Monthly Archives: February 2009

T-Duck basketball team inches closer to advancing to national championship tournament after conference tournament victory

The Richland College basketball team moved to within one game of advancing to the NJCAA Division III National Basketball Championship tournament Thursday night after the T-Ducks overcame a halftime deficit to beat Cedar Valley College in the Metro Athletic Conference tournament.

Richland, which is looking to make its fifth national tournament appearance, will square off with Eastfield College at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27 in the conference tournament championship game.

If the T-Ducks lose this game, they will play Eastfield again on Monday. Because Richland finished as the No. 1 team in conference play this season, it has to be beaten twice to be eliminated in the conference tournament.

Baseball team continues hot start with weekend sweep

The Richland College baseball team continues its torrid start to the season as the T-Ducks improved to 14-1 after sweeping Mountain View College over the weekend.

Richland College, which is hitting .390 as a team, outscored Mountain View 34-14 in the three-game series.

The T-Ducks, which are off to their best start in Richland College history, also has a team ERA at 2.90.

Basketball team wins conference championship

With a victory in its regular season finale on Saturday, Feb. 21 against Brookhaven College, the Richland College basketball team would win the conference championship outright.

Playing in front of their largest home crowd of the season, the T-Ducks put on quite a show en route to an 83-60 victory.

A T-Duck loss would’ve meant that both teams would’ve shared the conference title. By winning, the T-Ducks now get to host its conference games and have to be beaten twice to get eliminated from the tournament, which begins with a game featuring the two lower seeds on Wednesday. The conference tournament then heads to Richland College on Thursday with games scheduled at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Richland College (15-12) enters the conference tournament having won nine of its last 10 games, including the final three of the regular season.

Basketball team wins, again; Victory ensures T-Ducks at least share of conference championship

Thanks to Tuesday’s 96-90 win over Eastfield, the worst that the Richland College basketball team can finish in the Metro Athletic Conference is a share of the championship with Brookhaven College.

Should Brookhaven lose to North Lake College on Wednesday, Feb. 18, the T-Ducks will be crowned conference champions outright.

However, if Brookhaven wins its game, Richland College must beat Brookhaven in the T-Ducks’ final home game of the regular season to avoid sharing the title.

Against Eastfield, the T-Ducks were led by Tony Bishop, who had his best game of the season with 30 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Also coming up big for Richland College were Antwan Mullins (12 points, nine assists), Deionta Mitchell (11 points), Duane Durley (12 points, seven rebounds) and Giordan Cole (14 points, seven rebounds).

Baseball team hitting over .390 as team; T-Ducks suffer first loss of season

As a team, the Richland College baseball squad has a .391 hitting average and the T-Ducks’ pitchers have combined for a 2.82 ERA.

Richland College’s hot hitting and pitching have led to a remarkable 11-1 start to the season as the T-Ducks entered this week of play still ranked No. 2 in the NJCAA Division III.

The T-Ducks latest victories included a sweep, 7-2, 4-1 and 12-0 wins, over Cedar Valley. Richland College’s unbeaten streak was snapped on Monday when it lost 7-4 to NJCAA Division I McLennan Community College.

Richland College will look to start a new winning streak when the T-Ducks host three games against Mountain View College, beginning with a single game at 2 p.m. on Friday and a double-header on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m.


Richland College baseball coach Joe Wharton believes that this year’s team has just as good of a chance to end up a national champion as any of his other three championship squads had during his 12 years as the T-Ducks’ skipper.

And if anyone has doubted that this team has what it takes to win another title then Richland College’s 7-0 record to begin the season – the best in school history – should be enough proof.

“It’s always important to get off on a good note to start a season because it lets your team know you can win. Once you establish that, then it becomes expected, and losing is unacceptable here at Richland,” Wharton said. “I am very competitive, I know what it takes to win at any level and I teach our guys that losing is not an option.”

The T-Ducks, who finished third in the NJCAA Division III World Series National Championship Tournament last season, are currently ranked No. 2 in the nation.

Since taking over the helm as head coach, Wharton’s teams have consistently reached the World Series National Championship Tournament – nine times in 12 years – and have been among the nation’s elite teams.

“I take pride in the great tradition I have built since I have been here and my drive will not change until I am done coaching,” Wharton, who has won more than 400 games during his 12-year span of coaching at Richland College, said. “You can expect us to be ranked in the top five consistently while I am the coach here because I will recruit, scout and develop my players to be that good. I owe it to them for coming to our institution and that is my commitment to each player.”

Because of Richland College’s success over the years, many NCAA Division I programs and professional teams continue to scout T-Duck baseball games to recruit talent.

