Basketball Teams Gearing Up for Regionals

Collin College played two warm-up games against non-conference opponents, Feb. 25.    Photo by KIRK DICKEY
Collin College played two warm-up games against non-conference opponents, Feb. 25. Photo by KIRK DICKEY

Collin College's men's and women's basketball are ready to compete in the National Junior College Athletics Association Region 5 Tournament, March 4-7. Fans can watch the action streamed live on http://tsrnsports.com/

Lady Cougars Coach Jeff Allen said his players are playing well, with team chemistry "as strong as it has been all season." The team has had to rally from multiple injuries to get this far, playing shorthanded for the latter half of the season. The team celebrated its fifth North Texas Junior College Athletics Conference championship in six years, sealing the deal with a win over Weatherford in late February. 

"That was a big accomplishment for this group because we had so many injuries that we had to play with only eight players since December," Allen said. "I am proud of this group and how they have truly come together as a team," he said. 

The team will play New Mexico Junior College in the first round of the regional tournament women's bracket, March 5. NMJC is ranked eighth in the nation, so it is a big game, but Allen is confident in his team.  

"We are just focusing on staying healthy and preparing for the next game like we always do," he said. 

The men's team will face South Plains College, a perennial points-getter in the national rankings, in the first round. 

"If we can play good defense, rebound well, and limit turnovers we will have a chance," Coach Jim Sigona said. "We did lead the region in three-point attempts, and hopefully we can shoot the ball well on Wednesday."

Sigona said he thought the Cougars have built on their successes all season long. Collin's men tied for second in conference, and five of the team's seven losses were to ranked teams. 

Want to cheer on your Collin teams? Get more tournament information including tournament brackets on the Region 5 website: www.njcaaregion5.com/information/championship_info.

The teams put up a couple of handy wins in tune-up games Feb. 25. The Lady Cougars defeated Cisco College 94-52. Destiny Thurman led the team in scoring with 22 points, followed by Cydney Rivera with 18. The team put up six blocks, 12 steals, and 42 rebounds in the game. 

The Cougars won 119-47 against Lone Star College Tomball. Tim Denton led scoring for the team with 20 points. Noah Whitworth followed with 18 points and shot 5-6 from behind the arc.