Mavs through to title game with defeat of Central Lakes

MINNEAPOLIS (Feb. 27) — He may not had the most points on the team, but Freddie Burton came through in the clutch to lift the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Mavericks over the Central Lakes College Raiders by a 69-63 in MCAC men’s basketball tournament action today in Bowman Hall.

Tied 63-63 in overtime, Burton (Fr., Minneapolis, Minn.) hit six straight free-throws for the win. This was only after Central Lakes came back from a 22-point deficit early in the second quarter. The Raiders outscored the Mavericks 39-23 in the second half to send the game into overtime.

Minneapolis — the fifth-ranked team in NJCAA Div. III — was led by 25 points, including seven three-pointers, from Michael Welsh (So., Minneapolis, Minn.), who also had two assists and a steal. Mavs leading scorer Kenny Olafeso (Fr., Minneapolis, Minn.) contributed 15 points, five rebounds, three assists, a blocked shot and two steals.

Central Lakes — the eighth-ranked team in NJCAA Div. III — was led by 16 points off the bench from Nash Faulk (Fr., Howard Lake, Minn.), who also had five rebounds and four steals. Eric Peeters (So., New York Mills, Minn.) and Nick Grewe (Fr., Bertha-Hewitt, Minn.) each had ten points and five rebounds.

The Mavericks had key contributions from Peter Olafeso (So., St. Paul, Minn.) and Ronald Kelly, Jr. (So., St. Paul, Minn.). Olafeso had 13 points and 9 rebounds. Kelly, Jr. had five rebounds and three assists.

The Pioneers’ Marcus Alaya (Fr., Phoenix, Ariz.) — the nation’s fifth-leading scorer — had nine points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals. Yasin Jama (Fr., Minneapolis, Minn.) had eight points, five rebounds, and a steal.

Rochester defeats Northland

In the day’s first semifinal between Rochester Community and Technical College and Northland Community and Technical College ended even closer than the MCTC-Central Lakes game, with Rochester prevailing 77-73.

For Rochester, Shiron Williams (Fr., Bangor, Mich.) had 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. David Fritsch (Fr., Stewartville, Minn.) had 14 points. Joe Conway (Fr., Winona, Minn.) had 13 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, two blocked shots and a steal. Demetrius Williams (So., St. Paul, Minn.) had 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists and 3 steals.

For Northland, Marco Richardson (So., Canton, Ohio) had 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Terrell Lipkins (Fr., Canton, Ohio) had 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. Seth Akason (Fr., St. Francis, Minn.) had ten points.

Rochester and Minneapolis meet Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Women advance to title game with Anoka Ramsey

In MCAC women’s tournament action, Minneapolis had advanced to the title game, where they will play Anoka Ramsey at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. The tournament is being held in Thief River Falls, Minn. To reach the title, MCTC defeated Northland 71-40 in the quarterfinals and Minnesota West 70-64 in the semifinals.

In the victory over Minnesota West, the Mavericks overcame a seven-point deficit. Brianna Blackhawk (So., Brooklyn Center, Minn.) had 19 points and nine boards. Natalye Horne had 12 points and ten rebounds.