Saints women get bid for national tournament | News, Sports, Jobs

Players, coaches and fans of the North Country Community College women’s basketball team celebrate the announcement of their bid for the NJCAA DIII National Tournament at Sparks Athletic Complex on Wednesday. (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE — For the third consecutive season, the North Country Community College women’s basketball team is heading to the big dance.

The Saints (19-4) have won an overall bid for the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III women’s basketball tournament, which takes place March 9-12 in Rochester, Minnesota. North Country got the No. 12 seed and will face No. 5 Monroe-Bronx (21-7) at 3 p.m. on March 9.

News of the overall bid came Wednesday during the tournament selection show, which aired live at the Sparks Sports Complex. Players, coaches, team fans and college administration, faculty and staff gathered to watch, and all broke into cheers when the Saints were announced as heading to the tournament.

“The girls have worked very hard this season and have deserved this candidacy”, Saints head coach Jerrad Dumont said in a statement.

Last weekend, North Country contested the Region III Championship, but their push for a third straight regional title ended in a 57-45 loss to Onondaga Community College, which secured the No. 3 in the national tournament.

Players, coaches and fans of the North Country Community College women’s basketball team celebrate the announcement of their bid for the NJCAA DIII National Tournament at Sparks Athletic Complex on Wednesday. (Photo provided)

In years past that would have spelled the end of the season for the Saints, but for the first time this year the selection committee has awarded general bids to the women’s tournament. The move widens the field of teams that will play for a national title at Minnesota from eight to 12.

“I think receiving a general offer shows a lot of respect for our team,” said Dumont. “It shows that we are nationally recognized as one of the best teams in the country.”

Making the national tournament for the third straight year is unprecedented for the college and shows the strength and support of its basketball program, Dumont added.

“Starting with the support of our Sporting Director and my fellow coaches within the department, we have been able to create a culture that not only wants to succeed, but understands what it takes to succeed,” he said.

The college will schedule a start for the team today at noon at the Sparks Sports Complex.

All tournament matches will be streamed live on the NJCAA Network at https://www.njcaa.org/network.


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