OTTUMWA — Lester Medford scored 33 points, including the go-ahead layup with 42 seconds left, as top-ranked Indian Hills won an instant classic, 93-89, over No. 17 Southeastern in the Region XI Championship game on Saturday night. Medford's basket came after a timeout with 1:03 to go, which just seconds after the Blackhawks had forced the ninth tie of the game on two Jordan Stevens free throws.
Stevens, who may have played his final game for Southeastern on Saturday, led all scorers with 42 points in the loss. Stevens was 14-25 from the field and 13-14 from the free throw line, but missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock with just eight seconds left in regulation.
After snaring the defensive rebound following Stevens' miss, IHCC sophomore Quevyn Winters put the regional championship game away at the foul line. Having hit just five of his first eight from the free throw line, sank his final two with just four seconds left in the contest to cap a 22-point effort for Winters.
The loss leaves 17th-ranked Southeastern, at 25-7 on the season, hoping things will break their way to earn one of four possible wild-card berths into the NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Tournament. No. 1 IHCC, meanwhile, will take a 30-2 record into Thursday's District XI title game at the Hellyer Student Life Center at 7 p.m.
The Warriors do not yet know who they will face from North Dakota for the automatic berth to the national tournament. Williston State will play 23rd-ranked North Dakota State College of Science for the Region XIII title Sunday at 4 p.m.
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