LARGO, Md. – The Prince George's Community College men's basketball team begins its quest for its eighth National Junior College Athletic Conference (NJCAA) Division III Region XX Tournament title in the semifinals against tournament host and third seed Westmoreland County Community College on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.
Prince George's (15-12, 5-1 Region XX) is led by sophomore Gus Stone (Baltimore, Md./North County), who ranks seventh in Division III Region XX with 18.1 points per game. Sophomore Mykal Johnson (Seat Pleasant, Md./Charles H. Flowers) is second on the team and ninth in the region with 17.1 points per game. Johnson, who enters the tournament seven points shy of 1,000 for his career, is second on the team with 6.3 rebounds per game. Sophomore Kennith Ford (Forestville, Md./National Collegiate) is third on the team and sits just outside the region Top-10 with 14.8 points per game. Freshman Shiloh Beale (Waldorf, Md./St. Charles) ranks fourth on the team with 10.9 points per game but is averaging 17.5 points per game in his last six tilts. Sophomore James Hagins (Roanoke, Va./William Fleming) is the team's leading rebounder and ranks eighth in the region with 7.6 boards per game.
Fueled by 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists from Stone, the Owls defeated Westmoreland County 82-69 on the road on Nov. 18. Johnson notched his first career of eight double-doubles with 18 points and 10 rebounds while dishing out seven assists and Ford chipped in 13 points off the bench in the winning effort in the regular season meeting with the Wolfpack. Joaunn Rivers led the way for Westmoreland County with 17 points while Ja'Kory Freeman (16 points) and Kyle Carrington (15 points) also found double-figures in the game.
The 2018 NJCAA Division III Region XX Tournament gets underway on Friday night when No. 5 CCAC Boyce (3-1 Region XX) battles No. 4 Pennsylvania Highlands Community College (4-3 Region XX) at 6 p.m. The winner of Friday night's battle takes on top seed Montgomery College (6-0 Region XX) in the other semifinals prior to the Prince-George's-Westmoreland County contest on Saturday at 2 p.m. The two semifinal winners will play for the NJCAA Division III Region XX Championship on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The winner of the Division III Region XX Championship Game advances to the NJCAA Division III District XII Tournament with the winners of Region X (Carolina Junior College Conference) and Region XVII (Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association) for the right to go to the NJCAA Division III National Tournament.
It marks the second-straight season the Owls and Wolfpack will tangle in the NJCAA Division III Region XX Tournament Semifinals after Prince George's defeated Westmoreland County 82-65 on Feb. 25, 2017. Ford led the way for the Largo team in that meeting with 17 points while Hagins added a then career-high 12 points and 11 rebounds for his first collegiate double-double.
Prince George's has won the NJCAA Region XX crown seven times (1990-91, 1992-93, 2007-08, 2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16) and will be looking for its first title since 2015-16.
The Owls head coach Brian Johnson is 35-21 in his two seasons at the helm and led the team to the NJCAA Division III Region XX Championship Game last season.
Freeman leads the Wolfpack and ranks sixth in the region with 18.8 points per game. Carrington is second on the team with 14.6 points per game and fuels the team with 9.1 rebounds per game to sit third in the region. Rivers is also averaging double figures for Westmoreland County at 10.3 points per game.