#By RENALDO DORSETT
#KALEEL Solomon and his Eastern Florida State Titans saw their cinderalla season end just short of the National Junior College Athletic Association national title.
#The Titans suffered an 84-58 loss to Hutchinson in the NJCAA Division I Tournament finale at the Hutchinson Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kansas, on Saturday.
#The team set a school record with 31 wins and finished as national runners-up for the first time in school history.
#“What a magical season for the coaching staff and the players,” said Jeff Carr, associate vice president of athletics at Eastern Florida State College. “We all thoroughly enjoyed their run and they should hold their heads high for the amazing accomplishments. We are very proud of the team and their achievements. Well done.”
#As a freshman, Solomon averaged 5.7 points per game and shot 39 per cent from three-point range in 36 games. He reached double figures in seven games this season, including a season high 19 points in a February matchup against ASA Miami.
#Solomon and his No. 6 ranked Titans received a bye into the second round in the third straight season the programme advanced to the tournament. The Titans received an at-large bid after finishing runner-up in the Region VIII Tournament.
#In their tournament debut, they won 87-74 over Monroe College and in the quarter-finals they won 65-45 over Motlow State. They advanced to the championship game with a 77-65 win over South Plains.
#Solomon was one of several Bahamians competing in the tournament for their respective universities.
#Daejour Adderley and his San Jacinto-Central Ravens, the top overall seed in the tournament, were eliminated in the quarter-finals. As the number one seed they received an automatic bye to the second round where they scored a 115-77 win over Connors State. They followed with a 98-82 upset loss to Northwest Florida State.
#It was their 21st tournament appearance in school history. San Jac earned the automatic bid to the national tournament after they won the Region XIV championship.
#Sebastian Gray and Robert Joseph were the first Bahamian players to hit the court in the tournament and led the No.23 ranked Northern Oklahoma-Enid Jets to an opening round upset win.
#The Jets scored a 95-90 win over No.10 Southern Idaho Golden Eagles. Gray finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots while Joseph added two points off the bench.
#In the second round, they were eliminated 82-76 at the hands of the Vinciennes Trailblazers, ranked No.7 in the bracket. Gray finished with seven points and 11 rebounds.
#Latrell Poitier and the No.13 St. Petersburg Titans were eliminated by the eventual national champion Hutchinson, 92-78.
#In the opening round they advanced with a 70-55 win over No.20 Highland.
#Each season, over 200 NJCAA Division I men’s basketball teams take aim towards the ultimate prize – a trip to Hutchinson, Kansas, for a chance to compete for a national championship. The 2017 season marks the 70th NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – known as The Tournament.
#NJCAA Division I men’s basketball is comprised of 16 districts across the country and the champion of each district receives an automatic bid to The Tournament, which is a 24-team, single-elimination championship.