Hutchinson, KS – Behind a 26-point performance from sophomore Don McHenry (Milwaukee, WI/Hawaii-Hilo), the sixth-seeded Indian Hills Men’s Basketball team cruised to the quarterfinal round of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) DI Men’s Basketball National Tournament with an 88-68 win over Ranger College (TX).

In its tournament opener at the Hutchinson Sports Arena on Wednesday night, the Warriors built a 14-point halftime advantage before finishing off the 11th-seeded Rangers in the second half to advance as one of the final eight teams at the national tournament. The Warriors will square off with No. 3 seed Odessa College (TX), 62-56 winners over No. 14 seed Southeastern Community College earlier Wednesday night.

The win is the 28th all-time at the national tournament for the Warriors while the 20-point victory is the fifth-largest on the national stage for Indian Hills. The Warriors are making their 18th all-time appearance at the NJCAA DI Men’s Basketball National Tournament, tied for seventh-most all-time. The quarterfinal berth is the ninth such occurrence in school history for the Warriors.

Through 16 games of the opening two rounds at the 2023 national tournament, McHenry’s 26-point effort is fourth-most among all scorers. The guard connected on 5-9 three-point shots and scored 13 points in each half for the Warriors. The sophomore also corralled six rebounds and dished out a team-high five assists.

Sophomores Enoch Kalambay (Gatineau, Canada/Orangeville Prep) and David Jones (Sacramento, CA/Panola) each chipped in 11 points while freshman Trevion LaBeaux (Waterloo, IA/Ames) added 10 off the bench. Jones recorded his third double-double of the year with a team-high 11 rebounds while Kalamaby added nine boards in the win. Jones is just one of 10 players in the first two rounds at the national tournament to record a double-double, and just the third to do so off the bench.

As a team, the Warriors used the offensive glass to its advantage with 21 offensive rebounds, second-most this season. Jones led the way with six offensive rebounds as the second-chance opportunities led to 22 points for Indian Hills.

The Indian Hills defense, ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA in opponents’ field goal percentage this year, limited Ranger to just 27.6 percent shooting on the night, including 21.1 percent from three-point range.

Ranger marked the first bucket of the night and led 3-2 early on, but a Truth Harris (Mount Vernon, NY/Pensacola) three put Indian Hills in the lead for good at the 16:04 mark of the first half. Sophomore Eddiean Tirado (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Miami Triple Threat) converted back-to-back three-point shots and scored eight points in the opening 8:26 to push the lead to 17-9 in favor of the Warriors. Indian Hills continued to push the pace and led 41-27 at the halftime break.

Ranger pulled within single-digits in the opening minute of the second half, but the Warriors regained a double-digit edge, eventually securing a lead by as many as 22 points in the closing minutes. Jones scored nine of his 11 points in the second half alone on 4-5 shooting to aid the Warrior attack.

Indian Hills will now turn its attention to Odessa – a team the Warriors have matched up with twice before at the national tournament, but first meeting since 1997. The Warriors defeated the Wranglers 98-87 on its way to the 1997 national championship and 91-85 in the team’s first-ever national tournament game in 1993.

Thursday’s action can be seen live via the NJCAA Network ($) with a free audio broadcast of the game via GoHillsTV.

Fans of Indian Hills will be able to view the game in Ottumwa via a number of options – Godfrey’s Alehouse, Courtside Bar & Grill, Morgan’s Corner, and the IHCC Formal Lounge on the Indian Hills Ottumwa campus.

Posted by on Mar 23 2023. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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