The Manhattan Christian College men’s basketball team captured the Midwest Christian College Conference (MCCC) Tournament title over the weekend in Moberly, Mo. MCC entered the tournament as the top seed and opened play in the semifinals on Friday against the No. 4 seed and host school, Central Christian College.
The Crusaders got off to a strong start against the Saints and led 36-26 at half. In the second half, MCC would increase its lead behind the shooting of Lonnie Penner, who connected on 6 of 10 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 25 points.
Sage Ruis chipped in with 16 points and Will Chisam added 12 as MCC was able came away with the victory, 81-62.
In the championship game on Saturday, MCC squared off against the No. 2 seed, Faith Baptist Bible College. These two teams had only met once in the regular season and the Crusaders won 89-83 in Manhattan.
Things were tight for the first 15 minutes, as MCC held onto a slim 29-25 lead, however the Crusaders would close the half on a 12-1 run to take a 41-26 lead into the break.
This time, Ruis led the way with 19 first-half points on 8-of-11 shooting. MCC would start the second half on a 14-4 run to take a commanding 55-30 lead and from there would coast to the 83-62 victory.
Ruis and Chisam both finished with 22 points on the night, while Penner had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Ruis was named the MVP of the conference and Penner was selected first team all-conference.
Jack Mitchell was named to the second team.
MCC is now 22-8 on the season and will head to the NCCAA Central Region Tournament on Friday, where it opens play at 3 p.m. as the top seed.