Salina, KS---A great run at the Juco women's National Tourney will not end in a national championship for the Lady Commodores.
They fell Friday night in the semifinals to defending national champ Trinity Valley, 75-71 the final.
Gulf Coast played Trinity bucket for bucket in the first half with the game going into the intermission tied at 33.
Trinity started the second half with a 10-0 run, forcing Gulf Coast to play catch up the rest of the way. And they almost caught up.
The kept whittling the lead down, until with 45 seconds left Necole Sterling hit a jumper and one, bringing the Trinity lead to just 2, at 73-71.
Both teams missed the chance to score on ensuing possessions, and with 16 seconds to play, Trinity had the ball, inbounding on the Gulf Coast side of the floor. The Lady Commodores forced the turnover, and had a two on one break for the tie, but Roshinha Rosario couldn't finish, having her shot blocked and the ball taken away.
Gulf Coast forced to foul, and not enough time remained for them to rally back, it ended 75-71. Sterling finished the game with 26, Tamara Taylor had 19. Now 29-5, Gulf Coast will face Hutchinson Saturday at 6 in the third place game.
The attached video shows the following:
It's not every year you see a rookie head coach take his or her team to a national championship game.
Gulf Coast in blue, very early in the first half it's Jennifer Morton with the runner.
Then very late in the half, it's Necole Sterling with the jumper, game tied 33 at the half.
Trinity though starts the second half with a ten-oh run, Gulf Coast playing catch up the rest of the way, first Sterling drives, misses put's it back, a 5 point game.
Then it's Taylor on the block, turnaround goes, it's a 4 point game.
Then it's Sterling again driving and scoring with the nice fallaway, 3 point game.
Now 45 seconds left, Sterling again, firing, scoring, and one, it's 73-71.
Same score 16 seconds left, Trinity inbounding from the Gulf Coast side, Commodores get the steal, two on one break, but Rosario can't finish, ball stolen, two free throws later it's all over, 75-71 Gulf Coast falls.
Now 29-5 they'll settle for the third place game tomorrow at 6 Hutchinson.