Echo staff report
COON RAPIDS, Minn. — It was oh so close.
Both RCTC basketball teams fell one game short of advancing to the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament.
The women’s team lost 76-66 to Anoka-Ramsey, while the men’s team fell 100-83 to Anoka-Ramsey in the NJCAA Region XIII championship games on March 5.
The women’s team was led by Jenna Svoboda, who had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists. Nautika Kotero had 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Victoria Asplund finished with 10 points and six rebounds, while Paige Overgaard added seven points and 14 rebounds.
The men’s team, which appeared in the state/region title game for the eighth time in nine years, was led by Akeem Smith who scored 24 points. Michael Cornelious added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Zeke Thompson had 10 points, and Malik Jones had 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.
Smith, who averaged 21.3 points, and Jones, who averaged 18.0 points, were named to the all-tournament team.
The women’s team finished with a 17-11 record. The men’s team ended the year 17-12.
The men’s national tournament will be March 16-18 in Utica, New York. RCTC will host the women’s national tournament on March 16-18