Chowan ladies make NCCAA national finals

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 5, 2005

MURFREESBORO – Chowan College basketball isn’t over.

The Lady Braves of Chowan were invited to the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) national championships in Frankfort, Kentucky next week.

&uot;It’s an extremely exciting time,&uot; first-year skipper Patrick Mashuda said. &uot;To play in the post-season was great. We had a good time in Clemson, but to move on to the national finals is a wonderful experience for us.&uot;

It was an experience the Lady Braves, now 19-7 on the season, didn’t know was coming. Mashuda and company didn’t practice after falling in the South Regional of the NCCAA last week.

&uot;We thought the season was over,&uot; Mashuda said. &uot;It turned out to be just a spring break. Everyone is excited to put on the practice gear one more time and make the trip out to Kentucky.&uot;

The brackets for the eight-team tournament which begins next Thursday were not released as of press time Friday, but Mashuda said he believe the Lady Braves could be in the upper half of the seeding.

The coach, who had three players – Christina Addison, Joi Hazel and Keyon Sellars – chosen as All-South Region, will look to continue his team’s success the same way they achieved the bid.

&uot;The keys for us will be the same as always,&uot; Mashuda insisted. &uot;We have to take good shots, take care of the basketball and win the backboard if we can. If we do those things, we can be successful.&uot;

Mashuda said he felt like the squad could win their 20th game of the season if not the 21st and 22nd that would lift them to a national title.

&uot;This bid provides us with the opportunity to bring closure to the season,&uot; he said. &uot;We are three wins away from possibly winning a national championship.

&uot;It’s exciting for the team members, the staff and school personnel,&uot; Mashuda continued. &uot;Also, as far as recruiting, kids want to play for winners and they can see we’ve been in the post-season and now are playing in a national tournament.&uot;

The coach said his squad would leave Tuesday for the national tournament.