The Athens Review
When you get to the conference tournament, the motto of survive and advance is the No. 1 thought on any team’s mind.
For the No. 1-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals, that goal is one step closer following a 109-61 thumping of the Bossier Parish Lady Cavaliers Wednesday afternoon.
The game was the opening contest of the Region XIV conference tournament at the UT-Tyler Herrington Patriot Center.
With the win, the Lady Cardinals (30-1) notched its 17th 30-win season and have already clinched a spot in the NJCAA national tournament in Salina, Kan. on March 17-22.
“We just had that conversation with them and we talked about surviving and advancing,” coach Elena Lovato said. “Fortunately we get to go to Salina regardless, but we want to start instilling that mindset on our players.”
Lovato said this year’s group has proven they belong at the head of Region XIV.
“I have a special group and with the sophomores performing as well as they did last year in winning a national title, they have the X on their backs this year,” Lovato said. “I think they have been great and we have a phenomenal group right now.”
The Lady Cardinals did play Wednesday’s opener without the services of leading scorer Shlonte’ Allen. She was still dealing with shin splints from earlier in the season.
“We will get her back into practices and have her back in the tournament on Friday,” Lovato said.
TVCC jumped out to a 28-13 lead as Roddricka Patton found Leashja Grant for the easy bucket.
From that point, the Lady Cardinals pulled away and never looked back.
TVCC held a 55-26 lead at the half and outscored Bossier Parish 54-35 in the second half.
Adut Bulgak led the way with 24 points and eight rebounds, while Coco Baker added 19 points and seven rebounds for TVCC.
“I was proud of the girl’s for not getting sloppy since we only had 15 turnovers,” Lovato said. “I like the fact that we out rebounded them by 24 (46-22) and then Adut playing limited minutes had 24 points and eight rebounds which was great.”
TVCC will return to the court Friday at 1 p.m. against Paris or Jacksonville.