Matt Bos-Media Coordinator
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. (Box Score)- Unseeded York defeated #9 Davenport (Mich.) 78-77 in overtime in the first game of the 22nd Annual NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship. The 2013 event is being held at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks (Mo.).
Thaddeus Varmall led York with 19 points, including the go-ahead lay-up with 21 seconds to go in overtime. Heyvis Jackson tallied 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Panthers, who also had Dylan Brewer (15) and Marcus Johnson (14) in double figures.
York led the entire first half and held a 16-point advantage (43-27) early in the second half. A 15-3 run, triggered by six straight points by Dominez Burnett, put Davenport within four. York pushed the lead back to seven but Davenport began another rally and trailed by just three with under a minute to go. Davenport worked the ball to junior JaVontae Ford, who knocked down a three-pointer to send the game into overtime tied at 66.
Both teams held the lead in the overtime period and after a basket by Ford, Davenport led 77-76 with under a minute left. York put the ball in the hands of Varmall, who drove down the right side of the lane and hit the game-winner. Davenport missed on a couple of chances to win it in the final seconds but Jackson sealed the win with a blocked shot and rebound.
Davenport was led by Burnett, who scored a game-high 28 points, going 10-for-15 from the field. Ford registered a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. After struggling from the field in the first half, Davenport shot 44% for the game. They end the season with a 27-7 record.
York improves to 24-8 on the year and will play either #8 Eastern Oregon or Midland (Neb.) in Friday's second round. The 32-team, single elimination tournament concludes Tuesday, March 12, with the championship game to tip-off at 8 pm.