NCMC men lose second half lead, fall in Region 16 semifinals, 96-90 to St. Louis

North Central Missouri College, in Friday night’s Region 16 semifinals in Joplin, was in position to end a long postseason drought, leading #2 seed St. Louis at halftime, 41-35.  However, the Archers blitzed the nets at Ozark Christian College in Joplin after the break, scoring 61 points and rallying for a 96-90 win over the Pirates, ending NCMC’s season with a mark of 13-15.

In his final game as a Pirate, sophomore Terrance Bush had 28 points and 18 rebounds (including 16 of 17 from the foul line).  Demetrius Houston had 10 points for the Pirates, while the North Central bench was superb, outscoring St. Louis 32-7 in the contest, as D’Tavian Walker had 15 points and 8 rebounds, while Major Finley had 14 points.

The Pirates struggled to slow down the Archers potent offense, while North Central was outscored 46-36 in the paint by St. Louis.  Sean Rigmaiden hurt NCMC from the foul line, hitting 16 of 18 from the stripe as part of a 25 point outing.  Nate Rigmaiden had 20 points, with Marcel Lee 23 for St. Louis, now 12-17 on the season.  DaVante Harrell had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

In Friday night’s other semifinal, #1 seed Penn Valley pounded Wentworth, 107-71.  Penn Valley beat St. Louis in Saturday night’s title tilt, 94-73.  \

The Region 16 Division 1 men’s champion is Moberly, as the #4 seed Greyhounds beat West Plains in the first round, 80-76, #1 Three Rivers in Thursday’s semifinals, 85-68, and State Fair in Saturday’s title game, 92-81.