FREEPORT, ILL. - Top-seeded and host Highland Community College used a 40-13 run to end the first half and ignite a 100-88 victory over third-seeded Kankakee Community College, winning the NJCAA Region IV Division I Men's Basketball Championship for a second straight year. The win sends the Cougars (26-7) to the NJCAA District IV Championship against Region XVI winner, Missouri State-West Plains Community College, on March 10 in Freeport.
Five players scored in double-figures, led by Luka Barisic's 25 points, but it was sophomore point guard Shareef Smith's 21 points and seven assists that dictated the game and earned Smith the Tournament MVP. Highland, which earned a first round bye in the tournament, defeated fourth-seeded Malcolm X College, 84-59, in the semifinals.
2018 All-Tournament Team
Luka Barisic - Highland Community College
Daizon Scot - Kankakee Community College
Christian Jacob - Kankakee Community College
James Pruitt - Malcolm X College
Trevon Adams - Sauk Valley Community College
Shareef Smith - Highland Community College
Coach of the Year
Chad Boudreau - Highland Community College