As the clock ran down against Maranatha on Thursday in the quarterfinal of the NCCAA D-II Midwest Regional tournament, the Crusaders may have played the best three minutes of basketball that they played all season.
Unfortunately, in the words of George Brown, they probably needed four.
The Lakes fell short, 84-80, after rallying from a 15-point deficit with only three minutes remaining. This defeat means that GLCC are eliminated from the tournament (won by #1 seed Northland on Saturday), and that their season is over.
Kyle Downing led the team with 23 points, while Devlin Jefferson and Maurice Jordan contributed 19 and 15 respectively. Jordan also led the team in rebounds with ten, and Troy Aubrey had an outstanding 13 assists, the highest for any Crusader this season.
"It's disappointing," said head coach John Piercefield, "we wanted to win at least one game at regionals this year." Then he added with a smile, "at least there's always next year."
This season wasn't an easy one, as the team didn't win a game in the fall semester. Following the break, however, an influx of new talent and a rejuvenation of spirit saw the Crusaders win some impressive games against IU-Northwest, Valley Forge, and conference foe Moody Bible Institute to earn themselves the #5 seed in the conference.
Great Lakes will host the 2014 regional tournament at the Doty Center in a year's time.
The basketball season will pick up again this October; you can find the schedule here at glcc.edu as soon as it becomes available.
Author's Postscript: I want to thank everyone who helped me write the blog for soccer and basketball this season;
Thanks to Robyn Orme for her oversight and all of her help and encouragement.
Thanks to Lloyd Shearer for getting the ball rolling on this project and helping me to realise my dream of being a sportswriter.
Thanks to Coach Piercefield for always making himself available for me all season and really supporting this project all the way.
Thanks to all the players for letting me pester (interview) them after each victory and defeat, and for providing me with great material, on and off the playing field, to write about each week.
Thanks to you, the reader. Thanks for hanging in there with us throughout the year and supporting the Crusaders through the entire season! You guys are the best!
Finally, all praise, thanks, and glory be to Jesus, who did what He did so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Keep checking back often for OFL updates, beginning today, and for offseason updates and news!
Thanks again for everything,