(Editor's note: DCC Athletics release)
OTTUMWA, Iowa - Playing in their sixth straight road game, Dawson Community College's bid to repeat as men's basketball district champions and qualify for nationals fell short Saturday night in Iowa as No. 6 Indian Hills beat them 115-99.
The Bucs end the season at 27-6. Indian Hills moves to 27-5 and wins the automatic bid to NJCAA Division I Nationals in Hutchinson, Kansas and will await their seeding and matchup during the selection show Sunday evening.
The two teams traded leads early on and Dawson was up 7-6 four minutes in before Indian Hills went on a 16-5 run to take control of the game. The Warriors didn’t miss many shots in the first half. They shot a sizzling 67% from the field and 50% from the three-point line. Taj Anderson did most of the damage going 5-6 from long range and scoring 18 points in the half. Dawson shot 56% from the field and 55% from 3-point range, but 10 turnovers and getting beat on the boards dug them a deep hole as the Warriors took a commanding 61-39 lead into intermission.
The Buccaneers took better care of the ball in the 2nd half with only one turnover, but Indian Hills continued to score in the paint and dominate the glass. DCC actually outscored the home team 60-54 in the final twenty minutes, but it was too little too late.
“We fought all the way to the end, but they were the better team tonight,” explained Dawson Coach Joe Peterson. “They played tougher and stronger for 40 minutes. We didn’t do a good job defensively of keeping them in front of us and we didn’t rebound like we are capable of. Against good teams like that, there is not much margin for error.”
Indian Hills won the battle of the boards 43-27. They also scored a whopping 68 points in the paint, compared to Dawson’s 42. The Bucs did force 19 turnovers and outscored them 23-15 on points off turnovers.
Six Warriors reached double figures led by Taj Anderson’s 30 points. J’vonne Hadley scored 18 points on 8-9 shooting while Ahren Freeman 15 points on 5-6 shooting.
Five Buccaneers reached double figures, led by DeAngelo Horn’s 17 points on 7-8 shooting from the field to go along with 7 rebounds. Jajuan Tot added 15 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Joe Mpoyo, Kennedy Brown and Jalen Tot all scored 12 points each.
According to Peterson, “It’s been a really special year. We went 5-0 vs. some of the top Region IX teams, beat two top 25 Division I teams and one top 25 Division II team. We won our third consecutive Region Championship and everyone knows how hard it is to repeat, much less three-peat. We won that Championship on the road which nobody in our region has done in over a decade. We only lost six games all year with five of them coming to Top 25 teams. Four of those six losses were by four points or less.
"We won 27 games, matching our win total from two years ago, and is one of the highest win totals in Dawson history. Plus I think we gave our fans some fun and exciting basketball which continued to attract more and more fans to our games throughout the season. Montana, Glendive, DCC and this team have a lot to be proud of. I wish we could have gotten back to Hutch again, but so do the other 180 teams who didn’t make it. It is incredibly difficult to do which makes it that much more special when it happens.”