East Central faces tall task
By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
March 20, 2004
SALINA, Kan. If it's Saturday and you're still playing ball in Salina, you've done good.
The East Central Community College Lady Warriors have indeed done well as they bounced back from a 76-64 first-round loss to Three Rivers (Mo.) Community College on Tuesday to beat Lake Region (N.D.) State College 74-66 on Thursday and Weatherford (Texas) College 63-52 on Friday.
Today's action finds the 31-3 Lady Warriors taking on the 28-7 College of Southern Idaho Golden Eagles in the seventh-place game.
CSI lost its first game to Seward (Kan.) 78-57, but bounced back with wins over Southeastern Illinois (73-46) and Vincennes (Ind.) University (60-58).
The Golden Eagles have committed 67 turnovers in their three games, but have 23 more rebounds than their opponents.
Leading CSI are twin towers Lenka Zimova and Denisa Svarova, both from Slovakia.
CSI did lose 5-foot-6 starting guard Delicia Jernigan to an injury late in Friday's win over Vincennes. She had to be carried from the court and did not return. Her status for today's game is unknown.
Big time program
You can't accuse Trinity Valley (Texas) of not doing it up right in the NJCAA Division I Women's National Basketball Championship.
Not only did the Athens, Texas, school send a 32-0 and top-seeded team to the tournament, but there's also a 27-person cheerleading squad and a pep band to support the Lady Cardinals in their quest for a possible fifth national championship.
Trinity previously won titles in 1994, 1996, 1997, and 1999.
Two of the Lady Cardinals are from Mississippi LaCourtney Ratliff of Canton, who originally signed with Ole Miss, and LaKeisha Carter of Jackson Provine.
Black and Gold
In addition to East Central and Three Rivers, other teams wearing black and gold at this year's tournament are Weatherford (Texas) and the College of Southern Idaho.
Blue and gold are popular colors too as they are worn by three teams here Gulf Coast (Fla.), Western Nebraska, and Vincennes (Ind.).
It really happened … twice
Mississippi junior colleges have captured two national championships since 1975. Northwest Mississippi won in 1983 with Northeast Mississippi bringing home all the marbles in 1987.
Texas teams have won 14 of the 29 tournaments from 1975-2003. In addition to Trinity Valley's four crowns, Kilgore has won three times, Panola and Odessa twice each, and Temple and Tyler once each.
Margaret DeCiman, the 6-foot-7 standout from Seward County (Kan.) by way of Regina, Canada, is the niece of the ultra slender Manute Bol. There's a strong similarity, both facially and in their build.
Thanks for the help
East Central Community College's official host for the 2004 tournament has been Archie Riggs of Salina. He has shown the Lady Warriors lots of hospitality and his wife has made them several batches of cookies.
She's really a princess
Lake Region (N.D.) State college freshman Babette Noah Ndjandjo is actually a princess in her home country of Cameroon.
See ya in Booneville
Three Rivers (Mo.) basketball coach Jack Childress is also a softball coach at the school. The Lady Raiders will be playing in a softball tournament at Northeast Mississippi Community College next week. Among the participating teams will be East Central.
The Lady Raiders have a pair of ace freshman hurlers, including a lefty that has eight pitches, according to Megan Brown, who plays forward on the basketball team and second base and right field on the softball squad.