NICEVILLE, FL (WJHG/WECP) After more than a week of dealing with the disappoint of not being able to make the trip to Texas for the Juco Women's National Tournament, we had the opportunity Tuesday to hear from the head coach of the Lady Raiders.
Northwest Florida coach Bart Walker and his team dealing with lost opportunity at National Tournament.
Northwest Florida one of the three area juco basketball coaches dealing with the serious sting of not being able to go to their national championship tournaments.
The Lady Raiders won not only the Panhandle Conference title, but also the state championship, beating rival Gulf Coast in a two point overtime thriller to claim that latter title!
So coach Bart Walker and his Lady Raiders were set to be a high seed out in Lubbock, Texas in the 24 team national tourney. First that event was postponed, giving the team a chance to enjoy spring break.
"Then we got the news in the middle of the week they were going to cancel it." coach Walker said Tuesday. "So obviously the ladies were very disappointed . I thought this team was very locked in on trying to accomplish something very special and that's probably why they accomplished what they've accomplished. So you know we're all dealing with this in society. I just hate that we didn't get the chance to do it on the floor. Nobody knows what or could have, should have happened. But I would have liked to have this team out at the National Tournament."
And even though the NJCAA canceling that tournament was something that made sense, and was predictable, well it still left a psychological bruise on the Lady Commodores, says coach Walker. And yet, he was able to help them find some silver lining in it all.
"It wasn't coming as a super shock. They knew it was coming, we all did. But they were disappointed that they didn't get to play another game. But you know there's something to it. Only one team gets to end their season on a win. And we won, and we won it on a big way in that last game. So there's something to be proud of. And I think they feel a sense of accomplishment, even though we didn't get to finish the endeavor."
Coach Walker says his focus for now is on recruiting, though that he says is rather tough since there are no in-person visits with possible recruits.
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