According to Wharton, recently there were around 15 professional clubs looking at his team.

“You don’t see that in other JUCO sports,” he added. “We have that kind of talent here on campus.”

Among the talented players that Wharton has at his disposal this season are pre-season all-Americans pitcher Phillip Clinard and infielder Josh Christenson.

Clinard finished last year 11-1 with a 2.95 ERA while Christenson ended the season with .402 batting average, 14 home runs and 65 RBI.

Another T-Duck player to watch out for is Chad Rogers. Wharton says that Rogers is the best athlete on the field because he is the No. 3 hitter who hits for power and he plays outstanding defense in centerfield. Rogers, Wharton added, is also one of the T-Ducks’ top pitchers, having been clocked at 95 miles per hour last fall.

“This is for sure the deepest rotation I’ve had since 1997,” Wharton said about his pitching staff. “Our strength is our pitching, but our offense is coming around and I think as the season goes on, we will keep producing seven to eight runs a game.”

Currently, the T-Ducks score more than 8.4 runs per game while allowing fewer than four runs, a telling sign that, if Richland College continues to play at this level, then possibly winning a championship this season is within the T-Ducks’ grasp.

“There are only two goals for an athlete here at Richland: 1). is to get an education, and 2). is to win a national championship,” Wharton said. “If both of these goals are not a priority then he will not be here at Richland.”

Still undefeated in MAC play, basketball team controlls own fate

The amazing play of the Richland College basketball team continued over the weekend when the T-Ducks beat Mountain View College, 96-78, to remain undefeated in Metro Athletic Conference play.

Saturday’s victory was Richland’s sixth straight conference win and put the T-Ducks to finish as the top team in MAC heading into the conference tournament.

The T-Ducks (13-11) are now two games ahead of Brookhaven College, three games over Eastfield College and Cedar Valley College, four games over Northlake College and six games over Mountain View College in the standings with four games left.

CJ Thompson led a balanced Richland College scoring attack with 18 points, five assists and five rebounds.

Other T-Ducks in double figures were Antwan Mullins (12 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals), Tony Bishop (11 points and seven rebounds), Giordan Cole (11 points and five rebounds) and Jon Jones (10 points and three rebounds).

Next up for the T-Ducks is a road game at 7 p.m. on Wednesday against Northlake before playing a home game at 2 p.m. on Saturday against Cedar Valley College.

Basketball team 5-0 in conference play

You can make it a perfect 5-0 to start in the Metro Athletic Conference standings after the Richland College basketball team upended Eastfield College, the No. 9-ranked NJCAA Division III team, 94-73, on Wednesday.

The T-Ducks jumped out to an early 13-7 lead before taking a 44-32 lead into halftime.

Richland College coach Jon Felmet said Travis Turner and Tony Bishop set the tone throughout the first half from the point guard position and by scoring some tough baskets in the lane.

The duo set the tone for the T-Ducks on the first possession of the second half when threw an alley-oop pass to Bishop, who threw down a monstrous dunk.

Defensively, the 73 points Richland College held Eastfield to were 22 points below their NJCAA Division III leading 95 points per game average.

Bishop led the T-Ducks with 23 points and 14 rebounds while Keith Wright finished with 23 points and four steals, CJ Thompson totaled 14 points and four rebounds, Antwan Mullins chipped in 13 points and nine assists and Turner added eight points and seven assists.

The T-Ducks will try to remain unbeaten in conference play when they host Mountain View College at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

T-Duck basketball team remains unbeaten in conference action

Richland College’s basketball team used a huge 14-0 run midway in the second half of its game over the weekend against Brookhaven College to pull away from a tie game at halftime for an 86-83 victory to remain the only undefeated team in the Metro Athletic Conference.

The T-Ducks, now 4-0 in conference play and 11-11 overall, were led by Antwan Mullins (25 points) and Deionta Mitchell (23 points).

Richland faces its biggest challenge in conference play thus far on Wednesday, Feb. 4 when it plays Eastfield College, which is No. 6 in the NJCAA Division III rankings.

Baseball team ranked No. 2 in pre-season NJCAA D3 poll

The Richland College baseball team entered the 2009 season as the No. 2 ranked NJCAA Division III team.

Pitcher Phillip Clinard was also named a pre-season all-American on a first team while teammate, Josh Christenson (infielder) was named to the second team.

The T-Ducks opened their season at home with a three-game sweep over Brookhaven College, winning 7-3, 5-2 and 8-2.

Richland’s next three-game home series is against Eastfield beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 6 followed with a double-header starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7.