POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. — Unseeded York College defeated No. 9 Davenport (Mich.) 78-77 in overtime Wednesday in the first game of the NAIA Division II men's basketball tournament.
“It was an incredible, really up and down overtime thriller,'' York coach Delton Deal said. “That was a very good win. We fought hard and were fortunate to get out of there with a win.''
Thadd Varmall led York with 19 points, including the go-ahead lay-up with 21 seconds left 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 (24-8) led the entire first half and held a 43-27 advantage 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.
“He really stepped it up,'' Deal said. “He really played well today.''
Burnett finished with 28 points for Davenport (27-7).
No. 22 York will play No. 25 Midland University on Friday at 8:30 a.m. in the second round.
“It will be an interesting game,'' Deal said. “We match up really well. We're very similar teams. It will be a fast-paced game. It will be a tough one for sure.''