HUTCHINSON, Kansas – The Roane State Raiders men’s basketball team ended their historic 2022-23 season in the Hutchinson Sports Arena on Monday, March 20.
In what could have been the team’s first-ever win in an NJCAA Division I Tournament game, a tremendous second half comeback ultimately fell short of earning the Raiders a victory over 10th seeded Butler Community College.
Fans and tournament personnel commented after the game that it was one of the best efforts they had seen in the event’s recent history.
The Raiders (#23) fought their way back from a 22-point deficit to cut the Grizzlies’ lead to three, but that momentum unfortunately fizzled later in the second half. The game ended in a loss for the Raiders with a final score of 85-66.
Raiders’ freshman guard Sebastian Tidor, the reigning Appalachian District Freshman of the Year, led the Raiders in the contest with 17 points.
Sophomore forward Cearius Warren, the Appalachian District Defensive Player of the Year, ended his career at Roane State with another double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. It was Warren’s eleventh double-double of the season.
Roane State ends the season at 23-9.
This was Roane State’s second trip to the national tournament, with their first-ever championship bid taking place last year. With the win earlier this month that sent them to Hutchinson, the team earned the title of back-to-back TCCAA / NJCAA Region 7 Champions.
“In a charged atmosphere that would rival many NCAA tournament games, the Raiders put their hearts and souls into an effort to extend this magical season just one more game,” said RSCC men’s basketball head coach Alan Holt. “It’s not the outcome we wanted, but man did our guys fight… Proud to be a Raider!”
Holt is in his second year as head coach for the Raiders. Prior to Monday’s match-up with Butler, Holt received a plaque from the NJCAA naming him Coach of the Year for the Appalachian District. It was his second time receiving the award in as many seasons.
In the past two years, Roane State teams have participated in five NJCAA tournaments. After a four-decade hiatus, men’s golf returned to the national stage the past two seasons. Men’s basketball has repeated visits to the big dance in Hutch, while men’s and women’s cross-country teams sent representatives to nationals last fall.
“It is efforts like these that show RSCC Athletics is intent on becoming a new power player in both the TCCAA and NJCAA,” said RSCC Athletics Director David Lane. “Thank you to everyone who supports our community college.”
For more information on Roane State Athletics, visit roanestate.edu/athletics.