Trinity Valley advances to national semifinals

 

SALINA, Kan. — Usually when the ninth seed meets the top seed, competitive games are a rarity. The exception was Thursday night at the Bicentennial Center.

No. 1 and unbeaten Trinity Valley used all of its skill and talent to secure a 66-59 win over No. 9 Shelton State (Ala.) in a quarterfinals game of the NJCAA Women’s National Basketball Tournament.

The Lady Cardinals (34-0) advance to the semifinals, scheduled for 8 p.m. tonight against either No. 12 Georgia Perimeter or No. 4 Pensacola (Fla.). The other semifinal has No. 3 Central Arizona meeting No. 2 Hutchinson (Kan.) at 6 p.m.

The semifinal winners will play in the national championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The game changed Thursday when the Lady Cardinals went on a 14-0 run in the final 6:28 of the first half to take a 38-27 halftime lead.

“We love to press, but we decided to get back and guard them,” TVCC co-head coach Kenya Landers said. “We wanted to see if they could make shots, when they were being defended, because we were allowing open shots earlier.”

The Lady Bucs were 0 of 11 during that stretch with five turnovers.

That allowed the Lady Cardinals to get into their game.

Also, All-American Sha’Kayla Caples stepped up, scoring 26 points with five rebounds and three steals for the Lady Cardinals. Keuna Flax added 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Keiana Vines had six blocks.

Guard Meghan Dunn led the Lady Buccaneers (32-3) with 16 points. Brittany Agee added 11 points.

“That’s definitely not a nine seed,” Landers said “They’re a great team, they play hard and they play fast. They get up and guard you for 40 minutes. I don’t know if we played anybody all year that guarded us as well they guarded us and caused us as much trouble. But my kids made plays ... Our All-American — Sha’Kayla — stepped up in the first half when we had nothing going for us.

“It wasn’t beautiful by any means; but we advanced and that’s what we are trying to do this time of the year.”

Caples had 15 first-half points.

Shelton State coach Madonna Thompson was pleased with the effort of her team and praised the TVCC squad, but she felt her team was underseeded.

“I was hoping we would be playing (Trinity Valley in the semifinals),” Thompson said. “We thought we could be seeded as high as fifth and the lowest we thought was seventh. When we found out we were ninth, it was like a slap in the face.”

A coaching committee seeds the teams prior to the tournament.

The Lady Bucs played like a higher seed against TVCC, actually taking a 22-16 lead on a 14-0 run of their own with 8:29 to go in the first half. Shelton State, which is located in Tuscaloosa, Ala., had a 27-24 lead, but then went cold. The Lady Cardinals had their own 14-0 dash and was up 38-27 at halftime.

“That was a key (the latter part of the first half),” Thompson said. “If we could have made a bucket or two there; (TVCC) may have been only up three or four toward the end instead of seven or eight and you never know what happens then.”

NOTES: Texas A&M coach Gary Blair was in attendance for the TVCC-Shelton State game. ... The Bicentennial Center court will be renamed for former TVCC coach Kurt Budke during a ceremony at 6:40 p.m. Saturday between the third-place and championship game. Budke and former TVCC Lady Cardinal Miranda Serna were killed in a plane crash in western Arkansas during a recruiting trip on Nov. 17. Budke is a native of Salina. ... The Lady Cardinals have won five NJCAA championships, the most recent in 2004. ... When visiting the Hutchinson Sports Arena on Wednesday, lots of folks there still bring up coach Floyd Wagstaff and his Apache teams.

NJCAA Women’s National Basketball Tournament

Bicentennial Center, Salina, Kan.

Quarterfinals

No. 1 Trinity Valley Community College 66, No. 9 Shelton State (Ala.) Community College 59

SHELTON STATE — Brittany Agee,11; Quenisha Lockett, 3; Meghan Dunn, 16; Sharin Rivers, 6; Psachal Maize, 6; Brianna Lancaster, 4; Amber Bennett, 2; Porshia Blue, 0; Dominique Henley, 2; Juliser Harper, 9; Katie Young, 0; Adreka Parks, 0; Brittany Pennington, 0; Shandon Huddleston, 0; Asia Anchrum, 0.

