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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.   

NBA-G LEAGUE results - 12 hours ago
The Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (26-22) put themselves in position to secure the final playoff spot after their 115-105 win over the Greensboro Swarm (23-25) on Tuesday night. Desi Rodriguez(198-F-96, college: Seton Hall) had 19 points and eight rebounds. With the Salt Lake City Stars (26-23) loss earlier in the night, Agua Caliente moves into sole possession of the Western Conference's sixth and final playoff spot with a chance to control their own destiny. The Clippers clinch a...   [read more]

Willett MVP/ Asadullah wins in NIT - 12 hours ago
There would be no comeback this time. Shaun Willett (193-F) saw to that. Willett's 33-point performance led top-seeded Queens over second seed Augusta 91-78 Tuesday night, giving the Royals their second straight NCAA Division II Southeast Regional championship. The victory sends the Royals (31-4) to the Elite 8, set for March 27-30 in Evansville, Ind. Queens reached the national semifinals a year ago. Augusta (28-6), the Peach Belt Conference champion, had come from behind in both the...   [read more]

Willett vs. Arnold - 1 day ago
The top two seeds of the Southeast Regional Championship Game of the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship are set to do battle this evening. Shaun Willett (193-F) and Queens University (30-4, 19-1 SAC) seeks a second consecutive regional title while Miguel Arnold (180-PG) and No.16 Augusta University (28-5, 19-3 PBC) is riding an 16 game winning streak. The winner of Tuesday's matchup at 7pm will advance to the Elite Eight which begins on March 27, in Evansville, Indiana. HOW TO...   [read more]

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