By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Circleville, Ohio---The No. 14 Owens Community College men's basketball team suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the Region XII District 11 championship game for the second straight year Saturday.
After seeing a 15-point second half lead slip away into a 78-all tie, Shaakir Lindsey (Teaneck/Teaneck, N.J.) missed a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left that could have given Owens the lead. After two timeouts by Lakeland Community College, Montell Goodwin hit a jumper off the glass with 1.8 seconds left for an 80-78 lead.
Owens called timeout, but Lindsey missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Darren Groves (Thurgood Marshall/Dayton, Ohio) led Owens with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Lindsey added 16, John Murry (North Central/Indianapolis, Ind.) had 14, and Kenny Jones (Clay/South Bend, Ind.) had 13 points and 15 rebounds. Austin Somerfield (Greenville/Greenville, Mich.) also added 10 points and six rebounds.
Goodwin led Lakeland with 22 points, nine assists, six rebounds and six steals. Rasheed Howard and Mike Davis each added 18 points, while Cristen Wilson finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Owens finishes the season with a 25-7 record, while Lakeland (24-6) advances to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Danville, Ill. March 17-21. It is their first trip to nationals since the 2011-12 season, while Owens and Lakeland have met for the district title three of the past four seasons.
Saturday's loss marked the second straight year Owens has lost in heartbreaking fashion just one game away from playing in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. In last year's title game, Cincinnati State's Winston Grays hit a jumper with no time remaining to give Owens a one point loss.