PLYMOUTH – Jackson Community College’s “Grinnell-style” offense was no match for Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s balance, as Kalamazoo claimed the NJCAA District G championship with a 121-96 victory on Saturday at the LifePlex.
Tournament MVP Kendall Dow led KVCC (21-7) with 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting to send the Lady Cougars back to the NJCAA National Championships for the sixth time.
Jackson (19-12) was led by Erika Bullock with 17 points.
“Going back to nationals never gets old,” said KVCC women’s basketball coach Ron Welch. “This team has really been good about taking care of the little stuff. It’s very gratifying when the kids are willing to work towards a goal and execute a game plan. When you get away from that, that’s when you start making turnovers and mistakes. I’m proud of them.”
Jackson shot just 11-of-61 in the first half and trailed 53-32 at the break. The Lady Jets attempted to make a run in the second half as the shots began to fall, but KVCC was up to the task, scoring 68 points of their own in the final 20 minutes to seal the victory.
“It’s hard to really encapsulate the season in one game,” said Jackson women’s basketball coach Andrew Hoaglin. “We didn’t shoot well in the first half. Still, I’m proud as all get-up of our girls. I’m very proud. We’ve set so many national records, and we’ve gotten our program on the national scene. It was a great run.”
Dow was joined on the all-tournament team by Nicki Wurster (Jackson CC), Jennifer Lofts (Kalamazoo CC), Kaitlin Vincke (Kalamazoo CC), Bullock (Jackson CC), Iesha Ellis (Muskegon CC), and Barbara Johnson (Lake Michigan College).
NJCAA DISTRICT 8 SEMIFINAL: Jackson CC 111, Muskegon CC 98
Davielle Thomas scored 27 points to lead fourth-seeded Jackson to a 111-98 upset win over top-seeded Muskegon in the NJCAA District G semifinal.
Jackson trailed Muskegon (22-9) by 20 at one point, but scored 70 points in the second half to pull away for the victory.
Janele Johnson-Ellis (26 points, 10 rebounds) and Iesha Ellis (24 points, 23 rebounds) led Muskegon in the losing effort.
NJCAA DISTRICT 8 SEMIFINAL: Kalamazoo Valley CC 67, Lake Michigan College 62
Kendall Dow led all scorers with 20 points as Kalamazoo Valley held off Lake Michigan College in the NJCAA District G semifinal.
The Lady Cougars forced Lake Michigan (18-7) into 22 turnovers on the day and held a slight edge in rebounds to escape with the narrow win.
Barbara Johnson led Lake Michigan with 18 points.
Ancilla College is a Catholic, two-year, co-educational, liberal arts college in Donaldson, Indiana sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.