Southwest basketball teams vie for region championship, national tournament berth
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February 26, 2019 - The Southwest men’s and women’s basketball teams will travel to Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tennessee March 1-5 to compete in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA)/National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region VII Tournament with their sights set on a region title and national tournament berth. Championship games are scheduled for March 5 at 2 p.m. (women) and 4 p.m. (men) with the winners advancing to the NJCAA championships March 18-23 (men in Hutchinson, Kansas; women in Lubbock, Texas).
On March 2 at 8 p.m., the 6th seed Southwest women (11-12 overall, 7-9 in the TCCAA) will take on 3rd seed Chattanooga State (19-8, 9-7) in a quarterfinal matchup. The Lady Saluqis are led by sophomore forward Takya Bennett, who is the conference’s second leading scorer at 18.3 points per game and also ranks fourth in the TCCAA in rebounding with an 8.9 average. Also in the starting lineup for head coach Andrea Martre are sophomore forward Tamia Curry (13.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per game), sophomore guards Aliyah Foote (9.1 points and 3.7 assists per game) and Candace Gaines (6.3 points and 3.1 assists per game) and freshman guard Tia Bland (14.0 points and 2.8 assists per game).
The tournament opener for the 3rd seed Southwest men (15-9 overall, 12-6 in the TCCAA) is on March 3 at 8 p.m. when the Saluqis oppose 6th seed Columbia State (19-11, 8-10) in a quarterfinal game. Southwest is led by freshman forward Cedric Henderson Jr., who ranks third in the TCCAA with an average of 18.2 points per game, and sophomore forward Anthony Yarbrough, who averages 12.7 points per game and ranks fifth in the conference in rebounds (7.9 per game) and second in field goal percentage (62.2). Other probable starters for first year head coach Cedric Henderson are freshman point guard Justin Batts (4.9 points and 3.7 assists per game), sophomore guard Malik Anderson (5.2 points per game) and sophomore forward Michael Reese (3.4 points per game). Freshman guard Christian Jones adds 10.3 points and 3.3 assists per game off the bench.