College of the Ozarks Bobcats closed out their season on a disappointing note Wednesday evening, as they fell to the Trojans of Trinity International University (Ill.), 72-55, in their opening game of the NAIA DII National Championship.
Both teams got off to a slow start, with the score tied at only 10-10 midway through the first half. After that point, however, the Trojans made their move and outscored the Cats 22-12 to take a 10-point lead into the locker room at the half. The Cats started off quickly in the second half, drawing within four points, but the Trojans rallied and stretched their lead to as many as 21 points before capturing the win.
Senior Cameron Paschke and sophomore Ethan Davidson led the Cats with 15 points apiece, while sophomore Heath Carmichael pulled down 14 boards and DeMon Hyler grabbed 4 steals. The three-ball, which proved instrumental in numerous Bobcat wins throughout the season, did not want to fall for the Cats, as they drained only 5 of 30 treys. While the Cats led on the boards, 51-40, they turned the ball over 18 times to the Trojans’ 11.
The Bobcats end their season with a record of 20-10 and say farewell to seniors Paschke, Kiefer Starbird, and Chandler Hall.
Pictures: Compliments of Brian Beard