This time the Central Christian College men did not let it get away.
Less than 24 hours after nearly pulling off an upset of 9th-ranked Bellevue University — only to lose on a shot in the final seconds — the Tigers faced the team tied with the Bruins at the start of Saturday in the MCAC standings, Waldorf.
Central led 42-34 at the half, but as has been the case much of the year it couldn’t close the deal as the game went into extras after being tied at 76-all. But the Tigers rang up 20 points in the five-minute bonus period and finished off the upset on Senior Day.
“I am very pleased with the way we sent our seniors off. Curtis (Simahamu), Chris (Quincy) and Dustin (Rojas) all deserved to go out on their home floor with a win,” said CCC coach Tony Romero, whose team finished the MCAC 6-8 and is 16-12 overall. “These guys have given a lot to our program and mean a lot to me personally. I am proud and honored to be their coach.”
The Tigers gave a supreme effort to make it happen.
“As for the game, we love to make it very interesting,” Romero said. “We really had to battle through some foul trouble tonight and being shorthanded with some injuries, their big guy (Jordan Nelson) was no surprise to us, we just couldn't keep him off the block or off the glass the way we should have. Once we got to overtime, I thought we finally exerted our will onto someone. These guys deserve it, they keep battling and battling. Our focus continues to move toward our best basketball at the end of the season, I feel like we are closing in on it. Our guys showed a lot of character responding after a disappointing and emotional loss last night."
Alonzo Stafford just missed yet another double-double with 29 points and nine rebounds to lead CCC. Daniel Nwosuh added 16 points, Michael Gholson scored 14, and Ernest Burton and Sam Clayborn came off the bench for 10. Quincy muscled his way to 10 rebounds.
Nelson had a monster game for Waldorf with 37 points, making 18 of 28 floor shots. Amazingly, he didn’t shoot a free throw and also pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Tigers now head to College of the Ozarks for the MCAC Postseason Tournament. They will play Central Baptist on Friday and with a win, would most likely play the host team for the South Division title.
CCC (96) — Stafford 29, Quincy 6, Nwosuh 16, Rojas 6, Gholston 14, Jackson 3, Burton 10, Clayborn 10, Robbins 2.
Waldorf (89) — Morgan 3, Brewer 21, Nelson 37, Scott 9, Slay 6, Parrish 10, Graham 3.
• CENTRAL WOMEN 74, WALDORF 69 — The Lady Tigers set the tone for the day by completing the season sweep of the Warriors.
Central got to the 10-win mark with the victory as it takes a 10-20 record into postseason play. The Lady Tigers were 4-10 in the MCAC. Like the men, they’ll head to Missouri and play host Oklahoma Wesleyan in the first round of the tournament at 2 p.m. Friday.
“What a great way to honor our seniors (Raven Void, Gabbie Salazar and Quamisha Spence) with a big win on Senior Day,” CCC coach Chris Honeck said. “I was very pleased with the effort today, both mentally and physically. It was a close, physical game all day, but we hung together and made some big plays when we needed to.
“I told the girls before the game that no matter what happened today, what they accomplished this season could never be taken away from them. Winning four games in conference play, when the program had only won three conference games combined in the last five seasons, reaching double figures in wins for the first time since 2010 and winning on Senior Day for the first time since 2011. We ended up finishing in a tie for fifth in the conference, which is our highest conference finish since the 2008-2009 season. Now we get to build on that momentum as we head to the MCAC Tournament next weekend."
It was tight throughout. The game was tied at 69-all before Central scored the last five points.
Spence scored 13 points, Ciara Costello came off the bench with her best game of the year with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and MacKenzie Woods chipped in with 10.
Mackenzie Gott scored 23 for Waldorf and Connor Thompson scored 20.
CCC (74) — Woods 10, Regier 5, Void 4, Spence 13, Smit 8, Young 4, Garza 2, Costello 11, Campa 5, Shaw 8, O’Brine 4.
Waldorf (69) — Quins 4, Gott 23, Thompson 20, Robinson 9, Nelsen 3, Denholm 4, Schmit 6.