T-Ducks headed to NJCAA National Championship basketball tournament

For the first time since 2005, the Richland College basketball team is heading to the NJCAA Division III National Championship tournament thanks to a 92-72 victory over Eastfield College in Friday’s Metro Athletic Conference tournament title.

The eight-team tournament, which the T-Ducks won in 1999, will be held from March 12-14 in Delhi, New York.

“Truly, I’m more happy for the guys than I am for us [coaches],” Richland College coach Jon Felmet said moments after being showered with a bucket of Gatorade. “The guys have put in so much work this season. For us to go out with a 20 point win, it says what our team is about.”

In Friday’s win, the T-Ducks used a 13-0 run early in the game to take control, ultimately building a 19-point halftime cushion that Eastfield was able to erase to eight within the first four minutes of the second half.

However, like Richland College has done all season, it responded with timely buckets to close any thought of Eastfield making a comeback.

The win was the fifth in a row for the T-Ducks, who will enter the national championship tournament having won 11 of its last 12 games.

“I’ve never been to the [national tournament]. When I played here, we missed it,” Felmet said. “I honestly don’t know what to expect from New York but I’m excited.”