this match-up, the District Final was a thriller and a hard-fought game by both teams. The Owls had their largest lead with 9:04 in the first half up by eight, but the Raptors fought back to trail by only four at halftime 34-30. The second half was again, all Montgomery College as the Raptors shot 50% from the field making 14 out of 28 field goals and shot 77.8% from three-point land making 7 of 9 shots. The Raptors bench stepped up big scoring half of the team's total points. Afanna Offor netted a game-high 23 points, and Tyran Crawford recorded a season-high 17 points, while Collin Turner added 14 points with seven rebounds and five assists and Chris Johnson logged 12 points, six rebounds and six assists in the 14-point victory over the Owls. 

Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J28jh7rbBNI 

The Raptors will travel to Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, New York, to play in the NJCAA Division III Championship Tournament on March 15-17. Tournament seedings and information can be found at http://njcaa.org/sports/mbkb/2017-18/div3/national_championship/index