JACKSONVILLE — The No. 7-ranked Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies were hoping the third time would be the charm in their meeting with No. 4 Trinity Valley Community College on Saturday.
However, it was the Lady Cardinals that recorded their third win over TJC this season, 65-55, in the Region XIV Women's Basketball Tournament championship at Jacksonville ISD Gymnasium.
It was the eighth straight regional title for TVCC (29-3) and the Lady Cardinals receive an automatic bid to the national tournament March 16-21 in Salina, Kansas.
The Apache Ladies (28-4) are hopeful of getting an at-large bid. TJC coach Trenia Tillis-Jones said the school will likely find out Monday if they will be going to the national tournament. It was the second straight year for TJC if they receive the bid.
TVCC's Jazmine Spears, a 6-0 sophomore forward from New Albany, Mississippi, was voted Most Valuable Player of the tourney.
Other all-tournament members were Brittny Norris and Victoria Kemokai of Tyler; Autummn Williams and Leashja Grant of Trinity Valley; and Crystal Jones of Bossier Parish Community College.
Kemokai led Tyler with 17 points, while Brittny Norris and Sandy Jackson added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
"I love coaching these sophomores," Tillis-Jones said. "The sophomores are very upset because they were 0-6 against Trinity Valley.
"My kids played hard and did everything right, it just didn't happen tonight. I love coaching this team."
Maya Singleton and Leashja Grant led the Lady Cardinals with 15 points apiece, while Autummn Williams added 13.
The Apache Ladies played from behind most of the game. Norris gave TJC its last lead, 19-17, with 7:43 to go in the first half.
The Lady Cardinals then went on a 16-3 run to close out the first half and take a 33-22 halftime lead.
The closest the Apache Ladies came in the second half was 33-28 when Kemokai hit the only 3-pointer of the game at the 16:39 mark.
Region XIV Women's
No. 4 Trinity Valley 65,
No. 7 Tyler 55
TYLER — Jade Jones, 0; Victoria Kemokai, 17; Taudenciah Oluoch, 0; Amber Driver, 2; Chelsi Watson, 7; Brittny Norris, 12; Sandy Jackson, 11; Jasmine Prophet, 4; Princess Cole, 2.
TRINITY VALLEY — Dalona Jones, 2; Kami Mickens, 8; Keyana Smith, 0; Jazmine Spears, 4; Maya Singleton, 15; Autummn Williams, 13; Charisma Matlock, 6; Leashja Grant, 15; Dajhae Mullins, 2.
THREE POINT GOALS — TJC (1-16): Kemokai. TVCC (0-6): none.
HALFTIME SCORE — Trinity Valley 33-22.
RECORDS — Tyler 28-4, Trinity Valley 29-3.