The Lady Jaguars recent trip to Salina, Kansas to play in the NJCAA National Tournament was noteworthy and unpredicted.
The Jaguars began at nationals making history winning their first-round game in the NJCAA national tournament for the first time in the team’s history, over Jefferson College Vikings 57- 70.
The Jaguars were defeated by Pensacola State College in the second-round game, made an incredible comeback from a 23-point deficit in their third-round game verses Shelton State, and sat roadside for over 10hours returning to Georgia due to bus maintenance.
Brittany Logan led the Jaguars in their first game with 14 points, shooting 100 percent at the free-throw line.
The Jaguars were conquered in their second-round game by the Pensacola State Pirates 70-57. The Pirates scored 25points off of the Jaguars turnovers.
Coach Waldon said the reason for their loss against the Pirates was the foul trouble they encountered early in the game, “Three of our main players got in foul trouble early and that threw our rhythm off.”
Hearing the Pirates directed remarks to the Jaguars from the sidelines, it was no doubt that the Pirates were an aggressive team physically and psychologically.
“I tried to come out and be aggressive and get my teammates involved.” said Ronita Garrett, who led the Jaguars with 12points and seven rebounds, “They talked –I can say they backed it up.”
In the third-round game in the NJCAA national tournament, the Jaguars battled Shelton State Buccaneers to stay in Kansas and play for third place. Kamiya Burwell, who did not play in the first-half, led the team with 15points and shot nine of nine free throws. The Buccaneers defeated the Jaguars 66 to 60.
Traveling with the team on the trip were assistant coaches Donald Moore, Jr. and Christina Shafer, Clarkston academic advisor Reginald Bass and athletic trainer Trevor Austin.
Starter and sophomore point guard Chancellar Martin, who’s also a nursing major, did not play in any games in the national tournament. She was injured in the first three minutes of the district championship game on March 10, after being hit in the eye and suffering a concussion.
Athletic trainer Trevor Austin said Martin is a remarkable ball handler which is needed in this type of championship. “There have been a couple of big injuries and all of them have been to Chancellar Martin…she is one of our better ball handlers when you lose a ball handler in a tournament of this caliber, it definitely affects you in the tournament.”
Coach Waldon expects three of his starters to return next season.
Tryouts for the next season begin on March 31, 2012 at noon in the Decatur Campus gymnasium.