The North Central Missouri College Pirates were able to play their style of basketball, namely a grinding, tough defensive effort combined with timely offense, and in the process picked up their biggest win of the basketball season on Saturday, 64-61 over the visiting St. Louis Archers. Redshirt sophomore Marshon Norfleet scored 20 points in the victory, including the game-winning basket and free throw with 2.5 seconds remaining in the second half. Tom Johnson had the play-by-play call:
Click here to listen to Marshon Norfleet's game-winning basket vs. St. Louis
NCMC men's coach Steve Richman described the game-winning play:
Click here to listen to NCMC Pirates coach Steve Richman
Other double figure scorers for North Central were Reggie Maxwell (with 14) and Tyler Peterson (with 13). The win improves NCMC's season record to 8-8, and more importantly, gives the Pirates a 1-1 Region 16 mark, going into a critical Wednesday night test against a Penn Valley squad that beat North Central in Kansas City on January 9th.
St. Louis, with the loss, is now on a three-game losing streak, and falls to a still-impressive 17-5 season record. Nick Lawshe led the Archers with 11 points, matched by 11 from Kuna Lahai-Pumagoi, and 10 from Jaret Jones.
The women's game was every bit as dramatic as the men's game, but just as disappointing for the Lady Pirates as euphoric for the men, with St. Louis outlasting North Central in a double overtime marathon, 83-82. Both teams had three players foul out of the contest, a fact that likely challenged the Lady Pirates roster more adversly, as NCMC played nine players, and of the three players disqualified during overtime, all three were starters (Kelsey Griffin, Lexi Hope, and Amanda Rodenberg).
Mysti Williams played a strong interior game for NCMC, particularly in the late stages of the second overtime, and finished with points for the Lady Pirates, however her afternoon was outdone by St. Louis freshman guard Kalah Martin, who would gush North Central for 29 points, including the game-winning shot with 5 seconds remaining in the second extra session.
Lady Pirates head coach Jenni Croy says a slow start, that saw North Central's offense remain in single digits well over halfway through the first half, is a problem her team will need to fix:
Click here to listen to NCMC Lady Pirates coach Jenni Croy
St. Louis, now 11-5 overall and 1-1 in Region 16 play, received, in addition to Martin's 29, 19 points from Chanese Washington, 11 from Lauren Maclin, and 10 points from Chanel Williams. North Central, in falling to 8-11 overall, and 0-2 in Region 16 play, had the 27 points from Mysti Williams, 17 each from Lexi Hope and Samone Redditt, and 10 points each from Kelsey Griffin and Amanda Rodenberg.
Saturday's games were broadcast on Hot Country Z 101.7 and 'Internet TV' on www.kgozfm.com. The Pirates will travel to St. Louis to play the Archers on Saturday, February 16th (women at 1 o'clock and men at 3 o'clock). North Central's games at the Ketcham Community Center this Wednesday night, January 23rd against Penn Valley will also be broadcast on Hot Country Z 101.7 and 'Internet TV', with pregame at 5:15, women's tip at 5:30, and men at 7:30. The women's game will be of critical importance for NCMC, to avoid falling to 0-3 over the eight-game regular season Region 16 schedule, which decides seeds for the post-season tournament in Sedalia (involving NCMC, St. Louis, Cottey, Wentworth, and Penn Valley).