The Elite Eight at the NJCAA (Junior College) Women’s National Basketball Championships in Lubbock, Texas became elimination eight as the two remaining Kiwis bowed out.
Grace Hunter and South Plains College Lady Texans along with Izzy Cook and Western Nebraska College Cougars were both defeated in the quarter-finals on Friday (NZT).
South Plains were beaten 63-54 by Northwest Florida State and Western Nebraska were downed by Three Rivers, 79-71.
Grace Hunter again displayed her all-court talents amassing a team high 17 points that included 4 from 7 three-pointers. She also led the South Plains assists column with 5 and grabbed 4 rebounds.
Grace has had a fine second year at South Plains averaging 10 points and 4 rebounds a game. It will be interesting to see if she picks up an NCAA scholarship with her consistent performances rewarded with All-Western Junior College Athletic Conference honours.
Izzy Cook once again came off the bench with good effect for Western Nebraska. Izzy snared 5 rebounds, made 2 points and dished an assist as the curtain came down on the Taranaki forward’s encouraging freshman season.
Izzy Cook and Western Nebraska College Cougars caused the upset of the tournament on the second day of the NJCAA (Junior College) Women’s National Basketball Championships in Texas.
Western Nebraska, seeded #16 in the 24-team championship, knocked off top-seed Jones College 63-60 in the second round on Wednesday (NZT). The Cougars trailed 60-59 with 30 seconds to play but scored the last four points of the contest to record a memorable win.
Izzy was at the heart of the action snaring 8 rebounds (4 at the offensive end) plus 3 points.
Western Nebraska advance to the Elite Eight and will enjoy a day off before playing Three Rivers Community College in the quarter-finals.
#18 Miles College caused an upset by defeating #15 Gulf Coast State yesterday but couldn’t repeat that form going down 72-55 to Trinity Valley in the second round. The season now over for Bree Trego and Molly Cockburn.
It’s the same fate for Deejan Schuler and #8 Casper College with the Lady T-Birds beaten 68-60 by Three Rivers. Deejan scored with her only shot and also provided an assist but Casper couldn’t overcome a 10-point half-time deficit.
Playing their second round games tomorrow are Leah and Jenna Rose Mafua with #21 Otero College up against #5 northeast Florida State.
In addition Grace Hunter and #4 South Plains will play #13 Georgia Highlands.
There is plenty of Kiwi interest in the NJCAA (Junior College) Women’s National Championships which began Tuesday (NZT).
Six teams, boasting a total of 10 Kiwis, are at the 24-team Junior College showpiece event and all but three players survive to the second round.
At the back end of the opening day #21 Otero College, Colorado trailed #12 Butler 67-65 with 2 minutes to play.
Featuring sisters Leah and Jenna Rose Mafua, Otero stormed home, rattling in the last 9 points of the game to win 74-67. Jenna Rose scored 6 points (2/3FG) while Leah nailed 4 from 10 three-pointers on her way to 16 points.
Earlier Taranaki’s Izzy Cook and Western Nebraska were first on court. Seeded 16, the Cougars took care of business against #17 Iowa Western winning 79-70.
Izzy got into a bit of foul trouble clocking four personal in 8 minutes but still managed 3 rebounds, an assist and a couple of points.
They now have the rather daunting prospect of taking on unbeaten top seed Jones College in the second round tomorrow.
#18 Miles College caused a minor upset defeating #15 Gulf Coast State but it took overtime to split the two teams after the scores were knotted at 62 points apiece in regulation – Miles winning 76-72. Canterbury’s Molly Cockburn and Wellingtonian Bree Trego move on to face #2 Trinity Valley in the second round.
20th ranked Southern Idaho suffered an agonizing 65-62 loss to #13 Georgia Highlands. Southern Idaho led by three points at the three-quarter mark but were outscored 19-13 in the final period.
Conference All-First Team selection Kaitlin Burgess, led the Golden Eagles scoring with 13 points whilst also snaring 6 rebounds.
Ashlee Strawbridge was the other Golden Eagle in double figures with 10 points while Kyra Paniora scored 8 points as the curtain came down on Southern Idaho’s season.
Grace Hunter and South Plains are seeded four and had a first round bye today.
