The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

March 22, 2014

Bears block Raiders in semifinal

Phoenix College to face Essex County in championship game

(Continued)

"We thought they were going to go with the alley-oop to the big guy (Riak Bol), so we just stayed at home, contest everything, switch everything and tallk as a team,'' Brown said. "They rolled (Criswell) for an open shot, but we were sitting right there, waiting on him. We knew he was the go-to guy.''

So Hollins instead got the ball inbounds to Bol, about 10 feet from the basket. Hollins then came off the baseline, grabbed the ball from Bol and tried a 12-footer jumper from the left wing. Phoenix College had two defenders right here and one of them came up with the block.

"They are tough. What do you do on an out-of-bounds play when they switch everything,'' Central Community College coach Marty Levinson said. "We did a little screen the screener. We hadn't shown that action before.

"The only thing that I'm biting myself in the butt about, maybe I wish I had put TC (Criswell) in Riak's position as the guy that set the screen and opened up. A lot of times when people switch there is a window right there. Riak got it. but Tra-Deon came back in, and said, "give me the ball.' He went up and they blocked it.''

Surviving those final seconds was just part of what the Bears did on Friday night. Phoenix College, which led by as much 12 in the first half, had the lead for 37 of the game's first 38 minutes.

"Coach kept telling us that they were going to make their run and they made it,'' Brown said. "We managed to stick together as a team and fight back.''

And that's what Phoenix had to do after Criswell gave Central Community College a 70-68 lead with three-point play with 2:05 left in the contest.

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NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014


Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here: http://smu.gs/1iCWKnP

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