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Iowa History Daily: March 18 - Townsell Lifts Trojans to Title

Iowa History Daily: On March 18, 1995, Grant Townsell hit a baseline jumper with 3.4 seconds left to lift North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) to a national championship. The team featured 10 Iowans coming together to make one of the most unlikely championship runs in Iowa’s basketball history.

Led by Coach Dan Mason, the team started off the season with a 10-4 record. Things looked bleak when the team lost two starters at the end of the first semester, but the Trojans managed to come together. Led by Clear Lake’s Paul Bruns and Ryan Pippett of Des Moines Lincoln, the short-handed Trojans bounced back after a five game losing streak to claim third-place in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference entering the postseason.

In the ICCAC tournament, NIACC trailed by as many as 15 in their opening round game against Kirkwood before storming back to take a 74-73 win. After again falling behind in the second-round of tournament play, this time by as many as 20, NIACC again came back to beat rival Waldorf College 87-74. An 83-75 win over first-seeded Iowa Lakes punched NIACC’s ticket to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.

A balanced scoring attack featuring 28 from Bruns, 21 from Pippett, and 21 from Des Moines North product Grant Townsell, allowed the Trojans to ease into the semi-finals with a 78-66 win over Alfred State. Down 10 points to Allegheny County in the semis, Bruns put in 25 points while Pippett scored 14 of his 16 in the second-half to help the Trojans come from behind again. Down yet again, this time to Grand Rapids CC while the clock ticked toward zero, NIACC came from behind again thanks to the timely Townsell jumper with 3.4 seconds to go in the national title game. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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