Unfortunately for Randy Reed and the St. Louis Community College men’s basketball team, the third time was not the charm against Metropolitan Community College- Penn Valley in the Region XVI championship game.
The Archers, who had dropped their regular season finale to Penn Valley, and had an early-season loss to the Scouts wiped out due to a forfeit stemming from a pair of ineligible Penn Valley players, lost 93-84 to the same team Saturday in the regional final.
The game, which was tight throughout, was decided in the game’s final minutes. With six minutes remaining in regulation, the Archers and Scouts were knotted 70-70, but Penn Valley managed to seal the game from the free-throw line in the waning moments.
Penn Valley depended heavily on the Archers’ foul trouble throughout Saturday’s game. STLCC had four different players foul out – forwards Joe Henderson and Donald Stribbling, and guards Jeremy Verges and Devin Booker. Penn Valley connected on 33 of a whopping 46 attempts from the free-throw line. By comparison, the Archers were 12-of-17 from the charity stripe.
Stribbling scored a team-high 28 points in his final game with the Archers, before fouling out with 2:13 remaining in the contest. Henderson contributed 14 points and a team-best 15 rebounds before reaching his fifth foul with 1:32 left in regulation. In all, the Archers were whistled for 32 team fouls.
Penn Valley entered the tournament as its fourth-seeded team by virtue of a 9-21 record that was hampered by a string of mid-season forfeits. The Scouts defeated top-seeded North Central Missouri College in the regional semifinal before defeating the Archers in the championship.
One year after finishing seventh in the NJCAA Tournament, Reed and the Archers (14-16) battled through an up-and-down 2014-15 season, one that was minutes from potentially being the second consecutive regional title. Instead, this is the first Archers men’s basketball team to finish a season below .500.
Sophomore Donald Stribbling poured in 28 points in his final game in an Archers uniform, a 93-84 loss to MCC-Penn Valley in the Region XVI championship game Feb. 28.