(Sugar Grove, IL) – Waubonsee Community College's men's basketball team opened play in the Region IV Division II District 3 Tournament with an 83-72 win over Illinois Valley Community College. The fourth-seeded Chiefs (19-12) only trailed once early in the game (11-8) on their way to knocking off the fifth-seeded Eagles (12-19). Waubonsee now advances to a semi-final match-up this coming Sunday, March 1 versus top-seeded and number one ranked Milwaukee Area (WI) Technical College (MATC). The team are set to tip-off at noon at Illinois Valley in Oglesby. The winner will move on to the title game which is scheduled for Saturday, March 7 beginning at 4:00 p.m. at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills.
The Stormers' (29-1) lone loss this season came to Waubonsee 93-90 on the Chiefs' court back in mid-December. As a matter of fact, the Chiefs also own a win over the other top seed in the Region IV Division II Tournament, knocking off Moraine Valley (24-6) back on Jan. 9 in Palos Hills 92-78. MATC has been the top-ranked NJCAA Division II team in the country the last two weeks, and were ranked second the previous five weeks and have been listed in the top-10 nationally all season.
In their win over the Eagles, Waubonsee got off to a quick start. A 15-foot jumper by Courtney Fields, a three-pointer in the right corner by Asa Williams and another trey by D.J. Ellis staked the Chiefs to an 8-3 barely a minute into the contest. Midway through the first half Waubonsee took a 24-18 lead on a three-pointer by Cam Irvin from the right wing. Illinois Valley battled back and tied it at 32-all on a long three-pointer by Tyler Rodgers with 5:30 left in the period. However, neither team could score during the next two and a half minutes of play as the hot shooting hands on each side began to cool off. A pair of free throws by Ellis with a minute remaining sent Waubonsee to the locker room with a slim 40-38 lead.
The Chiefs again got off to a quick start to begin the second half. A trey from Williams and a running one-hander by Simeon Strauss in traffic put Waubonsee in front 45-38 just a minute and a half after play resumed. Midway through the half Cory Adams Jr. scored off a nice feed from Irvin to push the Chiefs advantage to double digits at 62-52. Waubonsee then extended its lead to 16 points at 70-54 when Caleb Siler made a back cut past his defender and scored on a lay-in with eight minutes to go. The Eagles got within 10 points with 3:30 remaining, but never came any closer the rest of the way.
Ellis paced Waubonsee with 16 points, nine boards, six assists and four steals. Fields added 15 points and five assists, while Siler also booked 15 points. Adams finished with 11 points and four assists, and Williams chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds. Illinois Valley's Rodgers led all scorers with 22 points. For more information regarding the Region IV Tournament, go on-line to www.Region4Sports.com.