The Reuben Davis Blog: SCC Flyers, 2012 NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball National Champions
Blog: The Reuben Davis Blog
March 26, 2012
Wow, I don't know what to say that hasn't been said already, but how about those Sandhills Community College Flyers, 2012 NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball National Champions. But, hey, what a wild ride! A few folks did want to hear what I had to say anyway, so here goes ...
First off, I need to apologize to Ron Layne, for my nitpicking criticism of his article celebrating the Flyers' title win. Yes, there were some things I had to point out in terms of facts, names, acronyms, etc., but, his article was very much filled with a joyous, championship winning spirit that made any kind of errors seem very small and not too important.
Of course, I was back here in Moore County watching the games online, and updating folks via Facebook and thepilot.com on Sandhills on their journey to Loch Sheldrake, New York in their hunt for a national championship. I did all I could to let the TV stations know all about Sandhills' championship journey. Sandhills winning a NJCAA men's basketball title was a first for the state of North Carolina.
Back when the season started in November, I don't think anyone expected the Flyers to make it this far. I'm not sure if even the Flyers teams themselves expected it back then.
SCC starts out the season strong with twelve straight wins, but somewhere from mid-December to early February, the Flyers were only 7-6, and this did include a three game losing streak. But, in February at Wytheville Community College in Wytheville, Va., things stated to gel, as this was the beginning of an eleven game win streak and the wild ride to a national championship. I felt that when SCC handily beat Davidson County Community College for the Region X championship, there was a feeling that this team could do something very special.
The Flyers got through two games defeating Anne Arundel CC and Prince George's CC, both from Maryland, for the District 7 title, thus, the trip to Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, NY for a shot at a national championship.
In the semifinal game versus Bronx CC of New York was even more nerve wracking as SCC had an 18 point lead only to see the Broncos (I think Bombers would have been a more appropriate mascot) come back and put the game in overtime. In the overtime, the last 1.8 seconds were crazy as Bronx CC inbounded the basketball, the ball touches a player or two to only go out-of-bounds though no time went off the clock. Then, the refs decided to take off one second, and let Bronx CC have another shot of winning the game. It kind of looked like there was a goaltending call on the Flyers, but fortunately, the ball was swatted down by a SCC player after the ball bounced off the rim. Time then expires, and the Flyers get an opportunity to play for a national championship.
In the championship game, the Flyers basically took care of business defeating Cedar Valley Community College from Texas, and brought the NJCAA Division III Men's basketball title to North Carolina for all of Moore and Hoke counties (can't forget the Hoke folks since they are a part of Sandhills' service area) to enjoy.
As a Sandhills Community College alumnus and current employee, I am hoping that this national title will lead to bigger and better things in athletics for SCC, perhaps a new spectator gym with a college sized regulation floor, as well more sports (women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's and women's soccer) and other new facilities for athletics. Hopefully, the Sandhills area will take notice of this grand accomplishment and definitely support Flyers athletics in terms of fan and financial support. I am also hoping that this national championship win will bring more people to the college for its strong academic curriculum as well as continuing education programs.
Head basketball coach Mike Apple could not guarantee another championship but he did guarantee that Sandhills will continue to stay on the basketball map. And I don't think anyone can expect anything less than that.