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Motlow College Athletic News

Bucks' season ends with loss to Vincennes in NJCAA Tournament

March 23, 2018

The Motlow Bucks couldn't overcome the red-hot shooting start of Vincennes, despite 36 points from Rashawn Fredericks, and saw their basketball season come to a close with an 86-82 loss to the Trailblazers in the second round of the NJCAA National Tournament Wednesday night in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The Bucks finish the year 23-8, tied for the ninth most wins in school history. Motlow has advanced to the second round of the national tournament each year it has been; 2013, 2017 and this year, and its all-time record at the tournament is now 4-3. The Bucks reached the second round by beating No. 19 seed Otero Junior College 77-76 Tuesday afternoon.

The contest between the No. 14 Bucks and No. 3 Trailblazers was extremely close the entire way. Vincennes led 16-12 after the first six minutes, but Motlow, driven by three-pointers from Fredericks and Isaiah Hart, surged to a 27-27 tie with 9:30 left in the first half. Vincennes charged back though and took a 44-40 lead into intermission. There were six ties and 10 lead changes in the first 20 minutes of play.

The Trailblazers had expanded their lead to five, 49-44 with 15:36 left to play, when Fredericks hit a long three pointer to close the gap to two. The final tie was 55-55 with 11:21 left to go. Vincennes increased its lead to six before Hart hit a three pointer to close the gap to 71-68 with 5:04 remaining. Motlow stayed within three or four points until two minutes were left, when they had to put the Trailblazers on the free-throw line to try and extend the game. Vincennes hit their free throws in the final 120 seconds to secure the win.

In his final game at Motlow, Fredericks was spectacular, hitting 14-26 shots from the field and 5-6 free throws. He barely missed a double-double, hauling in nine rebounds. Hart added 17 points and had four assists, four steals and four rebounds. Fredericks and Hart go into the history books as two of the best players to ever wear the green and gold.

Leo Castillo, who has filled the role of sixth man for Motlow most of the season, continued his excellent play with 11 points along with three rebounds and two steals. Kevonte Corley had six points and four rebounds, Dillon Smith scored five points but led the team with 10 rebounds.

Vincennes cooled off after its blazing hot shooting start but still shot 51 percent for the game, with Motlow shooting 40 percent. The Bucks hit 9-28 three pointers while the Trailblazers hit 9-20. Motlow connected on 77 percent of its free throws as compared to 65.5 percent for Vincennes. The Bucks won the rebounding battle 38-37 and forced 12 turnovers while only committing seven. The biggest edge was assists, as Vincennes had an amazing 24 on 29 made baskets while Motlow had 14 on 28 made.

Hart is the all-time single season and career leader in steals, with 125 and 231 respectively, and his 3.4 steals per game is the best in Motlow history. He is the all-time leader in three-point baskets made with 189. His 1,089 career points are eighth all time, as is his 16.3 points per game career average. Hart is sixth all time with 303 career assists and seventh with an average of 4.5 assists per game. He hit 83.9 percent of his free throws, fourth on the all-time list.

Fredericks is right behind Hart with 1,001 points and averaged 15.2 per game in his career. He stands second on the all-time rebounding list with 769, just four behind leader Bob Martin and over 100 ahead of the next best mark. His 11.6 rebounds per game average is third all time. Fredericks is seventh in total steals with 124 and five in all-time three pointers made with 113. Amazingly enough, he is fourth on the all-time blocked shots list with 84, putting him on more career top ten lists than any player in Motlow history. Fredericks was named the TCCAA/Region VII Freshman of the Year last year and the Player of the Year this season, the first Buck in history to be so honored.

They are joined on the all-time leaderboard by classmate Corley, whose 546 rebounds puts him at No. 5 and his 8.4 rebounds per game is sixth. Dillon Smith checks in tied for tenth in total steals with 99 and is sixth all time in three-point shots made with 109.

The four, along with Chad Emmons, have more career wins than any class in history. Together, they won 53 games over two seasons, one TCCAA regular season title and two TCCAA/Region VII Tournament titles. They made two national tournament appearances and compiled a 3-2 record, advancing to the final eight last year and round of 16 this season.

Motlow Bucks
Motlow State sophomore Rashawn Fredericks dunks over an opposing player during a game earlier this season. Fredericks finished his Motlow career as one of the greatest players in school history, ranking in the top ten in career points, points per game, rebounds, rebounds per game, steals, steals per game, three-point shots made and blocked shots. Jeff Reed Photography.