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David Edole

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Castillo and motlow fall, Castillo named first team - Mar 6, 2019

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Leonardo Castillo (193-F) and the Motlow State Community College Bucks basketball team saw its dream of a three-peat as TCCAA/Region VII Tournament champions end Saturday night in Cleveland with a 92-76 loss to Cleveland State in the tournament's opening round. Castillo led the Bucks in scoring with 18 points while also pulling down five rebounds, dishing out seven assists, and grabbing two steals.

Motlow finished the 2018-19 season with an 18-11 overall record and a 14-4 conference mark. The 18 wins was the fewest for the program since 2014, and only the fourth time in the past dozen years the Bucks have failed to win at least 20 games.

The Bucks entered the tournament as two-time defending champions, having won in both 2017 and 2018 and representing the conference at the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas. It is the only back-to-back championships in the history of Motlow State men's or women's athletics.

However, after losing all five members of the starting lineup to graduation, as well as several key reserves, second-year head coach Arthur Latham had to rebuild his roster. Although the Bucks had another solid season, finishing tied for first place in the conference standings during the regular season, another tournament run was just not in the cards. It didn't help that the Bucks had to play the home team in the tournament's opening round.

Although Cleveland State entered this year's tournament as the No. 7 seed with an 11-15 record, they followed their win over Motlow and advanced to the championship game against Roane State, the No. 8 seed, which Cleveland State won 70-58. The Cougars will represent the region at the national tournament.

Motlow led the Cougars 34-31 after one half of play Saturday night, but the home team stormed back and outscored the Bucks 61-42 after intermission. Cleveland State won the rebounding battle 36-30, forced Motlow into 17 turnovers, and dished out 20 assists on 28 made baskets. The two teams were almost identical in their shooting percentages, but the Bucks had only 12 assists on 29 made baskets and got to the free throw line only 14 times, while the Cougars hit 26-38 free throws.

The Bucks averaged 82 points, 48.6 rebounds and 16.7 assists per game during the season. They shot 44.5 percent from the field, including 33.1 percent from three-point range, and hit 68.5 percent of their free throws. They finished with an 8-3 record at home, 10-5 on the road, and 0-3 on neutral courts.

Castillo was named first team All-TCCAA after posting 9.7 points and 3.9 assists per game.   

Pan American Games Draw LIMA, PERU - 1 day ago
FIBA held the draw for groups for men's basketball of the Pan American Games in Lima 2019, leaving the Virgin Islands in group A with Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the United States. A select team of men's basketball standouts from the BIG EAST Conference will represent the United States at the 2019 Pan American Game while Puerto Rico will be sending their B team as their A team is set to play in the World Games. While Group B consists of Dominican Republic, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico. Pa...   [read more]

Claxton: I would love to play with UGA's incoming class - 3 days ago
By CHANCE LINTON Georgia forward Nicolas Claxton (211-SF-99) was on hand in Chicago last week for the 2019 NBA Draft Combine, but he's facing a major decision in the coming week. Claxton declared for the NBA Draft following a breakout sophomore season, but he still hasn't made a final decision on whether to return to Georgia for his junior year. The deadline for him to withdraw from the draft and retain his college eligibility is May 29. Ahead of the NBA Combine, he sat down with Draft...   [read more]

NBA Draft Combine Notebook: Nicolas Claxton Displays Versatility - 6 days ago
CHICAGO - The on-court portion of the draft combine wrapped up on Friday, with two more scrimmages giving prospects a chance to perform in front of the entire league. As a whole, five-on-five play was heavily watered down this year as a vast majority of potential first-round picks opted not to play, aiming to protect their draft stock. Regardless, there were a number of intriguing players who benefited this week. There were also some guys who struggled. Some of the more noteworthy perform...   [read more]

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