The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


March 8, 2014

Rhema's outburst tops Ozark in ACCA

The finish in the first half by Rhema Bible was lethal as well as startling.

The Eagles outscored Ozark Christian 32-8 in the last eight minutes for a 67-46 halftime lead and cruised to a 109-90 men’s semifinal victory in Division I of the ACCA National Championship on Friday night at OCC.

Third-seeded Rhema Bible, Broken Arrow, Okla., faces No. 1 Arlington (Texas) Baptist at 6 p.m. today at OCC for the title.

Arlington beat fourth-seeded Multnomah of Portland (Ore.) 95-84 in the other semifinal in Robert Ellis Young Gymnasium at Missouri Southern State University.

High-scoring outfits OCC (18-17) and Multnomah clash at 4 p.m. at Missouri Southern to decide third place.

Rhema Bible shot 59 percent from the field and led 28-12 in rebounding to build its halftime cushion. The Eagles finished at 49.3 percent and led 52-33 on the boards.

OCC led 38-35 in the first half before the Eagles flew away.

“We didn’t seem to have the energy,” OCC coach Chris Lahm, battling a cold, said. “We played about the way I feel.

“Early, it looked like we had a shot (at winning),” Lahm said. “But they (the Eagles) were too strong on the inside.

“I’m happy with our effort,” Lahm said. “We stayed in there and battled after a great overtime win on Thursday night.”

The Eagles, who sank 12 of 26 treys, received 28 points from Kasey Byrd, 27 from John Leonard, 20 from Josh Reis and 17 from Dallas Doku.

Eagle coach Perry Shockley said the first half was their top scoring half of the season and the effort by the 6-foot-7 freshman Leonard, who snagged eight boards, was his No. 1 performance.

Byrd, a 6-2 junior from Fort Gibson, hit seven of 12 treys.

Cameron Woodring, 5-11 sophomore from Fort Scott, hit 8 of 15 shots from the floor in scoring 19 for OCC.

The Ambassadors, who were playing Rhema Bible for the first time this season, received 11 points apiece from Zac Hill and James Pettit and 10 from Kaden Jones.

The Ambassadors shot 44.9 percent from the field and 62.5 from the foul line.

Welch women 71, OCC 70

Ozark Christian College surrendered a 13-point halftime lead, falling to Welch in the consolation bracket of the ACCA tournament on Friday.

The Ambassadors will play in the seventh-place game against AFLBS at 9 a.m. today at Ozark Christian College.

OCC led Welch 42-29 at halftime, but the Ambassadors shot only 32 percent from the field in the second half. Welch, meanwhile, shot 54.3 percent in the second half.

Ashton Johnson led Welch with 26 points, six rebounds, six assists, five steals and one blocked shot. Jessie Melvin added 18 points and seven rebounds.

Chelsea Matlack paced OCC with 28 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals Whitney Matlack, Anna Chandler and Becca Bowland had 13, 11 and 10 points, respectively.

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