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Men's Basketball advances to Region 8 Championship

Posted at 7:10 AM, Mar 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-11 07:10:25-05

NICEVILLE, Fla. – TCC Men's Basketball defeated Eastern Florida State 70-62 on Friday evening in the FCSAA/NJCAA Region 8 Semifinals. The win puts the Eagles in Saturday's championship game, where they will play for the fourth FCSAA/Region 8 title in program history.

"It's not always going to be pretty," said head coach Rick Cabrera. "But, with a few minutes left in the second half, our guys dug deep and made the right plays."

Eastern Florida State led for almost 25 minutes, but with just over four minutes remaining in the second half, Malachi Davis (G, Soph.) converted on a layup to give TCC a 59-58 lead, which they would never give back. Tom Mark (F, Soph.) and Addison Patterson (G, Soph.) each contributed 17 points in the win. Mark added eight rebounds and three blocks, including a crucial rejection in the final minutes that helped seal the victory.

"We are all aware of Tom's ability to defend and protect the rim," said Cabrera. "But tonight his scoring helped us cross the finish line."

As a team, the Eagles shot just 2-for-12 (16.7%) from three, but Malachi Davis knocked one down from beyond the arc with less than two minutes to put the Eagles ahead by eight. The Eagles found success at the free throw line, shooting 28-for-32 (87.5%). Addison Patterson shot 9-for-10 from the charity stripe on his way to a team-high 17 points.

The Eagles will face off against the winner of the other semifinal between Chipola and Northwest Florida State. The three schools were all named Panhandle Conference Champions at the end of the regular season. TCC won two of their three matchups against Chipola, while they dropped two of three against Northwest Florida State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM CST at Raider Arena on Northwest Florida State's campus. A win tomorrow for TCC would be head coach Rick Cabrera's 150th career victory.