For the first time in 10 years, both the Owens Community College men and women will be heading to the national tournament.
The Express found nothing but good news in the Division II district championships as the women defeated Cincinnati State Technical & Community College 69-65 on Saturday while the men notched a 99-84 win over Lakeland Community College. It marked the first time both teams reached the national tournament since the 2002-03 season. Both the men’s and women’s national tournaments will be March 19-23.
The women’s championship in the District I final was their first since the 2003-04 season.
Mackenzie Heacock was named the District I tournament MVP. She scored 24 points including the go-ahead basket late to go with seven rebounds.
The Express sealed their win on Breonna House’s free throw with four seconds left in the game.
Karahn Scott, a Scott High School graduate, had 17 points for Owens (25-7) while Uniqua Mitchell had 10 points.
Owens will discover its national tournament opponent this week. The tournament will feature the top 16 women’s teams and will be held in Peoria, Ill.
The Owens men were led by District II tournament MVP James Kelly who had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Joe Retic added 20 points and six assists, Andy Bauchman had 14 points, and both Tony Boykins and Franklin Lindsey, a Whitmer graduate, had 13 points.
Owens (24-8) shot 50 percent (15 of 30) from beyond the 3-point arc and 52 percent overall (34 of 65).
The Express led by seven at halftime and by as many as 15 in the second half. When Lakeland managed to trim Owens’ lead to three points, Central Catholic graduate Jay Marquette hit a key 3-pointer which ignited an Owens run and put the game away.
The Owens men will play in Danville, Ill. against an opponent yet to be decided.