Tournament seed: 21
2016-17 Record/Finish: 27-3, 19-3 (first place Arizona Community College Athletic Conference)
Top players: G Ciara Fields (10.2 ppg., 3.8 rpg.); G Shannon Powell (10.3 ppg., 4.8 rpg.); F Sophia Elega (12.0 ppg., 8.1 rpg.)
About the Apaches: Cochise College is making just its second NJCAA national championships appearance and its first since the 1984-85 season … The 23rd-ranked Apaches dispatched of Arizona Western College in the Region I finals to earn the automatic berth, avenging a loss from December in doing so … The Apaches are averaging 76.3 points per game offensively and allowing just 54 per game … Head coach Laura Hughes has guided Cochise to a winning record in each of her six seasons at the helm.
Gulf Coast State
Tournament seed: 1
Head coach: Mary “Roonie” Scovel
2016-17 Record/Finish: 30-2, 10-2 (first place FCSAA Panhandle Conference)
Top players: G Taylor Emery (18.8 ppg., 3.9 rpg.); G Shayla Bennett (16.0 ppg., 2.0 apg.); F Maria A Morales Castro (11.0 ppg., 7.0 rpg.)
About the Commodores: The 2016 national champions are back to defend their title and are seeking the school’s fifth women’s national championship, having also won the crown in 2003, 2008 and 2010 … Head coach Ronnie Scovel is an impressive 543-73 in 19 seasons leading the Commodores. In her time at Gulf Coast, Scovel has tallied double-digit losses just twice while recording nine 30-win seasons … Gulf Coast’s only losses this season came to Panhandle Conference rival and fifth-ranked Chipola and No. 9 Tallahassee Community College.
Hutchinson Community College
Tournament seed: 4
Nickname: Blue Dragons
2016-17 Record/Finish: 33-1, 25-1 (tied for first place Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference)
Top players: G Taylor Stahly (12.3 ppg., 1.8 apg.); F Kirea Rogers (12.2 ppg., 7.8 rpg.); F Bride Kennedy-Hopoate (11.9 ppg., 5.2 rpg.)
About the Blue Dragons: No. 2-ranked Hutchinson comes into the national championships as the hottest team in the country, having won 31 consecutive games. The Blue Dragons’ only loss this year was the third game of the season to Jayhawk Conference rival Seward County Community College, whom they beat in the Region VI title game on Wednesday … This will be the seventh appearance in the national tournament for the Blue Dragons, who have finished runner-up three times (2012, 2014 and 2015).
Iowa Western Community College
Tournament seed: 22
Head coach: Lindsey Vande Hoef
2016-17 Record/Finish: 24-8, 5-0 (first place Iowa Community College Athletic Conference)
Top players: F Lade Adepoju (9.5 ppg., 4.4 rpg.); G Alicia Mountain (8.9 ppg., 3.3 rpg.); C Jazza Johns (8.7 ppg., 4.2 rpg.)
About the Reivers: In just her second year as the program’s head coach, Lindsey Vande Hoef has the Reivers back in the national tournament for the second time in the last three years and seventh time in school history … Iowa Western has finished as high as fifth twice (2002, 2015) and had a run of five straight appearances from 1998 to 2002 … The Iowa Western program is in just its 20th year of existence, having been established for the 1996-97 season … The defensive-minded Reivers average just 69 points per game but allow just 56 points per game.
Jones County Junior College
Tournament seed: 13
Nickname: Lady Bobcats
Head coach: Missy Bilderback
2016-17 Record/Finish: 28-1, 11-1 (first place Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges)
About the Lady Bobcats: Jones County, ranked No. 14 in the nation, will be making its first appearance in the national championships after defeating Hinds Community College in the Region XXIII championship game … The Lady Bobcats have won 23 straight games, their only loss coming to Copiah-Lincoln in early December … Head coach Missy Bilderback is in just her second season at the helm of Jones County, leading the Lady Bobcats to a 19-7 mark a year ago … The Lady Bobcats are a perfect 15-0 on the road this season.
Tournament seed: 24
Head coach: Garfield “Ricky” Jones
2016-17 Record/Finish: 21-6, 1-1 (tied for first place NJCAA Region XV)
Top players: G Shania Johnson (21.3 ppg., 4.8 apg.); C Cristina Soriano (12.4 ppg., 9.4 rpg.); G/F Camilla Kilinc (10.9 ppg., 2.3 rpg.)
