The Salt Lake Community College men’s basketball team is back at top for a second straight year as the Bruins defeated the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) 62-49 to win the Region 18 Championship.
SLCC built an early six-point lead over the Golden Eagles early in the first half until CSI tied the game at 22. The Bruins’ Co-player of the Year, Gary Payton II, hit a huge three pointer to take the lead and the Bruins were up eight points at the end of the first half.
The Bruins tore open the second half with a 16-point lead which looked good for the Bruins until CSI slowly cut the lead to nine points. The Golden Eagles wouldn’t come any closer than that.
Payton II had a double-double with 12 points and with 14 boards, and Jaden Jackson scored 11 points and had three rebounds. Kurt Toolson just missed a double-double with 10 points and eight boards; he also had two assists on the night.
Gary Payton II was named the Tournament MVP, and Jaden Jackson was given All-Tournament team honors.
Head Coach, Todd Phillips and his Region 18 Champions are already looking towards their next challenge; the Bruins will be playing the District I Playoff Game at Bruin Arena on Saturday, March 8 with tipoff at 7 p.m. The winner will move on to the NJCAA as an automatic bid for the National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan; the team that falls short will hope for an at-large bid into the tournament.
Game Coverage: The District I Playoff will be available for viewing via the SLCC Athletics iHigh.com live Web stream. The broadcast will start 10 minutes prior to tipoff. Live stats will also be available.