WILBURTON — Eastern Oklahoma State College is headed to the NJCAA National Tournament for the second straight year after claiming back-to-back Region 2 Championships.
The Mountaineers played a four-game stretch March 4-9 and defeated Connors State College, 98-88, in the finals on Saturday to win their second straight Region 2 Tournament.
“In some ways it’s been a tough year because we were brand new. We came and won this last year with almost all sophomores. This team was a work in progress,” said Scott Edgar, head men’s basketball coach. “I’m honored and blessed and I’m happy for all our guys. Not many people get the chance to go to the national tournament once and we get to do it two straight years. Hopefully, we can win and survive and advance. That’s what tournament play is about.”
Although the tournament brackets have not yet been announced, Eastern will likely play its first game of the NJCAA National Tournament on Monday in Hutchinson Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kan. Last year, the Mountaineers finished fourth in the national tournament.
Sophomore Rod Lewis was named the Region 2 Tournament’s Most Valuable Player and freshman Alfonzie Wilson was named to the All-Tournament Team. Both players are from Memphis, Tenn.
During the regional tournament, the Mountaineers defeated Redlands Community College 89-73 in the first round on March 4 and Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa 77-68 in the second round on March 6. Eastern then defeated Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College 92-68 in the semi-finals on Friday.
The Mountaineers are now 19-15 overall.