The Miles Community College basketball teams wrapped up their regular season on Saturday evening, hosting their arch-rivals from Dawson Community College.
The MCC men snapped a season-high five game losing streak with an 87-81 win over the Bucs to end the regular season with a 14-16 overall record and 7-9 in the North Sub-Region. They will be at the Region IX Tournament in Sterling, Colo., this weekend, opening the tournament against Western Nebraska (17-13) on Sunday night at 8 p.m.
“We haven’t played that well at home this year,” Pioneers Head Coach Chase Tait said. “It was good to get a win, good to win at home and good to beat Dawson. It meant a lot to us for seeding in the tournament.
For the MCC women, they lost a tough game to Dawson, 77-71. They dropped to 15-15 overall and 7-6 in the North. Their Region IX Tournament is in Rock Springs, Wyo. They will open against Otero (16-10) on Saturday at 5 p.m.
In the men’s game, the Pioneers never trailed in the game, but couldn’t shake Dawson throughout the game.
“It was a tough game,” Tait said. “They sat in a zone and forced us to shoot from the outside and we did enough off of penetration and shooting to get it done. Dawson played hard, hit some shots and got into it.”
MCC took a 10-point lead into halftime and led by as many as 13 early in the second half.
Midway through the second half, Conner Smyle hit a three for the Pioneers to give them a 61-54 lead, but Dawson rattled off six straight points to get within one.
Smyle then scored six straight points and Teslim Idris capped the 8-0 run with a bucket to give MCC a 69-60 lead.
Again Dawson rallied, getting within three points with six minutes to play. But that would be as close as the Bucs would get. Smyle hit six free throws in the final 30 seconds to ice the game.
The Pioneers didn’t have a great shooting night, connecting on 38 percent of their field goals. The difference came at the line, where MCC was 22-27.
Smyle had his second big night in the last few days, hitting five three-pointers and a perfect 15-15 at the line to finish with 30 points.
Quinn Smith had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Idris also had a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards. Jonathan Dogbo added 13 points.
Dawson was led by Riyadh Asad with 20 points.
For the Lady Pioneers, they hung around the entire game, but just ran out of time.
“I was proud with the way they played,” Lady Pioneer Head Coach Liz Lewis said. “They played hard and did what we had to do. They just ran out of gas.”
Dawson (22-6, 12-4) held the lead for 39:16 of the 40 minutes in the game. MCC’s lead the game just once, 32-31, and they held that lead for just 44 seconds.
MCC kept the score within reach until midway through the second half when Dawson pushed their lead to as many as 14.
But as they have done all year, MCC chipped away at the lead and got as close as five in the final minutes. But Dawson went 7-10 at the free throw line in the last minute to seal the win.
MCC shot just 28 percent from the field in the second half, and were just 5-21 from three-point range in the game. They could not overcome 26 turnovers in the loss.
Jaycin Tini had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead the Lady Pioneers. Ashley Malmquist had 16 points and nine rebounds and Petra Lumpert ended with 10 points.
Janniqua Thomas led Dawson with 24 points.
Pioneers 87, Dawson 81
Dawson 36 45 - 81
Miles 46 41 - 87
Pioneers (14-16, 7-9)- Teslim Idris 16, Jonathan Dogbo 13, LaSalle Massey 4, Quinn Smith 18, Emmanuel Olufemi 2, Kale Love 3, Conner Smyle 30, Tyree King 1.
Dawson (8-20, 1-14)- Tariq Qaasim 8, Brett Throgmorton 12, Jake Ebbon 9, Jake Buck 10, Deryk Pearsall 5, Riyadh Asad 20, Elbert Jones 17.
Dawson 77, Lady Pioneers 71
Dawson 33 44 - 77
Miles 32 39 - 71
Lady Pioneers (15-15, 7-6)- Tess Blaquiere 6, Jaycin Tini 18, Lindsey Warner 4, Ashley Malmquist 16, Shelby Weeks 8, Petra Lumpert 10, Ashley Hildreth 4, McKensie Keller 5.
Dawson (22-6, 12-4)- Kendal Wilkerson 11, Keely Swander 7, Liza Dennehy 2, Jaclyn Evans 5, Haylee Gallegos 21, Bryce Mitchell 7, Janniqua Thomas 24.