In a thrilling Kansas Jayhawk

Conference/Region VI

Tournament fi nal on Tuesday,

March 3, the No. 5 seed Coffeyville

Community College

men defeated No. 3 seed Butler

— ranked No. 22 in the most

recent NJCAA poll — on a last

second shot to seal the 83-81

win in Dodge City. The victory

clinches an automatic berth in

the NJCAA National Tournament

in Hutchinson starting

on Tuesday, March 17. It also

marks the fourth straight year

that the Red Ravens will be

participating in “The Tournament.”

Back in 2017, CCC stormed

through Regional action and

upset then-No. 2 ranked

Hutchinson to earn the automatic

bid and then fell in the

fi rst round to No. 22 Motlow

State. Next up in 2018, the

Ravens entered the tourney as

the No. 1 seed and again defeated

Hutch in the fi nals to

move on to “The Tournament”

but lost a heartbreaker to Connors

State.

Last season, Coffeyville was

one of the top teams in the nation

throughout the year and

entered the postseason as the

No. 2 seed before Hutchinson

enacted their revenge with a

double overtime victory in the

semifi nals, but the Ravens

were still awarded an at-large

bid to the NJCAA tourney for

their overall resume. CCC

earned narrow wins over the

fi rst two opponents to move on

to the fi nal four, losing to eventual

runners-up Ranger in the

National Semifi nals.

Coffeyville must await seeding

and matchups to determine

their path to the title, but

are hoping to make the fourth

time the charm in 2019-2020.

In Tuesday’s action, which

pitted long-time Red Ravens

Head Coach Jay Herkelman

against former assistant

and fi rst-year Head Coach

Kyle Fisher of Butler, the two

teams battled back-and-forth

throughout the evening before

it all came down to the fi nal

couple of seconds.

With the score tied at 81-

81 and just 2.1 seconds on

the clock, Herkelman drew

up a great fi nal play that was

executed to near-perfection.

Sophomore Tony Hutson inbounded

the ball from right

in front of the Ravens bench,

lobbed the ball cross court

to fellow sophomore Meikkel

Murray who made an adjustment

to avoid a Butler defender,

caught it in mid-air

and scored off the glass to give

CCC a two-point lead.

Butler still had a chance,

but had to go the length of

the fl oor with only 1.3 ticks to

go. The Grizzlies heaved a full

court pass that was defl ected

by Coffeyville out of bounds

and gave Fisher an opportunity

to take one fi nal timeout

to tie or take the lead with 0.9

seconds remaining. Butler

seemed to get the shot they

were looking for, but the threepoint

attempt caromed off the

back rim at the buzzer as the

Ravens celebrated the win

amongst the dedicated CCC

crowd who made the trek to

Dodge.

Murray fi nished the night

with a team-high 15 points to

lead a well-balanced offense.

Four other Red Ravens scored

in double fi gures as sophomore

big man Manny Crump and

freshman forward Larry White

scored 14 apiece, freshman

point guard Tylor Perry had 12

points, fi ve rebounds and four

assists and freshman wing

Bostyn Holt had 12 and eight

boards off the bench. Crump

tied for a game high with 10

rebounds in the winning effort.

Murray, sophomore Tony

Hutson and Crump were all

named to the All-Tournament

Team and Murray garnered

Tournament MVP honors.

The Grizzlies looked to be in

control in the early going as

they slowly built a double-digit

advantage, pulling ahead 31-

21 with 8:34 in the fi rst half.

Coffeyville responded with 10

unanswered to tie the game

at 31-31 with 5:36 before the

break. The two teams then

basically traded baskets down

the stretch and Butler went

into the locker room with a 44-

39 lead.

Coffeyville opened the second

half on a 6-2 run and

then took their fi rst lead of

the second half on a jumper

by Crump to go up 53-52 with

14:04 remaining. A little over

fi ve minute later, Holt scored a

layup to give the Ravens their

biggest lead of the evening at

70-62, but Butler responded

with an 13-0 run to regain the

upper hand at 75-70 with 3:32

to play.

Perry and White made backto-

back triples, then Crump

and White combined for four

straight free throws to pull

back ahead 80-77 with around

90 seconds left. Perry then

went 1-2 at the line coming

out of a Butler timeout, then

the Grizz rattled off four in a

row to set up the exciting fi nal

seconds.

The Ravens (26-8) will look

ing to remain one of the hottest

teams in the country as

they head to Hutch in a couple

of weeks on a nine-game win

streak, with an eye on bringing

home the fi rst National Championship

in basketball since

1962