Jimmie women beat Valley City State for A.I.I. titlePeaking late is the goal of all coaches, regardless of the sport.
By: Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun
Peaking late is the goal of all coaches, regardless of the sport.
Coach Greg Ulland has been trying to strike the right balance to have his Jimmie women hitting their stride late. Whatever he did is working.
Jamestown College, ranked 16th in the NAIA, will head to Sioux City, Iowa and the national tournament as a dangerous team after its latest impressive win, a 69-52 triumph over Valley City State in the A.I.I. tournament championship game at the Civic Center on Sunday.
"Give the girls all the credit. They're pretty locked in right now on both ends of the floor," Ulland said.
Defensively in their two games in the A.I.I. tournament, the Jimmies held their opponents to 28 points or fewer in three of four halves.
Offensively, they averaged nearly 80 points. It also helps when junior sniper Carly Jensen is raining in 3s like she did Sunday when she knocked down six of nine attempts, several seeming to come at critical times.
Interestingly, Jensen was not feeling it in warmups, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
"It seems like when I make a bunch in warmups them I'm off in the game. It's not always like that. I don't get too worried if I'm not making them in warmups," she said. "When the game starts, hopefully they start to drop."
They did Sunday as Jensen poured in a game-high 24 points. It also helps to have an ace distributor like Hannah Steele, who was named tournament MVP.
"If you're open, Hannah's going to get it to you," Jensen said. "Playing with someone like that makes it a lot easier."
Steele had 15 points and three assists and her second 3-pointer of the game put the Jimmies up by double figures for the first time at 43-32 with 15 minutes to play.
"I know I beat this to death talking about it, but the chemistry we have is just special," Steele said. "I don't even mean on the court necessarily. It's off the court, too. We're like sisters. I think that's as big a reason our success as anything we do on the court."
Sunday's win was their 26th of the season. One short of last year's school record. They can match it at nationals. Brackets will be released Wednesday night.
For more on Sunday's A.I.I. title game, including VCSU coach Jill DeVries' thoughts on the game, read Monday's print edition of the Sun.