MEMPHIS – For the second consecutive year the Motlow Bucks’ basketball season came to a disappointing end in the semifinals of the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament with a loss to eventual state champion Columbia State.
Last year the Chargers needed double overtime to defeat the Bucks in the tournament semifinals in Harriman. This year was not as dramatic as Columbia State broke a 69-69 tie with 10 minutes to play and pulled away to a 105-94 victory in Memphis Friday night. Columbia won its second consecutive state championship by beating Southwest Tennessee Saturday afternoon, and will compete in the NJCAA Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., beginning Monday.
With his second season at Motlow now over, Head Coach Matt Sligh found it tough to accept, though he realizes that the team that made the most plays Friday won the game.
“We played outstanding on Thursday and battled hard Friday,” said Sligh. “Ultimately, our inability to produce in the paint, rebound, protect the rim, and finish plays cost us. We had several players battle hard, but Columbia State made more plays, hit more shots, and dominated the boards. We settled for some shots that we would like to have back, and couldn’t get stops when we needed them. It was a high-level game with incredible talent on both sides, and we certainly wish it would have ended differently.”
The Bucks (23-6) advanced to the semifinals with a dominating 94-77 win over Cleveland State on Thursday in the tournament quarterfinals. Motlow received a first-round bye after finishing in second place during the regular season.