Coach Raynor and MassBay Buccaneers glowing after a hard-earned victory against Bunker Hill Bulldogs
WELLESLEY, MA (March 6, 2017) – MassBay Buccaneers captured the 2017 NJCAA Region XXI Championship title and a chance to compete for a national title at the NJCAA Division III Championship tournament next week in Rochester, Minn.
The team rallied in a heart-pounding, neck-and-neck final game to defeat the top-seeded Bunker Hill Bulldogs, 74-71, on Sunday at Massasoit Community College, which hosted the semi-final and final rounds of the NJCAA Regional Championship games.
The win is particularly significant for MassBay Community College and its players. The College’s beloved Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach Bill Raynor announced earlier this year that he will step down from full-time coaching after more than 10 years at the team’s helm and a 42-year-caeer as a college basketball coach.
“I can’t express how satisfying it is to go out winning our fourth regional New England championship in my final season as a coach,” Coach Raynor said. “This team plays as hard as any team that I have coached. They have persevered through a number of adverse situations throughout the season. I hope our players will enjoy the experience of advancing to the national championships. It is something they will always remember and always share.”
Under Raynor, MassBay’s men’s basketball had previously earned the regional titles in 2009, 2011, and 2013 and advanced to the national tournament in those same years. In 2013, the team placed 5th in the nation and finished with the highest rank in MassBay history.
“Our MassBay Buccaneers played magnificent basketball this weekend under the masterful coaching of Bill Raynor,” said MassBay President David Podell. “My heartfelt congratulations to the coaches and the team. This was a fantastic way to end the regular season.”
The Buccaneers will head to the NJCAA National Tournament, to be held March 16 to 18, next Tuesday and will face off against top-ranked Anoka-Ramsey Community College (Minn.) in their first game on March 16.
MassBay Community College was recently ranked by the Brookings Institution as one of the top schools for value added and earned salaries in the workforce. Ranked #1 for 2-year colleges in Massachusetts, #2 in New England and ranked #16 nationally. The College’s facilities in Wellesley Hills, Framingham and Ashland house day, evening and weekend classes that meet the needs of degree-seeking students and career minded life-long learners. Online options provide convenience and allow faculty to facilitate the learning process. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and strives to meet the needs of the diverse local communities it serves.