The 16-team field is set for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Women’s Basketball Championship to be played March 15-19 at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas.
In the program’s fourth year of existence, Cape Fear Community College grabbed its first ever Region 10 Title following a 70-68 overtime thriller against Louisburg College and will make their inaugural appearance at the national event.
“It’s been a little hard, until the brackets came out to not keep thinking about the Region Championship game,” said CFCC first-year coach Chris Harris. “It was such an intense game back and forth, with one point here or there deciding the outcome.”
Cape Fear earned the No. 6 seed in the bracket after garnering national attention throughout the NJCAA Division II Top 20 poll for most of the season. The Sea Devils face No. 11 St. Clair County Community College from Port Huron, Michigan.
After getting back to practice last week, Harris and his team have been fine-tuning their game. They departed for Kansas on Sunday.
“We are gathering information and watching film now on St. Clair,” Harris said. “We came back to practice on Wednesday and worked the first two days on improving us. Friday and Saturday we had a scouting report ready for our players to see and go over with them in practice. We’ll use the travel day as our day off and Monday will be full of meetings and the tournament banquet before we get started.”
While Cape Fear was on spring break last week, Harris noted that his players exuded a ton of excitement for this opportunity as much of the team communicated through text messages and phone calls leading up to the news of their tournament opponent and seed.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how our players prepare for this trip,” said Harris. “There was not one time this year did we talk about winning games. Their only thought this season was going to Kansas. I’m extremely happy they get an opportunity to play in a National Championship tournament.”
The Sea Devils are 25-1 overall and riding a 25-game win streak. Cape Fear is listed fourth in the nation with a 45.6 field goal percentage. Four players are averaging double figures, including Jasmine Brown (12.3ppg), Destiny Campbell (10.7ppg), Desaree Green (10.3ppg) and Monica Alexander (10.4ppg).
While their offense has averaged 75.8 points per game this season, the Sea Devils have really shined on the defensive end of the floor, ranked eighth in the nation in points allowed (47.0 ppg).
St. Clair (21-10) is coming off their fourth conference title in five years. The Skippers were a five-seed in the district tournament before making the run to qualify for nationals.
Prior to the tournament banquet on Monday, March 14, Cape Fear will get 30 minutes to practice at Johnson Community College and will also practice for about 45 minutes at an off-site gymnasium, according to Harris.
Tip-off between the Sea Devils and St. Clair is set for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15. It’ll be the fourth of six games on day one of the tournament.
Watch the NJCAA Division II Tournament at NJCAA.TV. Click here for additional information.