Blazers receive championship welcome home -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Blazers receive championship welcome home

By Robert Hydrick - bio | email 

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The Valdosta State men's basketball team made history in winning the NCAA DII South Region championship late Tuesday night in Russellville, Arkansas.

The Blazers are now headed to the Division II Elite 8 next week in Massachusetts.

The Elite 8 is the same as the final four for Division I teams.


The South Region champs flew back in Valdosta just after 11:30 Wednesday morning just 12 hours after defeating Rollins College in the regional title game.

A big crowd of Blazer fans including head football coach David Dean was there to welcome them home.

The victory celebration continued when the team bus pulled into the VSU Complex where even more fans were applauding and cheering the Blazer basketball team on this historic occasion.

The 2010 Blazer basketball team not only winning their first regional title but they also have broken the school record for most wins in a season at 28.

Head coach Mike Helfer proud of his team for their character they showed in all three wins including Sunday's seminal upset of number one ranked Arkansas Tech on the Wonder Boys home court.

Mike Helfer said. "After losing to Arkansas Tech so badly in the Gulf South Conference tournament and then to turn around and come back and just basically dominate the game on their court in front of 4000 fans. They had a 20 game winning streak. It just showed a lot of character by our guys."

Forward Tyrone Curnell said. "We just came out and really wanted to do it for Valdosta and our school. we came out and played hard and we did it."

Guard B.J. Dibble said. "We just knew we had to get it back. We knew we wanted that win."

Valdosta State will play Indiana-Pennsylvania University next Wednesday in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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