Also enjoying the luxury of a first round bye were #8 Casper College with Te Aroha’s Deejan Schuler in the Lady T-Birds lineup.
There will be plenty of Kiwi interest in the upcoming NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships after Southern Idaho, South Plains and Otero Colleges all claimed regional titles on Saturday.
After leading the Southern Idaho Golden Eagles to an 83-57 win over Snow College in the Region 18 Championship game Kaitlin Burgess was named Tournament MVP.
She posted 11 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in the final having led all scorers with 22 points, making all 4 attempts from behind the arc, in the semi-final win against Utah State Eastern 24-hours earlier.
That semi-final featured no fewer than six Kiwis as Ella Bradley had 7 points and 6 rebounds for Utah State Eastern with Hannah Bradley scoring three points and Brooklyn Pouwhare claiming a couple of boards.
Back to the final and both Ashlee Strawbridge (8 points and 3 rebounds) and Kyra Paniora (6 assists) made significant contributions in the win.
Grace Hunter and South Plains also claimed championship success with a basket on the buzzer to defeat Weatherford College 74-72 to claim the Region 5 title.
Grace filled the stats line with 6 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists, a steal and a block while Briarley Rogers had 4 points and 4 rebounds for the runners-up.
Leah Mafua and Otero College made it a hat-trick of wins for colleges with Kiwi connections taking out the Region 9 championship title with a 94-89 overtime win against Casper College – no box score details were available at the time of publishing this article.
Otero, South Plains and Southern Idaho, along with Miles Community College have gained automatic bids for the 24-team NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships, April 19-24.
The Selection Show takes place on Monday (NZT) when we will learn if other Kiwis will gain entry via the 8 at large picks.
We will provide an update when the Selection Show concludes.
There are multiple conference championship wins to report as we roundup the latest happenings in Junior College basketball.
Molly Cockburn, Bree Trego and Miles Community College Pioneers are the Region XIII Mon-Dak champions, the title securing the Pioneers a place in the 24-team NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships, April 19-24.
Miles overpowered Dawson College 85-41 in a one-sided championship game to secure their second title in three years.
Three days earlier Miles proved too tough for Williston State winning 91-73 in the semi-finals.
Williston were severely hampered by Jazz Kailahi-Fulu’s foul trouble. She picked up two in the first quarter and ended up playing just 9 minutes before picking up her fifth with just 6 points to her credit.
Keeley Tini dropped 18 points and pulled down 9 rebounds to help keep Williston afloat while for Miles Molly Cockburn knocked down one of two free throw attempts.
Some disappointment at the loss was offset for the former Harbour Breeze pair with Jazz named to the Mon-Dak All-Conference First Team and Keeley to the All-Conference Second team.
Briarley Rogers and Weatherford College also secured a conference crown. Weatherford upset Grayson College 91-89 to claim the Northern Texas Conference title and will play South Plains in the Region V Final with the winners advancing to the National Championships.
Briarley was on fire in the final making 7 from 8 from the field, including all three three-point attempts as she tallied 18 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a pair of steals.
South Plains match-up against Weatherford after defeating Midland College 68-59 to win the Western Athletic Conference. Grace Hunter led the South Plains scoring with 13 points and also dished 4 assists.
Deejan Schuler and Casper College Thunderbirds claimed the Region IX North title with a commanding 100-51 win against Northwest College – the Waikato representative had a couple of points and assists in the win.
Jordyn Maddix scored 12 points and Parehuia Delamere compiled 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 5 points as Western Texas defeated Clarendon 90-57.
All four Kiwis got on the scoresheet as Utah State Eastern overpowered Southern Nevada 84-44.
Hannah Wentworth made it 59 points in the last three games for USE after tallying 20 (6/9 3PG) in this one. Ella Bradley was also in double figures with 10 points (5/7FG) while Kay-Hauata Phillips scored 5 and Brooklyn Pouwhare 4 points.
Leah Mafua pulled down 8 rebounds to accompany 11 points but Otero were soundly beaten by Western Nebraska 75-55 in their last regular season game.
Harata Coleman scored a couple of points as Barton College advanced to the Region VI quarter-finals with a commanding 88-50 defeat of Allen College.