ACCC postseason begins with the Lady Bucs in redemption mode
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Jeremy Bryant
Shelton State women’s basketball will open the Alabama Community College Conference tournament quarterfinals against Coastal Alabama-South as one of the favorites in the playoffs to win the NJCAA Championship. They finished their regular season ranked at No. 2, bringing their overall record to 26-1.
Shelton State mauled the Sun Chiefs the last time they faced each other in a 111-16 victory. They ended the game with everyone in the starting lineup scoring at least 10 points. Nya Valentine led the way with a double-double, scoring 28 points and 10 assists.
Defensively the Lady Bucs could do no wrong, coming away with a breath-taking 30 steals in that game. The struggles seemed to be endless for Coastal, they were held to only 2 points in the entire second half. The Sun Chiefs shot the ball a putrid 13.6% from the field on a night they probably wished they never showed up.
The Lady Bucs will look to redeem themselves from an ugly playoff loss. One the main factors that plague Shelton State against Trinity Valley was the lack of production off the bench. The reserves had a horrendous shooting night, going a combined 30% from the field and 11% from three-point range. Normally, you would see percentages like that from a star player having an “off night,” but not five key players.
The remaining sophomores from last year’s team enter the playoffs more experienced and can be counted on to know what to expect as they get deeper in the playoffs. Those players included Ke’Ajia Williams, Trinity Hambright, Jemeriah Moore, Kianna Montgomery and Taylor Smith.
The Lady Bucs have become the flagship sports program for the school in recent years by only losing a total of eight games over the last three years. This season was no different looking as if it could be one of their best.
This year’s Lady Bucs are much younger than some of the previous squads. Only five players remain on the team from last year’s playoff loss to Trinity Valley Community College. Shelton welcomed seven new freshman this season and the results they put out was nothing short of amazing. Players like Maya Cunningham, Mya Barnes and Rachel Early came in and fit the Shelton State mold of always prioritizing hustle and defensive prowess each time they put on the jersey.
The team’s ability to be able to switch out their guards without a drop in production proved to be too much for most of the teams they faced. one of their premiere guards, Valentine, won ACCC athlete of the week three times in the regular season; two of those achievements came in back-to-back weeks.
The Lady Bucs’ first postseason game will be held at Shelton State Community College on the Martin Campus, tipping off at 7 p.m. on March 1.