A flawless victory
By: DJ McGuire
The St. Louis Community College Archers defeated the North Central Missouri College Pirates 64-50 in the NJCAA Division II Region 16 Semi Final. The game was held on Thursday, March 2 at Lincoln University in Jefferson City.
The game started out slowly as both teams shot very coldly and showed off some playoff jitters, but Archers Head Coach Terry Collins was very proud of his team’s defense in the game.
“We came out and played really good defense; that was our best defense of the year,” Collins said.
Archers guard, freshman Todd Simms, No. 13, who scored 14 points, said the nerves definitely affected the team.
“We got a lot of good looks. It was just nerves and the playoff jitters; everyone’s just a little bit worried about making a big play or missing a wrong shot,” Simms said.
The defense held strong for the Archers, but the offense struggled, as the Archers only led by three at the break 22-19.
The early stages of the second half remained the same as the first, until a key string of plays that changed the game completely.
At about the halfway point of the second half the Archers made several stops resulting in two straight offensive fouls for the Pirates. The Archers took advantage of these turnovers, especially on one three-pointer from Sophomore guard, No. 2, Sean Rigmaiden, who scored 10 points, grabbed eight boards and passed for four assists. This three put the Archers up by 10, making the score 38-28.
Near the end of the game the Archers took full control as Simms hit three three-pointers to seal the victory. “Taking the charge ignited us and when Todd hit a couple threes [it] got us going even more,” Collins said.
Simms knew how important this stretch was for his team as well.
“I just knew that if we wanted a championship something had to be done, I had to believe in my shots and I knocked them down,” Simms said.
The Archers never let up after the big threes and ended victorious, the final score being 64-50.
The team is very proud of their accomplishments this season, according to Collins. “Our record went up from 12 to 19 [at the time], we had a winning record on the road which is the sign of a good team,” Collins said.
Coach Collins believes this season was a great learning experience for his players. “Our young men are very fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of people that care,” Collins said.
The Archers then played Metropolitan Community College—Penn Valley Scouts for the Region 16 Final. The game was also held at Lincoln University on Saturday, March 4. The Archers emerged as Region 16 champions as they defeated the Scouts 74-63. The Archers will play at Arkansas State Mid South for the NJCAA District XIII Championship Game.