Shelton State looks to gain it first national championship win
By WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Grace Brister and Jason Williams
Shelton State women’s basketball head coach Madonna Thompson is looking to gain her first national championship win with the Buccaneers. The latest quest for that title begins tomorrow, March 7, at the ACCC state tournament.
The Bucs will face Lurleen B. Wallace Community College at 2 p.m. at the Alabama A&M Event Center in Huntsville.
Shelton’s closest margin of victory during the conference schedule was 26 points against Wallace-Hanceville Community College.
Thompson said the mentality of the program is based on dominating the competition.
“I just have this need in me to win and to dominate,” Thompson said. “I just try to carry this thought process into these players, and I try to just go out and recruit kids that are like me, (Players) that are just determined to do the best that they can do. So, it’s just going out and recruiting the right kids.”
Thompson has served as head coach for the past 25 years and dominated the conference the last seven years. The Bucs have won 181 conference games in a row, including 19 from this season. Right now, the Bucs are on a 26 game winning streak for the season.
Thompson said that her team knows what the competition is like at the national level.
“Every day they’ve got to get better, and we preach that throughout the whole year,” Thompson said. “Every day, you’ve got to come in here, and you’ve got to get better than you were the day before. You might see some scores, but we do pay attention to numbers, their field goal percentages, their three point percentages (and) their free throw percentages. If you do that and you’re constantly trying to get better individually, then overall, the team will just get better too.
The Bucs are the No. 3 team for offense in the country as they average 85 points a game. For the matchup between the Bucs and the Saints, Thompson said the team will have to stay focused on defense.
“Our defense definitely has contributed to the offense, and I would say probably the biggest difference from this team to some of our previous teams is the rebounding ability of this team,” Thompson said.
Sophomore point guard Nya Valentine said Thompson pushes the team to be best version of themselves every day, and a national championship win would mean a lot to the whole program.
“Coach has done a lot in her time here, and it would be it would mean a lot to me,” Valentine said. “I know (for) my teammates as well, to bring it home to Shelton, to be that team that kind of does it.”
Winning the NJCAA South District Quarterfinal would advance the Bucs to the National Tournament in Lubbock, Texas.