Buccaneers clinch Region XIV Tournament berth

BRENHAM, Texas – Freshman guard Macari Brooks was speaking to a reporter in a coach's office just outside the locker room when head coach Scott Schumacher stuck his head inside the door.

"We're in the tournament, baby!" he shouted, a manic grin splashed across his face.

The Blinn Buccaneers defeated Coastal Bend 72-62 at the Blinn P.E. Building Wednesday to snap an eight-game losing streak and qualify for the Region XIV Conference Tournament. Minutes after the final whistle blew, the Bucs learned that Bossier Parish had lost to Trinity Valley 90-72, clinching the Buccaneers the 12th and final postseason berth.

"I walk into the locker room and my guys are celebrating," Schumacher said. "They're patting each other on the back, they're happy and that's what it's all about. I'm just happy for them."

Blinn led most of the second half, then held off a late push from Coastal Bend. With 2:40 to go in the game, the Cougars' Darrick Little hit a 3-pointer to cut Blinn's lead to 63-60. But the Buccaneers answered back as Darrell Combs hit a bucket and Donald Moore followed with a 3-pointer to make it 68-60. Coastal Bend was forced to foul the rest of the way.

De'Quentin Greer led the Buccaneers with 22 points. The sophomore from La Marque wasn't in the starting lineup to start the season but has emerged as one of the team's leaders since the holiday break.

"DeQuentin has really been a very important piece of our puzzle," Schumacher said. "He's really come on for us both in scoring and rebounding and I couldn't be happier for him. He's a perfect example of a player battling through adversity."

Brooks scored 18 points, Moore finished with 15 and Darrell Combs scored 10. The Bucs improved to 12-18 on the season and 4-15 in Region XIV.

Little led Coastal Bend (14-12, 7-11 in Region XIV) with 16 points.

The game marked Blinn's final home game of the season. The Region XIV Tournament begins March 5 at the University of Texas – Tyler.