DANVILLE, Illinois - Parkland College scored the go-ahead bucket with 17.9 seconds left and withstood a furious final attempt by Monroe Community College to come away with a 61-59 win in a hotly-contested NJCAA Division II men's national tournament first round game Tuesday.
The Tribunes (24-5) had three chances at the rim in the final seconds, but the first two were off the mark and the third was blocked out to halfcourt to run out the clock.
Monroe moves to the consolation bracket, where it will face MCC-Penn Valley at 12 p.m. Thursday.
The teams battled back and forth down the stretch before Parkland was able to take its largest lead of the game, 50-46, with just over seven minutes remaining. That's when the Tribunes caught fire to grab the momentum.
Romaine Thomas went on a personal 8-0 run - knocking down a pair of 3's in the process - to make it 54-50 Monroe with 5:57 left and prompt a Cobra timeout. Parkland then had an empty possession, and Isaiah Davis nailed a 3 at the other end to put Monroe up 57-50 with a little over five minutes remaining.
But the Tribunes cooled off just as quickly as they heated up, and Parkland was there to take advantage. A 6-0 run brought the Cobras to within 57-56 with 2:02 left on the clock.
Davis drove to the rim and scored with 1:15 left to break the run and restore a three-point lead. But Parkland answered with a long 3 to tie it with just under a minute remaining.
After a Monroe turnover, the Cobras got to the hoop and scored the winning bucket. Monroe called a timeout, but its last-ditch effort came up short.
The Tribunes started the game on a 10-2 run, sparked by seven points from ShaQuan Bretoux. The Cobras took advantage of foul trouble by Monroe to get to the line and stay in it. But a pair of 3's by Izaha Jackson down the stretch gave MCC a 32-30 lead at the intermission.
Davis provided most of the offense in the second half for the Tribunes. The sophomore scored nine of the team's first 10 out of the break to keep the game tight.
Davis finished with game-high 21, but was the only Tribune to finish in double figures. Thomas and Bretoux finished with nine apiece. Damon Miraud led all players with 10 rebounds.
Monroe was victimized by 17 turnovers, with a number of them coming on offensive charges. The Tribunes were just 9-of-16 from the charity stripe.