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Royals basketball team ranked 3rd in nation, highest in JU history

KNOXVILLE Johnson University’s men’s basketball team finished this season earning the title of 3rd in the nation the highest title in Johnson history at the National Christian College Athletic Association DII Men’s Basketball National Championship in Greenville, SC, March 7-9.

The Royals played their first championship game against the #6 team, Trinity Baptist College, winning 76-60, on March 7.

On March 8, the team lost to the #2 team, Grace Christian University, 75-51.

The Royals played their final game of the season, March 9, against Maranatha Baptist University, to compete for third place. They succeeded in winning, beating MBU 101-86.

At an awards banquet earlier in the week, various members of the team were recipients of awards. Taylor Gilpin was awarded the Pete Maravich Award. Coby Jones was named one of the 1st Team All Americans. Seniors Taylor Gilpin, Kenton Gullion, and Brandon Toro were recipients of the Scholar-Athlete award. Gavin Grubb earned all-tournament honors, as well.

During the week of the championship, the team completed a community service project at a local food bank.

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Lady Royals finish 6th in nation at NCCAA DII Women’s Basketball National Championship

The Lady Royals brought home the title of 6th in the nation after competing in the National Christian College Athletic Association DII Women’s Basketball National Championship at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC.

The team, consisting of only six players, headed to Greenville after appearing on Channel 10 News for a short interview on March 4.

On Thursday, the Lady Royals played the 3rd ranked team in the nation, Randall University, and lost 66-67 on a shot made by their opponent with 7 seconds left on the clock.

They played again Friday morning against the host team, BJU, and lost 69-57. This final game left them ranked 6th in the nation.

“This week proved we could compete with the best…,” JU Women’s Basketball Head Coach Amy James said. “I truly believe everyone that had not seen these ladies play thought we had made it to the National Tournament by mistake, however, when we were finished playing both games we had everyone in the gym shaking their heads and saying, ‘I have never seen 6 players compete like they did’.”

At the National Championship awards banquet, Keisha McIntyre, Michaela Keele, and Taylor Thurman received Scholar-Athlete awards.

During their time at national championship week, the team completed a community service project of designing and illustrating placemats for the local Children’s Hospital.