The Lady Lions headed into last weekend’s North Central Region Tournament as the defending champion and the #1 seed. The Lady Lions were just two wins away from heading back to the NCCAA Women’s National Tournament. First up for the Lady Lions was #4 seed Faith Baptist Bible College on Friday, February 22nd.
The Lady Lions and Faith Baptist Eagles faced each other once in the regular season with the Lady Lions coming out on top in that match up 70-42. In this match up the Lady Lions were running on all cylinders. They jumped out to an early lead and started the game on an 18 to 6 run. They followed that up with another big run as they held the Eagles to just 12 first half points and took a 31 point lead into halftime 43 to 12. The big lead let the Lady Lions rest some key players as all 13 players would get to see the floor and 11 out of the 13 scored. The Lady Lions went on to outscore the Eagles 30 to 21 in the second half to win the game 73 to 33. The Lady Lions were led by junior Kylie Flemmer who had 16 points and 6 rebounds, while Treva Nutter, Shianne Montgomery and Aaren LaRose all pitched in 11 points respectively. The Lady Lions shot 40 percent from the field and held the Eagles to just 23 percent shooting. The win advanced the Lady Lions to North Central Region championship game against host school North Central University which set up a rematch of the championship game from a year ago.
The Lady Lions got out to another fast start in the championship game against the Rams. They used a 16 to 8 run to open the game and continued to keep the pressure on as they would hold a 10 point lead throughout most of the first half. The Rams would not go away however as they went on a run of their own to close the half and trim the Lady Lions halftime lead to only 3 points 30 to 27. The second half saw the Rams take control of the game from the Lady Lions. The Rams built a sizeable 12 point lead in the second and with just 4 minutes to play the Lady Lions saw themselves down by 10 points. The Lady Lions however did not give up as they went on an 11 – 0 run and took a 1 point lead with just over a 1:30 to play. The Rams then made a layup to take back the lead with just over 30 seconds to play and after a pair of made free throws and a missed Lady Lions opportunity the Rams held on for the upset 68 to 64 over the Lady Lions. In the loss the Lady Lions were led by senior guard Treva Nutter who had 30 points 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Shianne Montgomery added 13 points and freshman Janae Droste pulled down a game high 12 rebounds. The Lady Lions shot just 32 percent from the field for the game and 26 percent from three. They also grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and only turned the ball over 11 times.
After the game they announced the North Central awards with three Lady Lions being named. Junior Kylie Flemmer who was named Second Team All-Region, while senior Shianne Montgomery was named First Team All-Region and senior Treva Nutter for the second straight year was named First Team All-Region and North Central Region Player of the Year. Coach Rachael Nowell was named North Central Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
The Lady Lions did not win the region however due to another team not being able to participate in the NCCAA DII Women’s National Tournament the Lady Lions were voted in and given an At-Large bid to the National Tournament. The Lady Lions were given the #6 seed and will face the #3 seed Kentucky Christian University. The two teams met once this season at the AGCU Basketball Classic in Pennsylvania with Kentucky Christian winning by just 1 point. The Lady Lions first game will be Thursday, March 7th at 8:00pm. For more information on the NCCAA National Tournament go to the two links below. Good Luck Lady Lions!!