JC hoping for better showing: Top-seeded Jimmies play Ashford/J&W winner SaturdayThe A.I.I. tournament did not go well last season for the Jimmies. Just like this weekend, Jamestown College was the top seed, but were bounced quickly and then had to sweat out the at-large process to get to nationals.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
The A.I.I. tournament did not go well last season for the Jimmies.
Just like this weekend, Jamestown College was the top seed, but were bounced quickly and then had to sweat out the at-large process to get to nationals.
They’d prefer to take matters into their own hands this weekend at the Civic Center.
“That left a sour, sour taste in our mouths,” JC coach Greg Ulland said. “That kind of goes back to the recurring theme of the season of unfinished business, redemption. … We just want to have a better finish, not just this tournament, but ultimately, hopefully, at the national tournament.”
Winning the A.I.I. would help in seeding, presumably. With their current ranking of 16th nationally, any movement upward would help in seeding for nationals.
“It would definitely help to win it, no question. That’s a big goal for us,” Ulland said. “But that’s going to take us playing two really good games against two very quality teams.”
The Jimmies will play either Ashford University (Iowa) or Johnson & Wales (Colo.), which beat the Jimmies in early January in Denver. Ulland said his team would like another crack at the Warriors, but he personally has no preference.
“We’ll go practice right after that game and we have a practice plan for both,” Ulland said. “We’ve had a good week up until now, so hopefully we can carry that over.”
The Jimmies have not lost consecutive games all season en route to their sparkling 24-5 record. Since losing to Johnson & Wales on Jan. 5, they’re 10-2.
“We’re playing at a pretty high level,” Ulland said. “The girls have been taking care of the little things and those are the type of things that are really important this time of year.
“It feels like we’re starting to peak, we’re not quite there yet, but we’re definitely getting to where we need to be.”
At Civic Center
No. 1 Jamestown College
Coach: Greg Ulland (3rd year)
Players to watch: Bridget Schuneman (12 ppg, 5.5 rpg); Hannah Steele (10 ppg, 4.7 apg); Carly Jensen (10 ppg); Amber Ramlo (8 ppg, 7.6 rpg); Kayla Roemmich (7 ppg); Morgan Mathison (7 ppg); Megan Pold (6 ppg); Maggie Seter (5 ppg).
Season so far: The Jimmies have been consistent all season long. They’ve played 29 games and are yet to have a losing streak. Their No. 16 national ranking is the highest in the field. Few have equal scoring balance. Bridget Schuneman’s 12 points per game tops nine players with averages of five or better.
No. 2 Mayville State
Coach: Dennis Hutter (7th year)
Players to watch: Marcisa McMillan 16 ppg, 9 rpg); Hailey Longtin (16 ppg); Sabrina Rude (12 ppg); Liza Hoglo (9 ppg); Samantha Heier (8 ppg); Angela Tauer (8 ppg).
Season so far: The Comets are enjoying one of their best seasons ever. They’ve been ranked much of the year and are currently 22nd. The Comets can fill it up, they average nearly 84 points per game.
No. 3 Valley City State
Coach: Jill DeVries (14th year)
Players to watch: Brittany Lehner (11 ppg, 6 rpg); Katelyn Ralston (10 ppg); Courtney Titus (8 ppg); Alyssa Hummel (8 ppg).
Season so far: Jill DeVries is the dean of all coaches in the tournament. In her 14th season she has the Vikings sitting on 22 wins and a contender this weekend. They’ll have to get past Rochester in the weekend opener today at 1 p.m. The Vikings are tough to score on. They give up just 58 points per game.
No. 4 Johnson & Wales (Colo.)
Coach: Jeff Neal (3rd year)
Players to watch: Caitlin Durkin (16 ppg); Kristen Ward (15 ppg); Samantha Neal (12 ppg).
Season so far: The Wildcats enter with confidence. They have wins over Jamestown College and Valley City State, plus they nearly beat Mayville State. They have three players that average over 12 points, but they can be scored on, allowing over 74 points per game.
No. 5 Ashford (Iowa)
Coach: Amy Eagan (3rd year)
Players to watch: Quinn Rear (12 ppg); Madison Wagner (11 ppg); Gaby Ayon (10 ppg, 8 rpg).
Season so far: Ashford plays close games. They only average 57.9 points, but give just a shade over 58. They also turn it over a lot (548), but they also have come up with 239 steals. The Saints have not played a single team in the tournament. The Saints/Johnson & Wales winner gets the Jimmies Saturday at 3 p.m.
No. 6 Rochester (Mich.)
Coach: Eric Sims (3rd year)
Players to watch: Sam Tomaschko (12 ppg, 9 rpg); Meagan Heiden (12 ppg).
Season so far: Like Ashford, Rochester has not played any team in the field. They aren’t explosive offensively, but they allow just 53.4 points per game, third best in NAIA Division II.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org