(Editor's note: DCC Athletics release)
GLENDIVE - For the third year in a row, Dawson Community College will play perennial national power Indian Hills Community College in Saturday's NJCAA Men's North Central District Championship game. The Warriors are currently ranked No. 6 in the country.
After winning the Region XIII Championship 84-75 at Wahpeton, ND, Monday night, the Buccaneers continued to Minnesota and Iowa in preparation for Saturday's showdown set for 6 p.m. MST. in Ottumwa, Iowa. The Bucs have been to Nationals 16 times in the past 30 years, including 3 national championships finishing in the top seven on five other occasions.
On paper the teams are evenly matched. Dawson is 27-5 on the season while Indian Hills is 26-5. IHCC’s home record is 14-4 and DCC will come into the game with a 10-2 record in true road games this season. Both teams are shooting around 45% from the field and 34% from the 3-point line, though Dawson shoots and makes more 3’s. The Bucs currently lead the nation in 3-pointers. The Warriors get to the free throw line more often and shoot about 3 percentage points higher from the line. Both teams are pretty even on the glass with a rebounding margin of around 5 per game. Although Dawson collects more offensive rebounds, Indian Hills is more effective on the defensive glass, mostly because they hold opponents to 36% shooting on the year while Dawson’s opponents shoot 44%. The defensive 3-point field goal percentage for each team is around 30%. Fouls, turnovers and blocks are also pretty even. DCC’s advantages come in forcing turnovers and steals (about 4 more a game than IHCC) and in assists (about 4 more a game). In scoring, the Bucs are averaging 90 points a game and giving up 74 (+16) while the Warriors are averaging 81 points a game and giving up only 65 (+16).
Indian Hills has balanced scoring with seven guys averaging between 7 ppg and 12 ppg. Likewise, Dawson has seven players averaging between 7 ppg and 12 ppg. The leading scorers for Indian Hills are 6’4 guard Taj Anderson and 6’6 guard J’Vonne Hadley. Hadley and Anderson, along with Braxton Bayless, Davin Zeigler and Enoch Kalambry were all named All-Region for IHCC. Hadley was selected as Player of the Year. Dawson is led by 6’3 guard Reggie Martin and 6’1 guard Jalen Tot. Martin and Tot, along with DeAngelo Horn and Kennedy Brown were named All-Conference for Dawson. Both of the teams have depth and experience. Ten of the fourteen Warriors are 2nd year players while nine of the fourteen Buccaneers are 2nd year players.
The winner of the District Championship Game automatically qualifies for nationals. In 2020 Indian Hills beat Dawson 92-65 in Iowa and last year the Bucs returned the favor 68-67 in Montana.
Go Hills TV will be providing a free broadcast of the game on Facebook Live. You can also access the stream by going to www.gohillstv.com [r20.rs6.net] or by downloading the Go Hills TV app.