Palm Beach, Fla. – Sophomore center Paul Harrison scored a game high 34 points, but the host Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish made two key jumpers and three free throws in the overtime as they outlasted North Greenville (16-12) 73-71 at the NCCAA South Regional Championship game. NGU was attempting to win its first South region title in school history.
Luke Lattimer backed Harrison with 17points and Zack Shields added 11 for the Crusaders.
“We have a very disappointed basketball team right now,” Head Coach Chad Lister said. “We played with a great deal of intensity, but they just made one more play than we did. You’ve got to give our team credit. We were playing on the road against the host team, so we gave it all we had. Considering this team did not have a senior playing at the end of the year and we won 16 games is tremendous. We have a very bright future. We’ll be back.”
Palm Beach opened the game with a 10-0 run, but NGU fought back to lead 30-27 at the half. After a see saw second half, Harrison tied the game 64-64 with two free throws with 38 seconds left. After the Sailfish missed a tip-in with 18 seconds left, Zack Shields rebounded. NGU then set up a last second shot, but Luke Lattimer missed a three pointer at the buzzer that would have won it for the Crusaders.
In the overtime, the Sailfish built a four point lead and hit key free throws down the stretch to close out NGU’s surprise season. Harrison hit a layup at the buzzer that made the final margin.