Blazers win district tournament, earn a bid to Nationals


Joanna Mikolajczak

The Blazers celebrate their victory against the Thunderducks wining the district tournament.

The Dallas College North Lake Blazers basketball team earned a bid to the national championship tournament after defeating Dallas College Richland Thunderducks 90-63 during the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III South Central District Championship game on March 3.

The Blazers seek to defend their 2022 national title.

Blazers head coach Josh Mills said the game went their way because the team focused on defense, granted them many stops and disrupted the other team’s flow.

“It was just us getting stops, stopping them from scoring, stopping them from rebounds,” Mills said. “We got their best player into foul trouble early, and I think that helped, but I told the guys that our offense will come. We just have to stop them from scoring.”

The Blazer has the number-one defense in the nation and has been a key part of the season.

“What is really pushing the team this season is the defense,” Mills said. “Their main focus is defense. They spend a lot of time in defense, being in the right positions and being able to anticipate other players’ plays and actions.”

Mills said the play that stood out the most to him was when Blazer guard Brandin Lawrence put his body on the line and dove for a ball going out of bounds – even as they were up by 19 points.

“That is the type of culture we need,” Mills said.

The win tournament win capped off a great regular season for the Blazers, as now they will head to the NJCAA National Tournament.

Mills said winning the national tournament would mean a lot to the team and the school, making them the winningest Dallas College basketball team.

The Blazers have a 21-winning streak and have not lost a game since Nov 30, 2022. The Blazers have an overall 25-6 record, with a 16-0 home record.

Mills said it is the third Dallas College men’s basketball team won with a 10-0 record through district and conference play.

Mills said it is been a fun season and hopes the team can finish it with a National Championship.

The NJCAA Division III National Tournament starts on March 15-18 in Herkimer, New York.

“The teams at the National Championship [tournament] are very competitive,” Mills said. “It is not going to be a cakewalk by any means.”