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Men’s basketball and women's volleyball teams honored at Board of Trustees meeting

Student News | Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Columbus State Cougars men’s basketball team just wrapped up its most successful season since transitioning in 2016 into Div. III in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). After an upset victory over a No. 5 seed to win the District championship, the unranked Cougars then won an automatic bid to the national tournament.

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Held in Loch Sheldrake, New York March 15, 16 and 17, the team was seeded No. 5 and immediately advanced to the Final Four after defeating No. 4 Herkimer College 91-76 in the first-round.

“I knew coming into the season it was a talented team but I didn’t know how soon we would gel,” said Head Coach Ed Thompson. “I always tell Athletic Director Scott Nichols to give us the toughest schedule possible because it prepares you and helps you once you get to the big tournaments.” (The Cougars faced a number of Div. II teams throughout the season.)

In the first Final Four game, Columbus State lost to No. 1 Brookdale Community College. That set them up for the final game to determine the 3rd and 4th place teams the following night. The Cougars ended up in 3rd with a win over Montgomery College 97-87.

Forward Mario Young of Mansfield, who ended the season as the third highest scorer in Columbus State history with 1,008 points, says the team pulled together early in the season to make a run toward the nationals. “The turning point was in game three after our first loss. We didn’t like the feeling of losing and we got it together right then,” said Young. He will graduate summer semester with a degree in Sports and Exercise studies and says he plans to transfer to a four-year institution.

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Nichols said this season provides a preview for coming years. “These student athletes in Div. III do not receive sports scholarships. They’re here to play because they love the game. We provide academic support services to make them successful on the court, and off.”

The women’s volleyball players were also recognized by the Board of Trustees Thursday night for their success earlier in the academic year. The Cougars closed out the 2017 season with a 19-12 record and a fourth-place finish in the NJCAA Div. III national championship tournament in Rochester, Minnesota in November.







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