Heading into the NJCAA National Tournament, the Red Ravens were sporting 17 game winning streak and winning the NJCAA Region VI Tournament. The team was primed and ready to continue their march towards their goal.
However, Connors State of Oklahoma had different views.
Known for their stifling defense, the Red Ravens were met with hard luck as Connors hit 56.6 percent of their shots, going 30/53 and 11/21 from behind the three point line. It wasn't as if the Red Ravnes were leaving the shooters open or leaving the lane open for easy baskets, they were simply met with a team that had an extremely hot hand.
In his final game as a Red Raven, sophomore point guard Travis Washington once again displayed his talents for the entire country to see. The President posted 18 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds while going 5/12 from the field. The Region VI Tournament MVP played at an extremely high level, however, uncharacteristically had 4 turnovers.
Freshmen Casey Benton and Marvin Johnson also continued their freshman campaign at a torrid pace. The freshmen posted 22/3/2/2 (points, rebounds, assists, steals) and 18/4/5/2 respectively. Johnson also added 2 blocks.
Joshua Hill also continued his grittiness as he totaled 4 points and pulled in 10 rebounds.
Facing a 2 week layoff between Region VI championship game and this game, people could use the excuse of rust for the outcome of the game. However, you wouldn't hear that excuse from the Jay Herkelman lead team. Each one of the players and coaches expected to come out on top and advance to the next round of the tournament. Each member of the program put in the work during the layover.
The team simply ran into a hot hand team. The 2017-2018 team was an exciting one to watch and with the performances of the sophomore class that taught an extremely talented freshman class how to play and compete, the Red Ravens look to continue the programs rich history and culture.