TCCAA/NJCAA Region VII Tournament Tips Off This Week The 2009 Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA)/National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region VII Basketball Men's and Women's Tournament gets underway this week at the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium in Cleveland, Tennessee, with the championship games set for March 8. Tournament champions will advance to the NJCAA National Tournament March 17-21. The men's tournament will be held in Hutchinson, Kansas and the women's in Salina, Kansas.
The Southwest Women's Basketball Team (11-13 overall, 4-9 in the TCCAA) will play Cleveland State (16-10, 4-9) at 2 p.m. on March 3. The winner will take on Eastern Division top-seed Walters State (27-0, 13-0) at 2 p.m. on March 5. The Lady Saluqis, under the direction of 13-year Head Coach Andrea Martre, are led by freshman Kiana James, who ranks among the TCCAA leaders with 15.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, sophomore Raquel Brigham (10.9 points, team-high 56 three-point field goals made) and freshman Keturah Martin (10.1 points, 3.1 assists). Other key players are sophomore Shalonda George (7.0 points, leads team with 8.7 rebounds), and freshmen Mariame Sylla (5.5 points, 7.0 rebounds), Georgette McCullar (4.7 points, 2.8 assists), and Courtnie Gregory (4.0 points, 4.2 rebounds).
The fourth-ranked Southwest Men's Basketball Team enters the tournament with a 22-1 overall record and is the top-seeded team out of the Western Division. The Saluqis have won 21 consecutive games including all 13 conference games. They will play at 6 p.m. on March 6 against the winner of the March 4 game between Walters State (19-11, 6-7) and either Dyersburg State (4-19, 1-12) or Simmons College of Kentucky. Four players average in double figures for Head Coach Verties Sails, who has won 659 games in 30 seasons at the College. The Saluqis average 98.5 points per game which ranks fourth in the NJCAA and also rank 12th with a .502 field goal percentage. Sophomores Jeremy Williams and Myron Strong, both UTEP signees, lead a balanced scoring attack with scoring averages of 15.8 and 14.5, respectively. Williams also ranks among conference leaders with 6.8 rebounds per game and a .547 field goal percentage. Strong leads the team and ranks eighth nationally with a .862 free throw percentage. Other major contributors are sophomores Reginald Owens (14.4 points, 7.0 rebounds), DeAngelo Riley (12.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks), James Justice (11.0 points, 2.5 assists), Jeremy Rodgers