Z's team takes third in NJCAA tournament

Posted Thursday, April 3, 2008 - 12:00am

Former College of Eastern Utah's basketball Coach Bryan Zollinger took his Seward County Community College team to a historic season on March 22 defeating No. 19 Three Rivers Community College, 81-63, in the NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament to claim a third-place finish at the Hutchinson Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kan.

The Saints led from start-to-finish and had big performances from sophomore Darko Cohadarevic (19 points, eight rebounds), sophomore Nick Burns (20 points, five assists), and freshman Reggie Chamberlain (19 points, 4-of-6 three-pointers) who helped the Saints tie the second most single-season victories in Seward County history with a 32-6 overall record. Saints' first-year Head Coach Zollinger finished a monumental season winning a Jayhawk West championship, Region VI Tournament title and finishing third at the NJCAA Tournament. Three Rivers completes its season with a fourth-place finish and a 29-8 overall record.

Cohadarevic and Chamberlain were both honored following the championship game as NJCAA All-Tournament selections. Chamberlain, who was one of three freshman named All-Tournament, shot 31-of-33 (.939) from the free throw line, made a team-high 11-of-24 from 3-point territory and averaged 20.5 points per game in tournament action. Cohadarevic, the Region VI Tournament M.V.P., averaged 18 points and 6.3 rebounds per game while shooting 6-of-17 from 3-point range, and made 82 percent of his free throws (23-of-28).

NJCAA TOURNAMENT – FINAL RESULTS - Championship Game: South Plains College vs. No. 4 Salt Lake C.C. (67-56); 3rd/4th Place Game: Seward County C.C. defeated No. 19 Three Rivers C.C. (81-63); 5th/6th Place Game: Eastern Arizona College defeated Indian Hills C.C. (70-63); 7th/8th Place Game: No. 2 Chipola College defeated Paris J.C. (84-66). NJCAA ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM & AWARDS: Most Valuable Player: Jonathan Hall (South Plains College) Coach of the Tournament: Steve Green (South Plains College) Bud Obee Outstanding Small Player Award: Brian Green (Salt Lake C.C.) Sportsmanship Award: Nikola Keeman (Eastern Arizona College). All-Tournament Team: Jonathan Hall, sophomore (South Plains College)- Dwight Buycks, freshman (Indian Hills C.C.)- Will Bynum, sophomore (Eastern Arizona College)- Reggie Chamberlain, freshman (Seward County C.C.)- Darko Cohadarevic, sophomore (Seward County C.C.)- Dominique Gaines, sophomore (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College)- Brian Green, sophomore (Salt Lake C.C.)- Dwight Hardy, freshman (Indian Hills C.C.)- DaVell Jackson, sophomore (Salt Lake C.C.)- Mario Little, sophomore (Chipola College)- Nick Okorie, sophomore (South Plains College)- Bryan Sherrer, sophomore (Three Rivers C.C.)- Eric Tramiel, sophomore (Paris J.C.). Notes from Coach Z's team: Seward County is now 7-5 all-time in NJCAA Tournament competition ... The Saints won 19 of their last 21 games of the season ... Seward County's 32 wins is the most victories for any Region VI team this season ... Seward County also equals its best finish ever at a NJCAA Tournament (1998 – 3rd place) ... Seward County's 32 victories ties the 1994-1995 Saints' team (32-5 overall) that also went to the NJCAA Tournament for the second most victories in SCCC single-season history. Seward County broke three all-time team statistical school records, including 3-point field goals made (325), free throw shooting percentage (.725) and 3-point shooting percentage (.388) ... The Saints' team statistical totals also ranked in eight additional all-time single-season top 10 team categories, including second in opponent scoring average (64.1 ppg.), second in total steals (414), fourth in total rebounds (1,410), fourth in total assists (626), fourth in field goals made (1,026), fourth in free throws made (588), fifth in total blocked shots (130) and seventh in field goal shooting percentage (.467). Three Rivers head coach Gene Bess completed his 38th season as head coach at Three Rivers this season. Bess is the all-time winningest head coach in college basketball history with 1,056 career wins. Bess has led the Raiders to two NJCAA National Championships, 15 national tournament appearances and to eight final four finishes ... Seward finished the season with a 3-0 record against NJCAA Top 20 opponents, with all three wins coming in the post season against No. 9 Cowley College (71-61), No. 2 Chipola College (90-84, OT) and No. 19 Three Rivers C.C. (81-63) ... The Saints completed the post-season with a 7-1 record. Seward County was 30-0 this season when out-shooting its opponent from the field. Seward County finished the season ranked ninth in the NJCAA in defensive points allowed per game (64.1 ppg.), second in the NJCAA in team 3-point field goals made (325), and seventh in the NJCAA in team free-throw shooting percentage (.725). Information and photo courtesy SCC webpages.

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Do you ever wonder why people with talent never stay at ceu? Why didn't he do that for our team. Oh well we have great coachs like Brent Martindale. He does nothing and gets paid for him. I hope I can have a job like that some day. Hmm maybe I will go work at CEU.