The Parkland College Men's Basketball team, now the NJCAA Division II Central District champions, moves on to a Sweet 16 berth at the national tournament later this month.
With a win this weekend against No. 1 seed John Wood Community College on its own home court, Parkland moves on to the NJCAA DII Men's Basketball National Championship, which takes place March 17–21 at the Mary Miller Center in Danville. The brackets for the tournament are yet to be determined. Specific game dates and times for Parkland will be announced when they become available.
Parkland (23-7) came in to postseason play as the No. 3 seed in the district (which includes all of Region 24). After knocking off No. 2 seed Danville Area Community College, the Cobras upset their second opponent, John Wood, in as many days to win the championship, with a final score of 76-5.
The Cobras will join 15 other district champions at the national tournament, its ninth appearance at the event and its third appearance in the past five seasons.
Parkland was in control of the district championship game from the start, taking a 34-26 lead into halftime. With just under 13 minutes remaining in the game, John Wood closed to within four, at 46-42. The Cobras then went on a 13-0 run, and from that point on the Blazers could get no closer than 11 points.
"We were really locked-in the last three games," Head Coach Anthony Figueroa said. "Everybody was on the same page. Today we were a little lucky, which you have to be, that John Wood was missing some shots they normally make. We are really proud of our guys and excited they get to experience the national tournament!"
Parkland shot 53 percent from the field, including 44 percent from 3-point range. John Wood was held to 31-percent shooting for the game, a key to the Cobras’ victory. Carter Jeffries (31 points, 3 assists) led the scoring for the Cobras, making six 3-pointers. Bruno Williams Jr. (14 points, 6 rebounds) was also strong on the offensive end and in the paint. Joey Saracco (8 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block) and Charles Campbell Jr. (8 points, 7 rebounds) helped Parkland collect 33 rebounds.