Good news always leads, right?
Heading into their respective Region XIV regular-season finales today, both the Jacksonville College men's and women's basketball teams are assured of finishing no worse than fourth in the conference standings. Both clubs have assured themselves of berths into the Region XIV Championship Tournament, which is scheduled for next week (Tue.-Sat.) at UT-Tyler Herrington Patriot Center.
The Jaguars (22-7, 13-5 Region XIV) will travel to San Jacinto (22-5, 13-5) for a 4 p.m. tip-off, with the winner garnering a first-place finish in the South Zone.
JC has not won a zone title since 1985 and head coach Jody Bailey said that there's nothing more that he would rather see happen as the Jags adding another skin onto the wall at the Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse.
“I look at our banners and we haven't been able to add one since 1985, that's a long time,”Bailey said. “We are playing good basketball team and I think that winning a zone title is something that is important to our guys.”
JC and San Jac are guaranteed the top two seeds out of the South Zone and the first-round bye that comes with it in the post-season tournament.
The JC ladies are also playing excellent basketball now.
The Lady Jags (16-13, 8-7) host Tyler Junior College (11-17, 4-11) at 2 p.m. today at Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse.
The JC women will enter the fray in fourth place (but only a game behind Angelina, who is in third) in the standings.
A Lady Jag win today over Tyler and an Angelina loss to Kilgore will mean that the Lady Jags and the Lady 'Runners would end the regular season tied for third place.
JC head coach Lynn Nabi said late Thursday that if that scenario presents itself, due to the tie-breaker system, a coin flip would be conducted to see which team goes in to the conference tournament as the No. 3 seed, and which one will represent as No. 4.
The No. 3 seed would bypass having to face the top seed (nation's No. 1-ranked, too) Trinity Valley, until the finals.
Nabi's women may be in for a real battle as Tyler must defeat JC to have any chance at even making the conference tournament field.
JC lost 71-66 at Blinn College (28-1, 14-1) on Wednesday. In that game Khadijah Carter scored 24 points and had nine rebounds while Deva'Nyar Workman pitched in 19 points and eight boards.
“We are doing the right things on the court now,”Nabi said. “I'm expecting a big effort from our ladies (today) because I don't think that they want to end the regular season with a loss at our place. We don’t want to go into the (post-season) tournament like that.”