Third-seeded Tigers open at Southeastern

Despite an appeal to the National Junior College Athletic Association, the nationally ranked Indian Hills men’s basketball team will not be playing in this week’s NJCAA Division I Region XI Tournament.

The Warriors faced suspensions and penalties in the aftermath of a postgame brawl with Southeastern following an overtime win over the Blackhawks.

Five players were suspended and the team is ineligible to participate in the regiona tournament, which begins Wednesday.

So, that means third-seeded Marshalltown Community College will travel to second-seeded Southeastern CC on Wednesday. Tip-off for the first-round game in West Burlington is set for 7 p.m.

The Tigers split with the Blackhawks this season, each winning on its home court. SCC (20-9) also is facing sanctions from the fight and will be shorthanded.

The other matchup in the Region XI Tournament will feature top-seeded and No. 5 Iowa Western (28-2) and Northeast (Neb.). The two winners will face off in the regional final at the higher seed on Saturday and the district championship will take place March 7.

Four Southeastern players – Dontay Jackson, Marlon Cort, Debonair Edwards, Tyrie Orosco – missed the regular-season finale at Mineral Area and also will not play against MCC (21-9).

Jackson, Cort, Edwards and Orosco are averaging a combined 27 points per game. Orosco also leads the team in rebounding at 6.3 boards per game.

The Blackhawks had just six players dressed out for the win over Mineral Area.

Southeastern has lost five of its last six games but is 16-4 at home this season. Marshalltown is coming off its second-ever road win over Indian Hills but is just 5-4 on the road this year. One of those losses came to Southeastern in a 73-69 defeat. MCC won the rematch in Marshalltown, 81-65.

Sophomore Chris Caird leads the Tigers in scoring (18 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg), while sophomore Matej Delinac averages 12 points per game. Freshman Troidell Carter scores 11 ppg and grabs six boards per contest.

The Tigers are averaging 79 points per game and are shooting 36 percent from 3-point range. MCC also makes 64 percent of its free-throw attempts.

The Blackhawks are averaging 77 points per game, shooting 39 percent from 3-point range and hitting just 65 percent from the foul line.

Indian Hills lost its final two games without the services of the five suspended players. The third-ranked Warriors finished 26-4 this year. They would have hosted every game they played in during the Region XI Tournament before the sanctions were handed down.