Rock Valley wins second DIII championship since 2014

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LOCH SHELDRAKE, N.Y. – Rock Valley (Ill.) defeated Rochester (Minn.) 88-75 in Saturday’s NJCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship Game at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse, clinching its second national title in three seasons.

Sophomore LT Davis led the Golden Eagles in scoring, racking up a game-high 25 points on 7-of-14 shots from the field – including three three-pointers. The guard hit 8-of-9 shots at the free-throw line, adding five rebounds and three assists to the winning effort.

Rock Valley sophomore center Elijah Williams posted 21 points and a team-high seven rebounds, while freshman guard Kooper Glick contributed 14 points, six rebounds and two steals. Sophomore guards Mo Jackson and Dalton Payton came off the bench to score eight and six points, respectively.

The Golden Eagles connected on 56 percent of their shots in the title game, going 28-for-50 from the field as a team. Rock Valley’s range was put on display as the team hit 8-of-15 three-pointers. Despite shooting 45.2 percent from the field, Rochester pulled down eight offensive rebounds and scored 16 second-chance points.

Freshman forward Marquise Walker recorded a double-double for Rochester, tallying 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Yellowjackets sophomore guard Demetrius Cady scored a team-high 16 points in the defeat.

Averaging 17 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in three games, Davis received tournament MVP accolades. Jackson was the lone Golden Eagles selection on the all-tournament team.

Entering the tournament as the top seed, Rock Valley began its run to the title with an 81-66 victory over No. 8-seed Bunker Hill in the opening round. The Golden Eagles locked up a spot in their third consecutive national championship game with an 87-65 semifinal win against No. 4-seed Nassau (N.Y.).

Winning its program’s second NJCAA championship, Rock Valley gained redemption after falling 67-64 to Richland (Texas) in the 2015 title game. The Golden Eagles won their first national championship in 2014.


Photos courtesy of Sullivan County Athletics.

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