TRINITY VALLEY — Jenea Barrett, 8; Keuna Flax, 10; Alice Robinson, 0; Sha’Kayla Caples, 26; Starr Breedlove, 3; Breanna Lewis, 7; Brittney Gill, 5; Keiana Vines, 4; Ashley Jones, 3.

HALFTIME SCORE — Trinity Valley 38-27.

THREE-POINT GOALS — SSCC: 4-14, Agee 2-2, Harper 1-2, Dunn 1-6, Rivers 0-2, Maize 0-2. TVCC: 5-17, Caples 3-7, Barrett 1-2, Lewis 1-6, Flax 0-1, Gill 0-1.

FREE THROWS — SSCC 13-17, TVCC 15-24.

REBOUNDS — SSCC 36 (Lockett 7, Dunn 6), TVCC 53 (Flax 10, Robinson 8).

TOTAL FOULS — SSCC 17, TVCC 18.

ASSISTS — SSCC 5 (Dunn 2, Rivers 2), TVCC 11 (Caples 3, Lewis 3).

TURNOVERS — SSCC 24, TVCC 26.

BLOCKS — SSCC 5 (Agee 2), TVCC 6 (Vines 6).

STEALS — SSCC 13 (Rivers 4), TVCC 15 (Caples 3).

RECORDS — Shelton State 32-3, Trinity Valley 34-0.

NEXT UP — Consolation: Shelton vs. Georgia Perimeter, 4 p.m. Friday; Semifinals: Trinity Valley vs. Pensacola (Fla.), 8 p.m. Friday.

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NJCAA Women's National Basketball Tournament

At Bicentennial Center, Salina, Kan.

Tuesday’s Games

No. 3 Central Arizona College 75, No. 14 Southwestern Illinois College 53

No. 6 New Mexico Junior College 52, No. 11 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College 42

No. 10 Walters State (Tenn.) Community College 61, No. 7 Otero (Colo.) Junior College 51

No. 2 Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College 75, No. 15 Meridian (Miss.) Community College 42

No. 1 Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College 88, No. 16 Malcolm X (Ill.) College 51

No. 9 Shelton (Ala.) Community College 85, No. 8 Snow (Utah) College 62

Wednesday’s Games

No. 12 Georgia Perimeter College 57, No. 5 Jefferson (Mo.)?College 50

No. 4 Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College 72, No. 13 Monroe (N.Y) Community College 60

No. 14 Southwestern Illinois College 62, No. 11 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M?College 49

No. 3 Central Arizona College 61, No. 6 New Mexico Junior College 56

No. 2 Hutchinson (Kan.)?Community College 62, No. 10 Walters State (Tenn.) 46

Thursday’s Games

No. 7 Otero (Colo.) Junior College 48, No. 15 Meridian (Miss.) Community College 42

No. 8 Snow (Utah) College 53, No. 16 Malcolm X (Ill.)?College 50

No. 5 Jefferson (Mo.)?College 69, No. 13 Monroe (N.Y.) Community College 58

No. 6 New Mexico Junior College 46, No. 10 Walters State (Tenn.) Community College 45

No. 1 Trinity Valley CC 66, No. 9 Shelton (Ala.) CC 59

No. 4 Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College 70, No. 12 Georgia Perimeter College 57

Friday’s Games

Game 18: No. 14 Southwestern Illinois College (28-7) vs. No. 7 Otero (Colo.)?Junior College (32-2), noon

Game 19: No. 8 Snow (Utah) College (21-13) vs. No. 5 Jefferson (Mo.)?College (29-5), 2 p.m.

Game 20: No. 9 Shelton (Ala.) CC (32-3) vs. No. 12 Georgia Perimeter College (23-10), 4 p.m.

Game 21: Semifinals, No. 3 Central Arizona College (31-1) vs. No. 2 Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College (35-0), 6 p.m.

Game 22: Semifinals, No. 1 Trinity Valley CC (34-0) vs. No. 4 Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College (28-4), 8 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

Game 23: Seventh-Place, Winner Game 18 vs. Winner Game 19, 1 p.m.

Game 24: Fifth-Place, No. 6 New Mexico Junior College (31-5) vs. Winner Game 20, 3 p.m.

Game 25: Third-Place, Loser Game 21 vs. Loser Game 22, 5 p.m.

Game 26: Championship, Winner Game 21 vs. Winner Game 22, 7 p.m.

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