The dominance of Salt Lake Community College women’s basketball has produced familiar results.
With a 63-48 victory over rival College of Southern Idaho on Feb. 11, the Bruins secured their fourth consecutive Scenic West Athletic Conference crown and the top seed in the upcoming Region 18 tournament. SLCC (25-3, 13-1 SWAC) rode a 16-game win streak to the top of the conference standings and the No. 4 ranking in the latest NJCAA polls.
“We’ve worked hard all through the season so it’s something we did deserve,” says freshman point guard Tia Hay. “We got more challenges and more things to accomplish … but it was a really good feeling knowing all that hard work paid off.”
Hay has thrived in her first year as a Bruin, leading the team in scoring, assists and steals. She also leads the SWAC in scoring (18.4 ppg), field-goal percentage (47.6) and free-throw percentage (88.2).
While Salt Lake earned the No. 1 seed at regionals for the fourth year in a row, assistant coach Marcilina Grayer and the rest of the team want even more positive results.
“I love that we are SWAC champions, but at the end of the day [our] sights are on regionals and then [nationals],” she says. “Now that we clinched the conference, the region tournament is what matters.”
The Bruins have shown great team chemistry and discipline throughout the season.
“They’re great kids on and off the court and eager to learn. They’re hard working and we don’t really have to tell them more than once or twice to do things,” Grayer says. “This team is a very special group. Our bench is very deep as far as weapons go, and any given night, any of the girls could go off.”
With two games left in the regular season, SLCC must not let their success affect their preparations for the region tournament and beyond.
“To get to the next level we have to stay consistent. We have to keep playing hard and we have to keep pushing ourselves to get better,” says sophomore forward Karina Brandon. “Staying together as a team and not letting outside sources get in our way is part of focusing on the upcoming tournament.”
The Bruins play their final regular season home game Thursday versus CSI. SLCC will then host the Region 18 tournament in the Lifetime Activities Center beginning Thursday, March 2. All home games are free to attend for students who show their OneCard.