MC Raptors District VII champs with PGCC defeat, advance to NJCAA DIII finals

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Montgomery College’s Afanna Offor hits a jumper against Prince George’s Community College’s Gus Stone for two of his 23 points in the regional finals. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKMontgomery College’s Afanna Offor hits a jumper against Prince George’s Community College’s Gus Stone for two of his 23 points in the regionals. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKROCKVILLE — Montgomery College is headed to the big dance.

The Montgomery College Raptors men’s basketball team earned its way Sunday to the NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball Championship with an 85-71 victory over the visiting Prince George’s Community College Owls.

The Raptors captured the District VII championship thanks to a team effort and will play in the finals in Loch Sheldrake, New York scheduled for March 15-17. The win helped Montgomery College head coach Keith Byrd secure his first trip to the national tournament and the program’s first since 2007.

Afanna Offor led four Raptors in double figures with a game-high 23 points and Tyran Crawford scored 17 points while Collin Turner and Chris Johnson also had significant contributions.

“To be honest,” said Crawford, a former Seneca Valley High School standout, “I’m not trying to get too up or too down but we’re on a mission and we’ve got to complete that mission.”


MC Raptors smash SCC Flyers, advance to district final championship game

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Montgomery College Raptors’ Elisha Arnold lays in two points in the second half against Sandhills Community College Flyers Mason Harrell (2) and Donnie Heith (12). PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKMontgomery College Raptors’ Elisha Arnold lays in two points in the second half against Sandhills Community College Flyers Mason Harrell (2) and Donnie Heith (12). PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  ROCKVILLE — The Montgomery College Raptors men’s basketball team punched their ticket to the NJCAA DIII District VII Championship game by registering an 85-59 win Saturday over the nationally-ranked Sandhills Community College Flyers.

Sophomore guard Chris Johnson scored a game-high 16 points to lead four Raptors in double figures. Ramel Davidson finished with 14 points and Collin Turner added 13 points while Afanna Offor scored 10 points for Montgomery College.


Montgomery College’s Turner leads Raptors over Butler Community 113-81

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Collin TurnerCollin Turner.          COURTESY PHOTOROCKVILLE – The final box score told the story.

Collin Turner, Montgomery College’s sensational sophomore guard, finished with a game-high 34 points on Saturday to lead the Raptors to a 113-81 victory over Pennsylvania’s Butler County Community College.

Turner, who logged 32 minutes against BCCC, shot 65 percent from the field including five three-pointers and converted all three of his foul shots.

Although he battled respiratory problems the entire game, Turner was still productive against BCCC. Turner’s three-pointer late in the game put the Raptors ahead, 101-64.


Raptors men win basketball tournament against Cougars 92-77

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ROCKVILLE—On Saturday evening at the MC-Rockville Gymnasium in a duel between two evenly matched teams, a 12-0 third quarter run led the Montgomery College Raptors (19-9) men’s basketball team to victory 92-77 against the Community College of Allegheny County-Allegheny Campus Cougars in the NJCAA Region XX tournament.


MC Raptors slay the Wolfpack, 106-56

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Raptors vs. WolfpackPoint guard Jewell Johnson gets open for the inbound pass from Sheri Addison. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  

ROCKVILLE—Defensive intensity and a smothering backcourt press was all it took from the Montgomery College Raptors women’s basketball team Saturday afternoon at MC-Rockville Gymnasium to rip apart the Westmoreland County Community College Wolfpack, 106-56 in the semifinals of the 2017 NJCAA Region XX Tournament. 


Raptors get a chance to regroup and turn it around before tourney begins

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MCVBRAW-422Montgomery College's Alejandra Borja, seen here diving for the ball, tallied 12 digs when the Raptors played the Rhode Island Knights. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

ROCKVILLE – The Montgomery College volleyball team will have a chance to turnaround its tough season Friday night as the Region XX DIII tournament begins six days after a rough tournament at home.

On Saturday, the Raptors held a 2-0 (25-22, 25-19) lead against the Community College of Rhode Island before the Knights rallied to win the next three sets (25-22, 25-16, 15-9) for the comeback victory.

Wake Technical Community College later shut out the Raptors in three sets (25-13, 25-17, 25-12) to win the MC tournament, having earlier defeated the Eagles 3-1 (25-20, 25-15, 21-25, 25-15).

According to MC Head Coach Tori Kenno, her team “started off really strong” but didn’t play as aggressive down the stretch.

“I think we also just let down some (and) relaxed more,” said Kenno.


Montgomery College Continues Slide With Latest Loss

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Nassau CC guard scores in the paint.SILVER SPRING – If the Montgomery College Raptors New Year resolution was to continue the losing trend they started in 2014 then they succeeded and then some Saturday afternoon at home.

After playing well enough to only trail by five points at the half, the Raptors completely dismantled in the second half to lose 88-60 to visiting Nassau Community College (10-4).

“We couldn’t score and I didn’t think it was like this stifling defense. It was just one shot and done, one and done and no offensive rebounds. So it’s a combination of a lot of things, turnovers, bad shots and missing shots,” said Raptors coach James Bryson.

Everything the Raptors were able to do well during the first half, they seemed incapable of doing in the second half.

Offensively the Raptors shooting percentage decreased by 20 percent from the first to second half, while Nassau’s jumped 20 percent.

“It’s focus. It’s not the same focus, if you can go from [shooting] 44 percent to 24 percent. Then yeah, it’s just a lack of focus,” said guard Teivon Johnson, who finished with a team-high 18 points.

The Raptors were not at full force against Nassau with leading scorer guard Devin Shuler hampered by a tight back.

Shuler, who is averaging around 18 points per game, was only able to contribute five points Saturday and did not score his first point until 6:23 left in the game. Shuler said after the game that he was unsure when he would return to being full strength and that he would “just have to work with the trainer” to get his back better.

For Nassau, they were lifted in the second half by Eric Mack and Jaleel Charles who combined for 23 points after sitting in the first half due to disciplinary reasons.

Charles, who received NJCAA Division III player of the week honors last week, scored efficiently making six of his eight shots from the field and knocking down all but one free throw.

Charles credited the offensive system and his teams guard play for his success saying he just looked for the “gaps in the defense” and allowed the ball to find him.

For the Raptors they will have a short time to recoup, as they will go on the road Tuesday to face CCBC Dundalk. 

When asked what the team can change in order to come out with a different result, Johnson simply said, “We have to rebound, make layups and not turn the ball over.”

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