Pioneer Athletics Enter Tournament Season

Pioneer Athletics continue to see success on the court and on the mat as Pioneer basketball and wrestling earn tournament appearances. Both the men and women’s Pioneer basketball teams will play in MCAC Regional Tournaments this weekend and two Pioneer wrestlers will represent NCTC at the NJCAA National Tournament.

The Pioneer Women’s Basketball team finished with a 24 win and 2 loss season. Northland won the MCAC Northern Division with a 14 and 0 conference record and earned the right to host the Region 13B Women’s Basketball Tournament on Saturday February 27th and Sunday February 28th. This season, Northland is currently ranked #2 in the NJCAA national poll.

Northwest Minnesota has great basketball and we would love to see community support of that local talent this weekend! quote
On Feb. 27, they will take the court at 2 p.m. as the number one seed as they face fourth ranked Rainy River Community College. Number two seed Mesabi Range Community College will face third ranked Itasca Community College at 4 p.m. The winners of those games will face off in the championship game at 2 p.m. on Feb. 28.

According to head coach Shannon Nelson, “This program prides itself on being able to compete on a national level with predominantly local players. Northwest Minnesota has great basketball and we would love to see community support of that local talent this weekend!”

Two years ago the Pioneer women’s basketball team won a national championship with an all-Minnesota roster and over 70% of the team was from within a 100-mile radius of Thief River Falls.

There will be a “Whiteout” at the game and fans are encouraged to wear white to support the Pioneers. The first 75 fans in the door will receive a free Pioneers Whiteout T-shirt. Ticket prices for the tournament will be $7 for adults and $5 for students.

The Pioneer Men’s Basketball team has also seen success on the court this year. They qualified for the Region 13 Men’s Basketball Tournament held at Anoka Ramsey Community College February 26, 27, 28. Northland will be the #4 seed in the Northland and play Rochester Community and Technical College on Friday, February 26th (live stream).

The Pioneer Wrestling team continues to produce tournament level contenders and make NCTC proud. Two Pioneers qualified for the NJCAA National Wrestling Tournament this year. Pioneers Mitchell Zachman and Phillip Jackson will be headed to the NJCAA Wrestling National Tournament. Mitchell finished 5th in the 165 weight class to earn his trip to Nationals and Phillip Jackson qualified with a 6th place finish at the 197 weight class.

The tournament will be on February 26th and February 27th at the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs, IA.

Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) is a comprehensive college with campuses in Thief River Falls, MN, and East Grand Forks, MN. NCTC also has an aerospace site in Thief River Falls, MN, and a satellite site in Roseau, MN. NCTC offers certificates, diplomas, transfer courses, two-year degrees (A.A.S., A.S., A.A.) in more than 80 areas of study, workforce training and education programs. NCTC is a member of Minnesota State, the fourth-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. NCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer. For more information about Northland Community & Technical College, visit or call 1.800.959.6282.