About the Mustangs: Monroe College pulled off the huge upset in the NJCAA District C Championship, defeating Harford on the Fighting Owls’ home court, 68-57, to secure the automatic berth into the national championships. Harford had defeated Monroe twice in December … It is the second straight win for the Mustangs over a 2016 national tournament participant as Monroe defeated ASA-New York in the Region XV tournament to earn the District C title game berth.
North Dakota State College of Science (SCS)
Tournament seed: 23
Head coach: Thomas Dryburgh
2016-17 Record/Finish: 30-3, 12-0 (first place Mon-Dak Athletic Conference)
Top players: F Kyla Adams (17.4 ppg.; 7.6 rpg.); G Kate Williams (11.0 ppg.; 2.8 apg.); F Kailey Adams (8.7 ppg.; 4.9 rpg.)
About the Wildcats: North Dakota State SCS is making the third national tournament appearance in school history and first since 2003. The Mustangs also made the tournament in 1996 … They defeated Region IV champion Sauk Valley Community College in the District D finals to earn the automatic berth. North Dakota State SCS enters the national championships on a roll, having won 20 of its last 21 games, their only loss in the stretch coming to fellow tournament participant Iowa Western Community College.
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
Tournament seed: 11
Nickname: Lady Norse
Head coach: Jim Rowland
2016-17 Record/Finish: 28-2, 16-1 (first place Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference)
Top players: G Maria Delgado (16.5 ppg., 2.5 apg.); F Hatty Nawezhi (13.6 ppg.; 9.8 rpg.); G Kamry Orr (12.4 ppg., 4.9 rpg.)
About the Lady Norse: The Lady Norse, ranked No. 10 in the nation, are making their second straight national tournament appearance and fourth under 12-year head coach Jim Rowland … NEO lost in the quarterfinals in last year’s tournament … The Lady Norse beat Northern Oklahoma College-Enid 86-59 in the Region II championship game, winning their fourth straight OCAC crown … Four players have started all 30 games for the Lady Norse while Kamry Orr has started all but two.
Tournament seed: 2
Nickname: Lady Wranglers
Head coach: Ara Baten
2016-17 Record/Finish: 28-1, 15-1 (first place Western Junior College Athletic Conference)
About the Lady Wranglers: Aside from a loss to Midland College in late February, No. 1-ranked Odessa College has steamrolled through the season, capturing the Western Junior College Athletic Conference crown over ranked league mates South Plains College and Midland … This will be the eighth national tournament appearance in school history for Odessa College, which has won the title three times (1986, 1991, 2007). But this is the first national tournament appearance for the Lady Wrangler since their last crown.
Salt Lake Community College
Tournament seed: 5
Head coach: Betsy Specketer
2016-17 Record/Finish: 28-4, 14-2 (first place Scenic West Athletic Conference)
Top players: G Tia Hay (18.2 ppg., 3.5 apg.); G Sica Cutiz (8.0 ppg., 5.3 rpg.); G Ebony Norman (7.5 ppg., 5.8 rpg.)
About the Bruins: This will be the sixth national tournament appearance for the Bruins, all since the 2005-06 season. They have finished as high as fifth in the tournament and last year were knocked out by Trinity Valley in the quarterfinals … Of Salt Lake’s four losses, three were to teams in the 2016 tournament field (Odessa, New Mexico and Southern Idaho). Salt Lake breezed through the Region 18 tournament after dropping two of its final four regular-season games.
Shelton State College
Tournament seed: 10
Nickname: Lady Buccaneers
Head coach: Madonna Thompson
2016-17 Record/Finish: 30-2, 10-0 (first place Alabama Community College Conference)
Top players: G Sierra Johnson (16.3 ppg., 6.4 apg.); F Raven Russell (10.3 ppg., 5.1 rpg.); G Kimberly Parrish (10.7 ppg., 1.8 spg.)
About the Lady Buccaneers: Ranked No. 8 in the nation, Shelton State comes into the national tournament with its 10th conference title since 2006, having beaten Chattahoochee Valley Community College in the regional finals. Last season the Lady Buccaneers were the No. 2 seed in the national tournament before being upset in the semifinals by Trinity Valley … Shelton State is on a 17-game winning streak coming into the tournament, having last lost to fellow tournament participant Seward County Community College in late December.
South Georgia Technical College
Tournament seed: 15
Nickname: Lady Jets
Head coach: James Frey
2016-17 Record/Finish: 29-4, 13-1 (first place Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association)
Top players: G La’Deja James (15.0 ppg., 4.0 apg.); G Camille Coleman (10.6 ppg., 4.0 rpg.); G Shaineequah Fluellyn (10.3 ppg., 3.9 rpg.)
