In a story that has repeated numerous times through the past decade, the North Central Missouri College men met the rival Penn Valley Scouts in the Region 16 semifinals on Friday night, and the fourth-seeded Pirates led at halftime. However, the postseason slump for North Central continues, as Penn Valley rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat NCMC 82-78, in a game from Kansas City broadcast on Hot Country Z 101.7 and www.kgozfm.com.
Penn Valley did not take the lead until there were 2:30 left in the second half, and the Pirates only took back the lead once after that (with 1:00 to play). Two late game turnovers, with North Central having a chance to take the lead on both possessions, were especially damaging to the Pirates' upset bid.
In his final game in an NCMC uniform, redshirt sophomore Marshon Norfleet played spectacular basketball, scoring 30 points. Eric McDaniel, also playing his final game for the Pirates, scored 22. For Penn Valley, John Brown netted 22 points, Brandon Shively 19, and Derrick Williams 19 points.
The loss ends North Central's basketball season at 12-14, while Penn Valley advances to Saturday's Region 16 men's championship game with a record of 19-12. The championship game, from the Penn Valley campus in Kansas City, is slated for 2 o'clock on Saturday afternoon. That game was won by Penn Valley, over St. Louis, by a score of 86-64, moving the Scouts one win short of the national tournament in Illinois.
NCMC men named All-Region 16 first team before this weekend's tournament were sophomores Marshon Norfleet and Eric McDaniel. Fellow sophomores Darreon Parker and Reggie Maxwell earned Region 16-honorable mention status.