POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. — Central Christian College’s men, coming off an emotional double-overtime victory over Central Baptist College on Friday, simply had nothing left in the tank for Saturday’s MCAC South Division championship game against tourney host and No. 12-ranked College of the Ozarks.
The Bobcats jumped all over the Tigers in the first half to lead 52-31 and went on to a 96-66 victory. Ozarks will host North champion Bellevue on Tuesday for the MCAC Postseason Tournament title.
“They came out tonight and hit us in the chin and we did not respond,” CCC coach Tony Romero said. “I don't think we got a stop the first eight minutes of the game. It's hard to be successful when that occurs. To complicate things we didn't play too intelligent on the other end. We got outplayed in every facet of the game physically and mentally. I will take responsibility, I thought we were ready to go. It stinks. I felt we played some really bad basketball this weekend and you never want for that to happen. We want to be playing our best at the end of the season."
The Tigers, now 17-13, aren’t finished yet. Because they have dual membership in the NAIA and NCCAA, they will play in the NCCAA Division I regional March 11 at Crowley’s Ridge College, with pairings yet to be determined.
Alonzo Stafford led CCC with 15 points, while Jerome Jackson came off the bench for 11 and Michael Gholston added 10. Hard-working Chris Quincy snagged 11 rebounds.
Alex Santiago was on fire for Ozarks, making 9 of 10 shots — 5 of 5 from 3-point — and scored 26 points, while Derek Daniels added 22.
Central (66) — Stafford 15, Quincy 2, Nwosuh 8, Gholston 10, Rojas 3, Jackson 11, Burton 4, Clayborn 5, Adams 8.
Ozarks (96) — Leonard 11, Paschke 4, Daniels 22, Santiago 26, Murray 5, Young 3, Smith 2, Frazier 10, Reid 9, Selby 4.