Disappointing End to an Outstanding Season; LCCC Loses to Columbus State in the NJCAA Region XII championship game, 90-75
by Ken Hoffman
The Lorain County Community College men’s basketball team’s hopes for a second straight NJCAA Region XII championship were dashed by Columbus State on Tuesday night, Feb., 27, 90-75, at Ohio Christian University.
Columbus State jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first four minutes. The Commodores came within a 12-8 score on a Miles Meredith jump shot with 12:35 to play in the first half but that was as close as the Commodores would get.
Meredith (pictured) — a sophomore forward and the team’s leading rebounder — led LCCC with an outstanding career-high and game-high 26 points (10-of-13 shooting for .769%) and a team-high nine rebounds, personally keeping the Commodores in the game. Sophomore guard Mike Rell was limited to 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Freshman forward Jovon Jones made 3-of-4 shots for eight points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked a team-high four shots, as did sophomore forward Deric Nichols.
The Commodores trailed at halftime, 37-26, but cut the lead to four, 43-39, on a Meredith three-point basket just four minutes into the second half. But Chris Byrd then connected on two consecutive three’s as the CSCC ran off eight straight points to up the lead to a dozen at 51-39. Byrd scored 20 points to lead six Cougars in double figures. Anthony Butler contributed a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. CSCC won the battle of the boards, 47-34.
LCCC shot 44.1% from the floor but, uncharacteristically, made just 3-of-16 (18.8%) from long range and just 12-of-21 (57.1%) from the foul line.
In spite of the loss, the Commodores completed one of the most successful seasons in LCCC history with a 23-6 record, including a 12-0 start. During the latter part of the season the team reached a ranking of #7 in the country in NJCAA D-III (112 schools).
The complete box score was not available at the time of this writing.