Road to the National Championship
Way back in November 2011, Sandhills Community College started the journey that culminated in a national championship won in New York last weekend. What follows is a brief look at some of the highlights of the Flyers 30-6 season.
SCC Flyers: National Champions
Action from the Flyers 85-84 overtime victory against the Bronx CC Broncos in the semifinals, as well as their 101-86 "Perfect Storm" victory in the NJCAA Division III title tilt over Cedar Valley. SCC's Daquain Towns was named tournament MVP, while Mike Apple was honored as the event’s top coach. Photos by Donna Ford.
Nov. 2 — The Flyers open their fourth season of basketball, and first under coach Mike Apple, with a 91- 82 victory at Wake Tech. Daquain Towns leads the Flyers with 25 points.
Dec. 10 — The Flyers rise to No. 2 in the nation (NJCAA Division III media poll) after improving to 12-0 with a 107-84 win over Rockingham CC.
Dec. 13 — The win streak is snapped by the first of two losses to Louisburg College. The Hurricanes, who were the only team on the schedule the Flyers didn’t defeat during the season, begin play in the Division II national tournament on Thursday in Danville, Ill.
Jan. 19 — An 81-65 home loss to Davidson CC is the Flyers’ fifth loss in the last eight games, dropping their record to 15-5.
Jan. 22 — Raheem Jolliffe scores 27 points in a 110-98 win at home over Wytheville that initiates the Flyers’ closing run of 15 wins in its final 16 games.
Feb. 8 — An 84-77 loss at Davidson all but extinguishes any Flyer hopes of repeating as Region X conference regular-season champions.
Feb. 11 — The Flyers begin an 11-game winning streak with a 104-91 victory at Wytheville, finishing in a tie for second place in the conference behind Davidson with a record of 5-3.
March 3 — Jolliffe scores 25 points off the bench, and non-starters account for 57 as the Flyers open post season play with a 94-85 win over Caldwell in the Region 10 tournament held at Rockingham CC.
March 4 — The Flyers trounce Davidson 104-82 to win the Region X tournament title and qualify for the District 7 tournament. Markell Lotharp scores 22 points and Dre Huntley adds 16, including 10-for-10 at the foul line.
March 10 — The Flyers qualify for the national championship tournament by defeating Prince George’s of Maryland 82-67 in the title game of the District 7 tournament also held at Rockingham CC. Raheem Washington leads the Flyers’ balanced attack with 15 points.
March 15 — Ranked No. 6 in the DIII poll, the Flyers first opponent at the national championship tournament held at Sullivan County CC in New York is No. 1 ranked Brookdale CC of New Jersey. The Flyers win 93-92 on a buzzer-beating coast-to-coast basket by Towns.
March 16 — The Flyers defeat Bronx CC 85-84 in another nail-biter that went into overtime to advance to the championship game.
March 17 — A 101-86 victory over Cedar Valley College of Lancaster, Texas, makes the Flyers national champions. Eleven different Flyers got into the scoring column as they took a 17-point lead at halftime. Daquain Towns was named tournament MVP and Apple was honored as the event’s top coach.
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