Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 23, 2013

NJCAA WOMEN'S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: Dream fulfilled

Lady Cardinals win seventh national title over Central Arizona, 83-71

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

SALINA, Kan. — The No. 1 ranked Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals delievered on their motto of chasing No. 7 this season as they won, 83-71, over the Central Arizona Vaqueras Saturday evening in the NJCAA Women's National Tournament championship on Kurt Budke's court.

Head coach Elena Lovato's Lady Cardinals finished the season with a record of 35-1 and celebrated in grand fashion at the Bicentennial Center as Lovato became the fourth coach to win a national title.

She joins Budke, Michael Landers and Kenya Landers and inherited a team with no returning starters or player's from last year's national title team.

TVCC held a 13-point lead at the half, 46-33, and was outscored 38-37 in the second half but scored when it counted the most against the No. 2 seeded team in the tournament.

Shannon Smith was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player as she finished her career with 14 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Teammate Shlonte' Allen led the way with 22 points, two rebounds, two steals and one block, while Krystle Henderson scored 14 points and had four assists and two rebounds.

Adut Bulgak rounded out the double figure scoring with 10 points and six rebounds.

A full recap of the championship game will be online Sunday evening and in Tuesday's print edition of the Athens Daily Review.