Upset-minded Eagles end season with three-point loss in state tournament

Troy Simons drives past a Daytona State defender. Simons led all scorers with 28 points. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)
Troy Simons drives past a Daytona State defender. Simons led all scorers with 28 points. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

Polk State (No. 7 FCSAA) saw its basketball season come to an end tonight with a 78-75 loss to Daytona State College (No. 4 FCSAA) in the opening round of the 2016 FCSAA/NJCAA District 8 Men's Basketball Championship in Ocala.

Trailing 78-75 with 5.2 seconds left in the game, the Eagles called time out. When play resumed, Karim Mouliom inbounded the ball, and Troy Simons attempted a three-point-shot that would have tied the game.

After taking an early 9-0 lead, the Eagles ended the first half down 43-37.

The Falcons built a 13-point lead with 12 minutes remaining in the game, but the Eagles kept fighting and went up 69-68 with three minutes left.

When Simons hit a three-pointer with 1:45 left, the Eagles held a 75-74 advantage. The Falcons, however, answered with a three of their own and added a foul shot for the 78-75 victory.

"Our guys really played hard," said Head Coach Matt Furjanic.

"We were down about 10 points in the second half, and Daytona State looked like they just might open up the game, but our guys battled back. They played great defense and made big shots and it came down to one last shot at the end.

 "I'm proud of the guys and the way they played. We had a nice year and came back to the state tournament, and we came one shot away from an upset tonight."  

Simons led all scorers with 28 points, making four three-pointers and eight of nine foul shots. He also grabbed eight rebounds.

Darelle Porter scored 14 points. He sank three of five three-point shots and five of six free throws.

Mouliom and Elijah Cottrill each had seven points.

The game had 11 lead changes and four ties. 

The Eagles finish the season 23-9 overall and 8-2 in the Suncoast Conference.

Jan 25
Men's Basketball 2:00 PM
vs. Impact Academy
Winter Haven, FL
Jan 29
Men's Basketball 7:00 PM
at St. Petersburg College
St. Petersburg, FL
Feb 01
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
vs. Hillsborough Community College
Feb 05
Men's Basketball 7:30 PM
at Florida Southwestern State College
Fort Myers, FL
Feb 08
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
Mentor Appreciation Night Bradenton, FL
Feb 15
Men's Basketball 4:00 PM
vs. St. Petersburg College
Greek Day Winter Haven, FL
Feb 19
Men's Basketball 7:30 PM
at Hillsborough Community College
Tampa, FL

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