Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 24, 2013

Rend Lake claims national crown

Staff Report
The Register-News

---- — DANVILLE – The Rend Lake College mens basketball team won its first national title this weekend.

The Warriors beat Moraine Valley 87-69 in the championship game of the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.

Woodlawn graduate and tournament MVP Bronson Verhines finished with a double-double. He had 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Cortez Macklin led the Warriors with 19 points. Jeril Taylor added 15, and Noel Allen was also in double figures with a dozen.

Another Woodlawn graduate, Dawson Verhines, finished with five points and six rebounds.

Darryl Hervy led Moraine Valley with 17 points.

Rend Lake rode a quick start to a 48-26 halftime lead.

Rend Lake used hot shooting against Moraine Valley. The Warriors hit more than 50 percent of their attempts from the field while the Cyclones struggled. Moraine Valley hit just 35 percent from the field.

The Warriors were strong again in the championship in the paint and off the bench. Rend Lake outscored Moraine Valley 36-28 down low and nearly doubled up the Cyclones in bench points.

Macklin, Taylor and Bronson Verhines were all named All-Americans. Dawson Verhines took away the sportsmanship award.

The Warriors entered the national tournament this week with a 26-3 record after taking the region tournament title.

The Warriors also won the Great Rivers Athletic Conference title with a 14-2 record.

Rend Lake opened the national tournament, scoring wins over Cecil College, South Suburban and Owens before the championship.