OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – There is saying at tournament time in March - survive and advance. That is just what the No. 2 seed Johnson County Community College men's basketball did Wednesday night.
The Cavaliers held on for a 73-72 victory over No. 10 seed Lakeland (Ohio) Community College in the NJCAA Division II quarterfinals in Danville, Ill., and are now just two wins away from the program's third national championship.
Lakeland rallied from a double-digit deficit but missed a potential game-winning shot in the final seconds. Johnson County (30-4) will play either No. 11 seed John Wood or No. 14 seed Cecil, who play at 6 p.m. Thursday, in the semifinals at 8:30 p.m. Friday. The championship game is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Freshman guard JaQuaylon Mays led the Cavaliers in scoring with 20 points, matching his season high. He was 8-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range. He also grabbed five rebounds and had a team-high three steals.
Sophomore guard Nick Larkin and sophomore forward David Turner each finished with a double-double, and Larkin flirted with registering his third triple-double of the season. He finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Turner provided 15 points and 11 boards. He also had a double-double in the first game of the tournament.
Guard General Williams, who was coming off a career-best 30 points in the tournament opener, was held to just six points off two 3-point baskets.
John Dawson led Lakeland (26-7) with 27 points, and Rob Brown added 16.
With the victory, the Cavaliers tie the team record for wins in a season with 30. The 2001 team also won 30 along with the program's first national championship.