OIT men claim NAIA Div. II national championship


One day after ousting second-seeded MidAmerica Nazarene in the national semifinals, 11th-seeded Oregon Tech handed top-seeded Bellevue (Neb.) a 63-56 setback Tuesday night to claim the 2008 NAIA Division II men's basketball championship.

It is the second national title for head coach Danny Miles and the Hustlin' Owls, who also defeated Bellevue to win the 2004 championship here.

Ryan Fiegi, a 6-foot-7 senior guard, once again led the way for the representatives from the Cascade Collegiate Conference, scoring 22 points and grabbing four rebounds to go with four assists. He was 7-for-21 from the field and also added one steal and one blocked shot against Bellevue.

Fiegi, who partially dislocated his right kneecap in OIT's opening-round game Thursday, led the Owls in scoring in all five games during the championship, totaling 112 points in the tournament. The former South Medford High star was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Guard Jguwon Hogges added 14 points, including nine in the second half. His 3-point field goal from the right side with 3:23 remaining gave the Owls a 59-52 lead. He added a key steal with under a minute remaining, then drew a two-shot foul driving to the basket with the shot clock winding down and 16.4 seconds left in the game. Hogges sank both free throws to give Tech a 61-56 lead.

Fiegi added two more free throws with five seconds remaining to provide the final margin of victory.

Ryan Beesley also came off the bench to spark Oregon Tech (31-6). The 6-4 junior finished with 10 points, eight of which came in the second half on a pair of 3-point field goals and two free throws.

Myles Daley, another South Medford product, added six points on 3-for-5 shooting and pulled down three rebounds to go with two blocks and one assist. Former Panther Brent Johnson was held scoreless in limited action.

Bellevue (33-4) was led by John Gray, who finished with 14 points.

Hogges and Josh Wetzler of OIT joined Fiegi on the all-tournament team.

Miles, OIT's 37th-year head coach, was named the NAIA Division II National Coach of the Year.

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