PHOENIX - The Pima Community College men's basketball team is headed to the NJCAA Division II national tournament.
The No. 2 seeded Aztecs (21-11) won an instant classic over No. 1 Phoenix College (25-7)102-99 to win their first region title since 2009. It was also head coach Brian Peabody's first championship since he came to Pima in four seasons.
Sophomore Deion James (Empire HS) was named the Region I, Division II championship game's Most Valuable Player after he scored 27 points and had 12 rebounds for his 19th double-double.
"Everything was on the line. This might have been one of the greatest things I've ever witnessed," James said.
Pima took control of the game down 78-75 with 7:17 left, the Aztecs went on a 9-0 run that was capped off by a dunk from James that got the bench hyped and put Pima up 84-78.
Sophomore Emilo Acedo (Salpointe Catholic HS) helped James carry the load as he also dropped 27 points on 8 for 11 shooting which included 6 for 9 from three-point range.
Freshman Isaiah Murphy (Cienega HS) put in 20 points off the bench.
The NJCAA Division II national tournament will be played in Danville, IL on Mar. 21-25.