The Red Ravens are National Champions.
Coffeyville defeated Jayhawk Conference rival Cowley 108-99 in Saturday’s NJCAA National Championship game, capturing their first title since 1962.
After a close first few minutes, Coffeyville would go on a 24-6 run that would set the stage for the rest of the game. Blaise Keita came out of the gate firing, scoring 15 points on 7-9 shooting. The Ravens led by 20 at the half at 60-40.
Coffeyville would need every bit of that lead in the second half, as the Tigers mounted a furious comeback over the last 15 minutes of regulation that saw them get to within three points at 102-99. However, it was not meant to be. After struggling with free throws for most of the half, Coffeyville found its stride after a crucial change of possession went its way. Tylor Perry would both from the line to put the game out to 5, and Love Bettis further iced the game with two more.
Finally, Larry White would put the exclamation point on the Ravens’ superb season, slamming it home with authority in front of a rambunctious Coffeyville crowd.
Keita led all scorers with 27 points, setting himself a new career high. Six other Red Ravens scored in double-digits, including Perry (18), Kevaughn Ellis (14), Bostyn Holt (12), Bettis (12), Markeith Browning (11), and Larry White (11). Furthermore, Bettis and Keita were named to the All-Tournament team. Perry was declared the tournament's MVP.
Coffeyville ends its season at 26-3. The national championship is the first for head coach Jay Herkelman, who has coached the Red Ravens for 26 seasons. He was also named as the coach of the tournament.