Jimmies roll past VCSU to win tournament titlePeaking 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.
By: Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, 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 for 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.
The Vikings will be in Sioux City, too. In fact, coach Jill DeVries team broke the old record for wins in a season with 24 now. Playing three games in three days took a toll, but the Vikings never went away.
“I thought we competed really well, even today,” DeVries said. “Three games in three days is tough, particularly when you’re talking about real quality teams. But overall, the girls left it all out there. We didn’t play great, but we played hard.”
Brittany Lehner capped a strong tournament with 20 points. Courtney Titus was also in double figures again with 11.
“They’re so aggressive rebounding and they really guard. They’re good,” Ulland said. “It’s a really nice win for us. It really is.”
Despite heavy work load, the Vikings came out hot. They led 8-3 early before the Jimmies scored the next eight and never trailed again.
“It feels like we’re starting to play our best,” Jensen said. “If we keep playing like this, it could be a lot of fun.”
At Jamestown Civic Center
Jamestown College 69, Valley City State 52
Valley City State 24 28 — 52
Jamestown College 31 38 — 69
Valley City State: Brittany Lehner 20, Alyssa Hummel 9, Courtney Titus 11, Sadiqah Jihad 4, Sierra Even 2, Ashli Lee 2, Kelsey Hunter 2, Tracie Boehmlehner 2. Totals: 20-57 FG, Three-pointers: 0-12, 12-14 FT, 32 Rebounds Titus 8, 24 Fouls (Jihad 5), 10 Assists (Jihad 4, Titus 4), 15 Turnovers, 4 Blocked shots (Even 2), 6 Steals (Titus 4).
Jamestown College: Amber Ramlo 5, Bridget Schuneman 8, Hannah Steele 15, Carly Jensen 24, Morgan Mathison 4, Kadie Savage 6, Kayla Roemmich 4, Megan Pold 3. Totals: 20-49 FG, Three-pointers: Jensen 6, 20-25 FT, 41 Rebounds (Ramlo 6, Schuneman 6), 19 Fouls, 12 Assists (Morgan Mathison 5), 21 Turnovers, 3 Blocked shots (Bridges 3), 5 Steals (Steele 2).
Records: Jamestown College 26-5; Valley City State 24-7.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com