ACC loses conference title, still makes playoffs

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Sports

February 26, 2015 - 12:00 AM

With the Jayhawk East Conference title on the line, hot heads emerged toward the end of Allen Community Colleges men’s basketball game on Wednesday night. The Red Devils lost to Coffeyville 87-68. The win secured Coffeyville the conference title.
“They were just a better team tonight,” coach Andy Shaw said. “We got them at their place and they got us here. They’re a good team, but tonight it went their way.”
Allen never had the lead in the game. The score was tied 11-11 about halfway through the first half. Then, Coffeyville went on an 8-0 run and had a 19-11 lead with seven minutes to go.
The Red Devils stayed in the game for the rest of the first half, by getting to the foul line and scoring with the clock stopped. Allen was 8-12 from the charity line in the first half. The last basket came from ACC’s Jordan Nanton on a layup with 35 seconds left. The Red Devils trailed 31-22 at halftime.
In the second half, Allen’s Jermaine Long got the Red Devil offense off on the right foot by nailing a 3-pointer. Coffeyville quickly erased it. The Ravens went on a 10-2 run and had a 41-27 lead with 17:45 left. Coffeyville kept the double-digit lead the rest of the way.
With about six minutes left, Coffeyville extended its lead to 20 points. That’s when the game started to get a little dicey as Allen realized the conference title was out of reach. A few technical fouls were called on ACC, but coach Shaw talked his team down.
“There’s a lot on the line with the guys competing for conference. The game got kind of out of hand, they pushed the lead to 20 and emotions flared a little bit,” Shaw said. “I refocused the guys and told them, ‘We’ve still got a lot to play for,’ and that calmed them back down. It was an emotional game, I knew it was going to be.”
There wasn’t a lot to cheer for in the game, but the fans were on their feet toward the end as Shaw took the sophomore’s out one-by one. As each sophomore was taken out, they embraced their coaches and got rousing applause from the home crowd. The student section chanted each player’s first name when they came off the court. This was the last game the sophomores played at the home building since they have a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Sophomore’s Courtney Stockard, Josh Sweet, Jordan Nanton and John Cornett still have the playoffs to look forward too.
Coffeyville and Allen’s statistics were pretty even. ACC out-rebounded the Ravens 35-30. Coffeyville had 10 turnovers to Allen’s 15. There was one glaring difference in the game and that was Coffeyville’s Darrion Strong.
“He kind of put his team on his back and led the way for them. He had 36 points, he’s a very talented player and came out tonight,” Shaw said. “Right from the get go, he had the first points of the night. I give credit to him, he stepped up. Outside of him, we did pretty good defending — but, again he had 36.”
Stockard posted a team-high 20 points and also grabbed nine rebounds in his final home game. Long followed with 13 points. Darnell Jones-Bowie scored nine points, while Nanton and Sweet each scored seven points. Darius Redrick scored six points and Cornett added five.
Although the Red Devils didn’t win their conference, they did win Region VI. Their next game will be at Koch Arena in Wichita on March 5.

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