Aztecs men's basketball claims seventh place after fighting off pesky Ancilla College; Koehler named to All-Tournament team

The Aztecs men's basketball team took seventh place at the NJCAA Division II Tournament on Saturday after beating Ancilla College 104-101. The Aztecs closed out the season with a 29-7 overall record. Photo courtesy of the NJCAA.
The Aztecs men's basketball team took seventh place at the NJCAA Division II Tournament on Saturday after beating Ancilla College 104-101. The Aztecs closed out the season with a 29-7 overall record. Photo courtesy of the NJCAA.

The Pima Community College men's basketball team closed out the 2018-19 season on Saturday at the NJCAA Division II Tournament in Danville, IL.

  • The No. 3 seeded Aztecs defeated No. 12 Ancilla College 104-101 to claim seventh place for the tournament. After dropping the first game to Cecil College, the Aztecs won three straight.
  • The Chargers (24-11) inbounded the ball with 2.4 seconds left but were forced to shoot a long three-pointer as time expired.
  • Up 86-83 with 5:43 left, the Aztecs went on a 9-2 run in the next two minutes to take a 95-85 lead with 3:50 left. They were outscored 16-9 the rest of the game. Pima went 5 for 8 from the free throw line in the final minute.
  • The Aztecs took their biggest lead of the game by going on a 12-4 run earlier in the half to take a 68-56 lead but the Chargers brought it back down to a single digit lead after scoring four straight points.
  • In the first half, the Chargers used a 10-2 run to put the Aztecs down 34-28 but the Aztecs countered with a 15-5 run to grab hold of a 43-39 advantage at the break.
  • Sophomore Kennedy Koehler was unstoppable as he finished with his 22nd double-double of the season as he scored 35 points with 21 rebounds and seven assists. He was named to the NJCAA Division II All-Tournament team.
  • "I feel like I've always been capable of that," Koehler said on gaining double-doubles in points and rebounds. "Coach (Brian Peabody) said 'if you average a double-double, we will win a lot of games and it will earn you a lot of success in your future.' We've been talking about Danville all year. It was a good experience. We didn't win the first game but we bounced back the last three games, regained our focus and played like we had all season."
  • Koehler averaged 26 points and 14 rebounds during the tournament.
  • Sophomore Abram Carrasco scored 26 points with seven assists and six rebounds. He broke the Pima men's basketball career scoring record on Mar. 6 and finished his career with 1,310 points.
  • Freshman Rashad Smith (Hamilton HS) scored 20 points on 8 for 15 shooting while sophomore Robert Wilson (Salpointe Catholic HS) had nine points and 12 rebounds.

The Aztecs finished the season with an overall record of 29-7 and claimed their third straight NJCAA Region I, Division II title. The Aztecs had four sophomores on this year's squad.