Unseeded York defeated #9 Davenport (Mich.) 78-77 in overtime in the first game of the 22nd Annual NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship. The 2013 event is being held at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks (Mo.).
Thaddeus Varmall led York with 19 points, including the go-ahead lay-up with 21 seconds to go 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.
Both teams held the lead in the overtime period and 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.
Midland recorded the second upset of the day as they knocked off #8 Eastern Oregon 77-53. Making its second national tournament appearance and first since 2000, Midland guard Galen Gullie scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Warriors to its first tournament win. The sharp-shooting sophomore went a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the arc and three other Midland players also scored in double figures.
Down 22-18 with eight minutes left in the first half, Midland outscored Eastern Oregon 19-3, keyed by back-to-back three-pointers by Gullie and Jalen Hueser, to take a 37-25 lead into the break.
Midland improves to 20-12 on the year and advances to play York (Neb.) in Friday’s second round at 8:30am. The 32-team, single elimination tournament concludes Tuesday, March 12, with the championship game to tip-off at 8 pm.