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Archers Look to Maintain Momentum in NJCAA Tourney
March 17, 2014
|Sean Robinson enters the NJCAA Tournament averaging
10.2 points per game.
After concluding the regular season by winning two of their final five games, the St. Louis Community College men’s basketball team has certainly maximized its postseason opportunity.
The Archers shook off that late-season slump to win four consecutive games, including three in the postseason, to earn the first NJCAA berth by an STLCC men’s team since moving to a districtwide athletics program in 2011.
For head coach Randy Reed, who is in his first season as a head coach at the collegiate level, the formula to success at his new venue was in part a result of returning to many of his older coaching methods.
“I just went back to my McCluer North roots, and how I prepared my team for all those district and state championship runs,” Reed said. “We just went back to the basics and the kids kind of bought into it, and it worked out well for us. It’s a big challenge, but one thing about me—I’m a fast learner. I pick up things really fast, and I love basketball and teaching it. By the end of the year, I learned from some of my mistakes. I just went back to my basics. The kids believed and it worked out well for us.”
The Archers (20-10) will look to reignite the momentum that carried them through the Region XVI and District XIII playoffs when they take on third-seeded Des Moines Area Community College tomorrow, who enters the tournament with a record of 28-5. The game tips off at 1 p.m. in Danville, Ill., and will be broadcast live on http://www.ihigh.com/njcaatv/index.html.
With more than a week since their last game, Reed conceded maintaining that momentum can be a challenge.
“It’s been kind of hard, but you just keep your eye on the prize and keep telling them that this is the chance of a lifetime,” Reed said. “You may never get a chance like this to play for something this big again, and you just keep that focus over your head, to make history and make something big.”
Despite the layoff, Des Moines Area will still have to contend with a multi-pronged offensive attack from STLCC, as the Archers have ranked among national leaders all year in scoring, currently averaging 86 points per game. The Archers’ attack is led by Randy Reed II, son of the Archers’ head coach, who leads the team with 21.6 points per game. He’s followed by sophomore guard Cortez Connors, who has poured in 16.3 points per contest. Guard Sean Robinson saw his role increase throughout the season, and enters the NJCAA Tournament averaging 10.2 points per game.
Each of the Archers’ players will be appearing in his first national tournament game, though Coach Reed doesn’t anticipate that playing much of a factor.
“It’s just a great opportunity for everybody,” Reed said. “After the first three or four minutes, the nerves usually go away. Both teams will be a little nervous, but it’s just a great opportunity for all the young men. Everyone will be excited.”