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By Robby Fenbers

The Ohio Community College Athletic Conference has produced some talented teams in the past; this season that trend has continued.

The season began with eight teams fighting for the right to be known as the OCCAC’S best. After a season full of close games and dominating performances by stand-out players, it seems we have dwindled down to four contenders. Here is a look at the conference’s best.

Leading the conference with a 21-6 overall record (11-2) are the Lakeland Lakers, who have a very talented roster including sophomore Mike Davis who is averaging 20.6 pts/game.  Right behind them is the Cincinnati State Surge, who are also tied for the # 1 seed. The Surge have a 24-5 overall record (10-2). They have compiled 8 straight wins, including a thrilling 75-74 victory over Lakeland.

They are followed by the Owen’s Express, who upset the Lakers recently, helping them currently sit at the #3 seed with a 22-6 overall record (10-2). The Express have continued to climb up the standings and are on a five game winning streak.

Sitting at the #4 seed are The Challengers. Led by Cairo Brown and Robert Fomby, the team has held its own in what has shown to be a very tough conference season. The Challengers overall record is 17-9 (8-5). The team has had to overcome adversity in the form losing players to injury and a few suspensions throughout the season. The Challengers have struggled against the top opponents in the conference as they are 1-5 against Lakeland, Cincinnati State and Owen’s.

Coach Duncan who is in his first year as head coach, is actually very comfortable where his team is even with recent losses as they head into the conference tournament “Frustrated and upset but their right where I want them to be though,” says Duncan “I want them to be hungry, I want them to be starving”. The Challengers have lost five game by 5 or fewer points including three losses in overtime this season. “You only learn from losing,” Duncan says.

The tournament begins March 3rd, where the Challengers will look to make a run for the OCCAC Conference Championship. They seemed to come close, but have not been able to break through to that next tier of winning. Come playoff time that must change.

All stats courtesy of OCCAC.ORG

Conference tournament Photo.. The Challengers huddle up during a game against LCCC. Photo by Mitchel Guy
Challengers huddle midgame; Photo by Mitchel Guy
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