About the Lady Jets: After missing out on the tournament last year, the 16th-ranked Lady Jets are back in the national championships for the third time in four years. This is the school’s fourth appearance in nationals overall (2010. 2014, 2015) … South Georgia Tech defeated 2016 tournament qualifier Georgia Highlands College in the Region XVII finals, then took down Denmark Tech in the District J title game … The Lady Jets come into the tournament on a roll, having won 17 of their last 18 games.
Trinity Valley Community College
Tournament seed: 6
Nickname: Lady Cardinals
Head coach: Gerald Ewing
2016-17 Record/Finish: 27-5, 16-3 (first place NJCAA Region XIV)
Top players: G/F Naomi Davenport (16.4 ppg., 5.5 rpg.); G Christalah Lyons (11.5 ppg., 3.0 apg.); G Shakeela Fowler (10.4 ppg., 3.9 apg.)
About the Lady Cardinals: Trinity Valley returns to the national tournament in search of its eighth national championship and first since winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013 … This will be Trinity Valleys 21st national tournament appearance, where it is 60-17 and has played in five straight title games, losing last year to Gulf Coast State … Two of the Lady Cardinals’ three league losses came after ejections during a game in late January forced Trinity Valley to forfeit two games for players leaving the bench.
Wabash Valley College
Tournament seed: 12
Nickname: Lady Warriors
Head coach: Luke Scheidecker
2016-17 Record/Finish: 31-1, 17-1 (first place Great Rivers Athletic Conference)
Top players: G Shala Dobbins (21.3 ppg., 4.2 rpg.); G Lauren Carroll (12.7 ppg., 4.9 apg.); G DeAsia Outlaw (12.3 ppg., 7.3 rpg.)
About the Lady Warriors: Scheidecker leads Wabash Valley to the national tournament in his first year leading the program after taking over in May … The Lady Warriors have wo 25 straight games coming into the tournament, their last loss coming to Southeastern Illinois College in late November. They avenged that loss in the District P championship game, winning 69-67 … Wabash Valley is averaging a whopping 92.6 points per game and has topped the triple-digit mark 10 times this season.
Walters State Community College
Tournament seed: 14
Nickname: Lady Senators
Head coach: Dave Kragel
2016-17 Record/Finish: 25-6, 17-1 (first place Tennessee Community College Athletic Association)
Top players: G Shaliaya Fulker (18.9 ppg., 4.7 rpg.); C Aspen Jordan (9.3 ppg., 5.5 rpg.); G Gazmyne Herndon (7.9 ppg., 3.6 apg.)
About the Lady Senators: Walters State is making an appearance in the national championships for the sixth straight season and the 14th time in school history. The 15th-ranked Lady Mustangs fell in the quarterfinals last season to eventual champion Gulf Coast State … Of the Lady Senators’ six losses, four came to teams in the final NJCAA Top 25 poll, all of whom are also in the national tournament … Shaliaya Fulker set the single-season points mark for Walters State this season.
Western Nebraska Community College
Tournament seed: 20
Head coach: Chad Gibney
2016-17 Record/Finish: 28-4, 13-1 (first place NJCAA Region IX-South Division)
About the Cougars: A coaching change midway through the season did not derail Western Nebraska from qualifying for the national tournament. Head coach Dave Harnish was put on administrative leave during the season and later resigned his post in late January … The 24th-ranked Cougars come into the tournament having won 15 straight games, including a win over 2016 national tournament participant Gillette College in the District I semifinals … The Region IX title marks the 13th in the school’s history.
Tournament seed: 3
Nickname: Lady Indians
2016-17 Record/Finish: 27-4, 9-3 (second place FCSAA Panhandle Conference)
About the Lady Indians: The 2015 national champions are back in the tournament after failing to qualify or earn an automatic bid a year ago. Chipola lost in the Region VIII championship game to Panhandle Conference rival Gulf Coast State, which handed the Lady Indians three of their four losses during the season … The Lady Indians spent most of the year ranked in the top 10, finishing the regular season No. 5.
Harford Community College
Tournament seed: 17
Nickname: Fighting Owls
Head coach: Michael Seney
2016-17 Record/Finish: 28-3, 13-0 (first place Maryland Junior College Conference)
About the Fighting Owls: After setting a school record for wins last season, the Fighting Owls topped that mark with 28 victories in 2015-16 … The Fighting Owls were cruising through the postseason until they ran into Monroe College in the District C Championship game, falling at the hands of the Mustangs 68-57 … This marks the second straight national tournament appearance for Harford, which lost to Northwest Florida State in the first round a year ago.
