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Sports: Lady Cards heading west to seek crown

Mar. 21—The NJCAA Womens Basketball Tournament has had several homes in recent years, with stops in Tyler, Lubbock and Salina, Kansas. Now its headed for Casper, Wyoming.

One constant through those years is that almost every time the nationals tipped off Trinity Valley was there.

This year, TVCC returns after finishing as the runner-up in the Region 14 Tournament in Tyler. The Lady Cards' record is 25-6 and they enter the national event as the 9th seed.

"We battled injuries early," Coach Precious Ivy said. "We were trying to find out who we were and what out identity was. When we got back somewhat healthy, although we're not 100% healthy, we've been able to jell and solidify as one unit."

Ivy said Freshman of the Year April Edwards played a big part in lifting the teams' play.

"I have to thank my teammates for believing in me and my coach," Edwards said. "I appreciate her for letting me have the ball and do what I do."

Edwards said just about everyone on the team has had to deal with an injury, but they've battled through it. She said things started to come together during the second round of conference play.

"Everyone was dialing down and trying to win, Edwards said. "We don't like losing, so we do everything we can to win."

TVCC fought to the final game in the conference tournament, but fell to Blinn in the second half 84-70.

"I think we learned to push through even though we're tired and we definitely were tired," Edwards said.

The national tournament will also require several games in a short span to reach the final.

Breanna Baxter, of Kerens, is a sophomore forward. She's excited about the chance to hang a banner from the national tournament.

"I feel like my greatest contribution is leadership on the defensive end," Baxter said. "I feel like I see the floor really well on defense and can talk and communicate that."

TVCC is making its 17th straight appearance in the women's tournament. They've played in nine of the last 12 title games including the 2003 overtime loss to Northwest Florida State, 66-63.

Ivy is the fifth straight Lady Cards coach to get them to the national final. Ivy was also there with her 2021 team which also lost to Northwest Florida State, 67-60.

Trinity Valley's first game in the playoff will be on Tuesday against the No. 24 seed, Monroe.