Following several runner-up finishes, the Joliet Junior College men's basketball team finally punched through and won the 2018 Region IV Division III Championship with a 74-70 victory over Rock Valley College. Since claiming their last Region IV title in 2010-11, the top-seeded Wolves have endured four second place tropies over the last six years before ending the drought Sunday in Madison, Wisconsin.
The dream of winning a championship nearly faded in Saturday's semifinal against Milwaukee Area Technical College (13-18), but sophomore guard Jarret Gmazel completed a late rally with a successful runner at the buzzer to get past the Stormers, 74-72. Gmazel continued his excellent play with five 3-pointers and a game-high 21 points - to eventually win the tournament's MVP award - in the win over Rock Valley College (27-6), who advanced to the title game with a 76-59 defeat of host Madison College (18-11).
Joliet Junior College, ranked #9 in the NJCAA Division III Poll, will travel to play in the NJCAA District II Championship against Columbus State Community College at Ohio Christian University in Circleville, Ohio. The winner will advance to the NJCAA National Tournament in Loch Sheldrake, New York.
2018 All-Tournament Team
Bryant Nolan, Jr. - Milwaukee Area Technical College
Tyree Young - Madison College
Darius Branch - Rock Valley College
DeMari Davis - Rock Valley College
Quincey Butler - Joliet Junior College
Jarret Gmazel - Joliet Junior College
Coach of the Year
Joe Kuhn - Joliet Junior College