The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

February 21, 2013

OCC set to open regional action

With the MCCC Tournament championship out of the way, the Ozark Christian College Ambassadors have their sights set on another title.

OCC (26-6) will open play in the NCCAA Southwest Regional Tournament as the No. 1 seed against Hillsdale at 6 tonight at Ambassador Gymnasium.

Hillsdale beat Dallas Christian 75-71 Thursday night at OCC.

“They’re young and athletic,” Ozark coach Chris Lahm said. “We beat them twice in the regular season. But it’s tough to beat a team three times in a season.”

The Ambassadors won their conference tournament championship  by beating Manhattan Christian 87-74 in the finals.

Ozark is led by conference MVP Kyle Wicklund. The 6-foot-6 senior post recorded 24 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots against Manhattan Christian.

“We’ve kind of put some things together in the last couple of weeks,” Lahm said. “We got a lot of confidence right now. I just hope we don’t come out overconfident. This time of year, everything is on the line.”

Ozark’s game will be followed with Arlington and Barclay at 8 p.m. today. The winners of tonight’s games will play at 2 p.m. Saturday for the championship. Regional winners earn automatic national bids.

OCC’s record may be good enough for an at-large bid if it doesn’t win the regional. However, there may be only three available.

“We’d like to hope we would get one,” Lahm said. “But you don’t want to put your trust in a coaches vote. But we would like to think we’d have a good shot at it.”

1
Text Only
High School Sports
Missouri Southern Sports
Pittsburg State Sports