Ellisville, Miss. - The Northeast Mississippi Community College women's basketball team is back in the postseason for the third consecutive year, which is its longest consecutive streak since hall of fame headman Ricky Ford roamed the sidelines from 2006-09.
The Lady Tigers ironically will open their 2019 playoff run in the same building where this current postseason stretch under current head coach Brenda Mayes began just two short years ago.
Northeast meets Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in the first round of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) State Tournament on Monday, February 25.
Tipoff for the fourth and final contest on the opening day of the competition is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at A.B. Howard Gymnasium on the campus of Jones College.
Every Northeast game in the MACJC State Tournament will air live and in high definition on NEMCCTV. Tune in starting 10 minutes prior to tipoff for the pregame show by visiting www.nemcctv.com on any computer, tablet and smartphone device or by searching for "Northeast Mississippi Community College" on Roku or Amazon TV.
The Northeast Broadcasting Network also includes radio affiliate WOWL Fun 91 of The Eagle Radio Network. An audio simulcast of all playoff matchups for the Lady Tigers can be heard on frequencies 91.9 FM from Burnsville, 92.9 FM from Florence, Ala., and 102.3 FM from Killen, Ala.
This is the first meeting between Northeast and the Lady Bulldogs since the 2012-13 campaign. Mississippi Gulf Coast ended the Lady Tigers' season with a 68-60 win in the quarterfinals of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 Tournament.
Northeast and the Lady Bulldogs also squared off on day one of the 2013 MACJC State Tournament just as they are this year. The Lady Tigers won that particular matchup 68-66 on the way to reaching the state title game.
The Lady Tigers (15-7) enter the postseason as the runner-up in the MACJC North Division after winning seven of their last nine outings. Mississippi Gulf Coast (13-8) is the three-seed from the MACJC South Division after finishing in a four-way tie for second place.
"Anytime you can make the postseason that's a plus," said Mayes. "They worked hard to get to this point and we're excited to participate in the state tournament. We're really proud of our accomplishments."
Northeast posts 69.3 points per game while the Lady Bulldogs are not far behind with an average 65.4 points. However, the Lady Tigers hold a plus-11 margin in rebounding and also account for eight more assists as well.
Ripley's Dayzsha Rogan tops Northeast in a majority of statistical categories, including 19.2 points, 5.1 assists, 3.9 steals and 33.5 minutes per contest. Her scoring figure ranks second in the MACJC and is tied for 14th best in the country.
Cherelle Jones compliments Rogan nicely in the post for the Lady Tigers. The Middleton, Tenn., native averages a double-double of 13.1 points and 11.1 rebounds, which leads the Magnolia State and is 16th in the NJCAA.
Landing just under double figures is New Hope High School graduate Lanoria Abrams, who is one of only two Northeast standouts to start in all 22 games so far this year alongside fellow sophomore Adryana Bell of East Webster High School, with 8.6 points.
Kayla Simmons is the lone Mississippi Gulf Coast athlete to average double-digits with 12.6 points. Mississippi State University transfer Daphane White is second for the Lady Bulldogs with 8.5 points in only 14 outings this season.
"I think we've bonded really well," Mayes said. "They've held their own with each adjustment we've made. We've kept fighting and working for that spot to continue to play."
The winner between the Lady Tigers and Mississippi Gulf Coast will face the victor of the Mississippi Delta Community College versus Jones matchup in the semifinals on Wednesday, February 27. The women's championship game is slated for 5:30 p.m. one night later.