Salina/Hutchinson, KS---It's a good news bad news story when it comes to the three area teams playing in their respective Juco National Tournaments.
The Chipola women's team plays on in Salina, thanks to a 64-54 win over Butler in their quarterfinal Thursday night. Evelyn Akhator leading the way with 16 points and 16 rebounds. The Lady Indians built a 22-16 lead by halftime, but fell behind in the second half, trailing 44-43 with about 7 minutes to play.
Spurred by Rhani Bell's back to back three pointers, Chipola rattled off a 17-4 run that put them in the lead for good. The victory sends them to the national semifinals Friday night and an 8 o'clock game against Hutchinson, a school rather close to Salina. So it will be a partisan crowd rooting against the Lady Indians.
The Lady Raiders of Northwest Florida meanwhile falling in their quarterfinal, losing to the tournament's top seed Trinity Valley 94-63.
That ending Northwest's season at 26-7.
And the news equally as bad for the Chipola men's team. They led Jones out of Mississippi much of the way in their quarterfinal game in Hutchinson. In fact the Indians held an 85-79 lead late in the game, only to see Jones rattle off a 17-1 run in the final minutes, leading to the 6 point Jones win.
Chipola led by Sam Cassell, Jr. who had 19, Jamaar McKay with 18.
The Indians season ends at 26-6.