Motlow State Community College
Tournament seed: 18
Nickname: Lady Bucks
Head coach: Bart Walker
2016-17 Record/Finish: 27-5, 16-2 (second place Tennessee Community College Athletic Association)
Top players: G Sara Vujacic (14.9 ppg., 2.6 apg.); G Kienya Jones (12.1 ppg., 7.3 rpg.); F Sydney Floyd (11.0 ppg., 2.0 spg.)
About the Lady Bucks: Motlow State took District G champion Walters State to the limit before falling in the tournament finals on Friday. But that was enough to impress the NJCAA selection committee, which warded the Lady Bucks with the school’s first national tournament berth … Motlow State finished second in the TCCAA … Of the Lady Bucks’ five losses, two came to Walters and another to tournament participant South Georgia Tech.
San Jacinto College-North
Tournament seed: 16
Head coach: Michael Madrid
2016-17 Record/Finish: 24-8, 15-5 (second place NJCAA Region XIV)
Top players: G Eryka Sydney (12.2 ppg., 3.2 apg.); G/F Ariona Gill (11.2 ppg., 9.5 rpg.); F Jasmine James (10.4 ppg., 5.5 rpg.)
About the Gators: It will be a homecoming for Gators head coach Michael Madrid. Second-year head coach Michael Madrid spent five years with the Lubbock Christian University women’s basketball team, one year as a graduate assistant and four as an assistant coach. He’s also coached at Portales, N,M., Estacado and Lubbock High Schools… The Gators are making the first national tournament appearance in school history.
Seward County Community College
Tournament seed: 8
Head coach: Toby Wynn
2016-17 Record/Finish: 31-2, 25-1 (tied for first place Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference)
Top players: G Mollie Mounsey (20.0 ppg., 3.0 apg., 5.6 rpg.); F Clitan de Sousa (16.7 ppg., 7.1 rpg.); C Joanna Grymek (15.0 ppg., 8.3 rpg.)
About the Saints: Seward County, ranked No. 4 in the nation, earned an at-large bid after finishing runner-up in the Region VI tournament to No. 2-ranked Hutchinson Community College. In fact, the only two losses for Seward the entire year were to their Jayhawk Conference rival … This will be the sixth national tournament appearance for the Saints and the second in the last three year. Seward won the title in 2002 and finished third in 2007
South Plains College
Tournament seed: 9
Nickname: Lady Texans
Head coach: Cayla Petree
2016-17 Record/Finish: 27-5, 11-3 (second place Western Junior College Athletic Conference)
Top players: F Yanina Inkina (13.1 ppg., 4.1 rpg.) G Jasauen Beard (13.0 ppg., 6.8 rpg.); G Elizabeth Cera (13.0 ppg., 3.1 rpg.);
About the Lady Texans: In just her second season at the helm of the Lady Texans, Cayla Petree has the team in the national tournament for the first time in more than a decade. No. 6-ranked SPC spent much of the season ranked in the top 10 and had to wait for an at-large bid after falling to Collin County in the Region V tournament semifinals … Two of South Plains’ losses this season have come to fellow tournament participant Odessa College in WJCAC action.
Tallahassee Community College
Tournament seed: 7
Head coach: Franqua Bedell
2016-17 Record/Finish: 23-7, 7-5 (third place FCSAA Panhandle Conference)
Top players: G Lawriell Wilson (22.0 ppg., 5.3 apg.); G Jas Hill (19.5 ppg., 4.6 rpg.); F Japonica James (17.8 ppg., 8.1 rpg)
About the Eagles: Another team from the uber-competitive FCSSA Panhandle Conference, the Eagles earned an at-large berth after compiling a 23-7 mark and going toe-to-toe with fellow tournament competitors Chipola and Gulf Coast State. The Eagles lost to Gulf Coast in the semifinals of the Region VIII tournament … Five of Tallahassee’s seven losses on the season came to either Chipola or Gulf Coast State.
Tyler Junior College
Tournament seed: 19
Head coach: Trenia Tillis-Jones
2016-17 Record/Finish: 24-8, 14-6 (third place NJCAA Region XIV)
Top players: G Nautica Grant (15.2 ppg., 3.5 rpg.); F Sky’lynn Holmes (14.6 ppg., 10.0 rpg.); G Jordan Towery (7.3 ppg., 3.2 rpg.)
About the Apaches: Region XIV becomes the second conference to send three teams to the national tournament this year as the Apaches join Trinity Valley and San Jacinto-North in the field … Tyler lost to Trinity Valley in the semifinals of the regional tournament … Of the Apaches’ eight losses, five came to either Trinity Valley or San Jacinto-North … Tillis-Jones is a member of the Stephen F. Austin basketball hall of fame.