Eatonton native Hargrove helps TCC women's basketball team win national championship

Putnam County’s Ebony Hargrove directs a play during home basketball action versus Monticello during the 2016 season. 

File Photo

Ebony Hargrove of Eatonton helped Tallahassee Community College defeat Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College, 69-51, on March 24 to win the National Junior College Athletic Association's Division I Women's Basketball National Championship.

It's the Eagles' first women's basketball national championship and the school's first national title in any sport since softball won the NJCAA crown in 1994. The tournament was held in Lubbock, Texas.

This was the first time Tallahassee had faced Trinity Valley, which has won the national title eight times in their history. Tallahassee head coach Franqua "Q" Bedell, who has led the Eagles since 2013, said the keys to victory for his team were defense and rebounding.

With the game tied at 32 at the half, Tallahassee took control in the third quarter, outscoring the Cardinals, 23-11, for a 55-43 lead entering the fourth. The Eagles pulled away in the final 10 minutes, leading by as many as 20 inside the final minute.

Bedell was particularly proud of the way the players responded in the second half.

Reshirt freshman guard Nakiah Black scored 13 points to lead Tallahassee. Freshman Jamyra McChristine had 12 and sophomore Japonica James added 10. All three were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Tallahassee had earned an at-large bid to the national tournament based on their 24-6 record and second place finish in the notoriously strong Panhandle Conference. They were an 11 seed and had to win five games in as many days to bring home the championship trophy.

Tallahassee (29-6) ended the season with a school-record 29 wins.

-Contributed

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