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PJC Dragons beat Highland 77-72, advance to the NJCAA Final Four

Published or Revised March 25, 2005

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Supporters of PJC’s Dragons who couldn’t make the trip to Hutchinson, Kan., to see the team compete for the NJCAA national championship gathered in McLemore Student Center Thursday evening for an “indoor tailgate party,” listening to Dragons’ victory on the radio.

The Paris Junior College Dragons came from behind in the second half to defeat Highland Community College (Illinois) 77-72 Thursday night in the quarterfinals of NJCAA national basketball tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.

The victory sends the Dragons (26-9) into the final four of the tournament and a match-up tonight against Southern Idaho in semifinals game at 8:15 p.m. Southern Idaho (32-2) defeated Midland (Texas) Community College on a last second shot, 70-69, in the quarterfinals.

The PJC Dragons trailed Highland by 6 points at halftime and were down by 13 points before making a run midway through the second half take their first lead in the game, 51-50, with 10:58 left.

Rod Earls hit 6 of his 18 points in the run, while Alexander Starr, 13 points, and Lamar Searight, 11 points, began to open up the scoring.

The winner of tonight’s game will face the winner of the Moberly vs. Chipola in the championship match-up Saturday at 8 p.m. The loser will play for third place at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Online coverage of Thursday night’s game:

Bullet Cougars blow big lead to Paris; will try to bounce back today

Coverage of Southern Idaho’s victory:

Bullet Chaps fall to Southern Idaho by one

The Dragons take on the College of Southern Idaho Friday at 8:15 p.m.

Webcast of Friday’s game: On Campus; Off Campus.

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