It's likely that not many of you have been following this year's Division III basketball tournament, but the event is the big show for the top 32 Division III programs in the country.
The first round began last week at various sites, from Washington, D.C., to Claremont, Calif.
In Salem, Mass., Salem State played host to Johnson & Wales University of Providence, R.I., a game that normally wouldn't be on the radar screen in Columbia County.
It should be this season, because the Johnson & Wales squad features former Evans High School standout Clint McCalla.
McCalla is a 6-foot-3 junior forward for the Wildcats who averaged four points per night in 26 games this season. He also grabbed 4.4 rebounds per contest, and earned seven starts, and easily lead the team in rebounds per minutes played.
This season McCalla helped the Wildcats post a 21-7 record and win the Great Northeast Atlantic Conference title. Johnson & Wales won its final 10 games and 14-of-15 to close out the regular season.
Unfortunately, last Thursday in the Division III tourney Salem State knocked off Johnson & Wales, 94-80, but McCalla has another year left on the college courts, where he will try to get his Wildcats back in the field of 32 next year.
More Northern Knights
Two of McCalla's former teammates at Evans also are playing hoops up north.
Saint Mary's University (Minnesota) competes in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Like Johnson & Wales, SMU is a Division III program.
Ex-Evans Knights Will Floyd (junior) and Greg Brown (sophomore) both logged double-digit minutes per game as key reserves for the Cardinals. Brown averaged 19 minutes per game, and Floyd had 14 per game.
Brown averaged four points and three rebounds, while Floyd chipped in three points per game.
Saint Mary's struggled to a 7-18 record during the 2003-04 season, but Brown and Floyd will return to Winona, Minn. next fall to help the Cardinals try and improve that mark.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.