OCALA-The Chipola Indians (22-8) finished as runner-up in the FCSAA/NJCAA Region VIII Men's Basketball Tournament, falling 92-67 to Panhandle Conference foe Northwest Florida State in the championship game of the tournament on March 10.
It was the teams' fourth meeting of the season, with Chipola winning only one of those matchups, a 98-91 homecoming win on Feb. 17. Chipola may still have a shot at earning an at-large berth to the NJCAA National Tournament March 19-24 in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Chipola trounced St. Petersburg 93-72 in the semi-final round of the state tournament on Friday, March 9. The Indians beat Eastern Florida State 77-63 in the opening round of the tournament March 7 in Ocala.
Brandon Mahan led the Indians with 26 points in the win over Eastern on Wednesday. Deric Patton scored 18. Keishawn Brewton scored 14. Shamarkus Kennedy had 9 blocks on the night.
Chipola avenged a 102-64 loss in December to Eastern Florida State. Starting point guard TJ Howard returns for contest with St. Pete after serving a one-game suspension for a double-technical foul on Feb. 24.
Also, six Chipola players were named to Panhandle All-Conference: First team: Brandon Mahan (Freshman of the Year), Shamarkus Kennedy and TJ Howard; Second team-Yuat Alok, Keishawn Brewton and CJ Williamson.