Lady Bobcats head to 2nd straight NJCAA tournament

Lady Bobcats head to 2nd straight NJCAA tournament
JCJC wins its second straight Region 23 championship. Courtesy: WDAM

ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Jones County Junior College makes its second straight appearance in the NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, Texas.

The four-seeded Lady Bobcats (26-3) face the winner of Northeast Oklahoma A&M and Trinity Valley on Wednesday at 1 p.m.

JCJC has broken record after record in head coach Missy Bilderback's three seasons. Jones County went a school-record 30-2, advancing to its first national tournament and making a run to the elite eight.

A talented group of sophomores have returned to make more history in 2018 – seeking the school's first national title in women's basketball.

"That's the reason why a lot of us sophomores came back," said JCJC sophomore guard Alexis Tolefree. "We felt like having that experience last year under our belt, going to the national tournament, that it would be a very good experience for us this year to try to go further than we did last year."

"I could've been complacent like the whole season and not care because I did sign before the season started but that's not the type of person I am," said JCJC sophomore Nique Cherry, a Laurel native. "K.K. [Tassin] or [Tolefree] either, we all want to do something better than what we're doing. Make history at this school 'cause it's never been done before."

"It's real easy to get caught looking ahead in sports," Bilderback said. "As a high school player, you get caught looking at what your next step is as a college player. As a junior college player, a lot of them have Division I opportunities and offers and have signed. So for them to just focus now on the moment they have in front of them, they have a tremendous opportunity. We've already had an amazing season. No matter what happens, we've had a great year but the opportunity to go out there and have a realistic shot to compete for a national championship is kind of cool."