Courtesy: Bay College
ESCANABA, MI – The Bay College Norse (9-15) fell short in their quest for a Region 13 Championship on Sunday, suffering a heart breaking loss to the Rochester Community and Technical College Yellowjackets (12-5) by a final score of 66-65.
The Norse led by as many as eight in the first half, as they shot 50% from the field. Rochester matched them step for step as it was a small dry spell in the final minutes of the first half that allowed Bay to hold a 43-38 lead at half.
A 14-2 run by the Yellowjackets to start the second half turned the momentum in favor of the road team. Bay struggled from the floor in the first eight minutes of the closing period, forcing them to play from behind. The Norse regained their composure and turned it into a back-and-forth battle that came down to the final minutes.
Rochester took a three-point lead with just over a minute remaining when Devyn Frye (SO, New Hope, MN) got loose and finished at the rim. Bay pulled to within one on the next possession as Chris Dobessi (SO., Detroit, MI) scored with 45 seconds remaining. Rochester nursed their one-point lead on the ensuing possession, but were unable to extend their lead and Bay rebounded the missed opportunity with 18 seconds remaining on the clock.
After a timeout, the Norse setup for the final play of the game. Rochester had a foul to give and used it to cut the time in half, but Bay inbounded with eight seconds left and had a chance. Marcus Johnson (FR, Iron Mountain, MI) was denied as he tried to dribble to his left, and ended up going back to his right and shoveling a pass to Dobessi. With the play broken down, Dobessi improvised, driving down the right side of the lane. With the clock closing in on the final buzzer, Dobessi lost his balance as he was tangled with defenders, and his pass to a wide open Matt Wagner (SO, Marinette, WI) was off the mark because he was falling down. The ball sailed into the stands with 0.8 seconds left, sealing the win for Rochester.
The Yellowjackets were led by Jerome Cunningham (SO, Fridley, MN) who scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Keivonte Watts (SO, Raymond, MS) added 13 points, while Quincy Burland (FR, Castle Rock, CO) chipped in ten points off the bench.
The loss ends the season for the Norse with nine wins and 15 losses.
The Region 13 Champion Rochester Yellowjackets will host the District Championship on April 10.