The Region IX Champion North Platte Community College Lady Knights women’s basketball team found out Monday their seeding and pairing for the NJCAA DII Basketball National Championship. The Lady Knights received the #16 seed and will face #1 seed Mesa Community College on Tuesday, March 19 at 6 p.m.
The Lady Knights (15-14) advanced to the National Championship by winning District F after defeating Dakota College at Bottineau 64-40 on Sunday behind Paige Hasty’s 20 points performance and DaVontaye Merritt’s double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lady Knights advanced to the District F Championship by winning Region IX by defeating Southeast Community College 82-53 in the championship game.
The Mesa Community College Thunderbirds (24-6) enter the contest ranked #2 in the nation. The T-Birds won the Region I Championship with a 58-45 victory over Pima Community College and it will be the second straight year the T-Birds advance to the National Tournament where they placed fifth a year ago.
The Lady Knights will bring a balanced attack into the game led by their post players Paige Hasty and DaVontaye Merritt. Hasty leads the team in points (14.1 ppg) and rebounds (9.1 ppg) while Merritt isn’t far behind in either category (13.3 pgg, 8.4 rpg).
The Lady Knights also get good scoring contributions from Courtney Widick (9.9 ppg), Lacey Houston (8.4 ppg) and Jordan Dickerson (8.2 ppg).
The Thunderbirds are also very balanced offensive and are led by Madi Austin with her 12.5 points per game.
Mariah Willadsen also contributes double figures at 10.9 points per game. Peace Amukamara, the sister of former Nebraska football player and New York Giant Prince Amukamara, is the third leading scorer with 9.7 points per game and also dishes out 4.4 assists per game. The T-Birds leading rebounder is Nikki Tsosie who averages 5.9 rebounds per game.