Parkland Women Fall To Johnson County 66-64 In NJCA Division II Title Game
The Parkland College women’s basketball team’s remarkable winning streak ended after 35 games Saturday night, as the Lady Cobras lost to Johnson County Community College, 66-64 in the title game of the NJCAA Division II Tournament.
Johnson County’s Alexis Brown put the ball in the basket on the buzzer to win the game.
The game --- along with the entire tournament --- was played on the Johnson County Cavaliers’ home court in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. Cavaliers’ coach Ben Conrad marked his 300th career win with Saturday night’s victory.
Parkland forward Nadine Vaughn from Pana led all players in scoring, with 20 points for Parkland and a seven-for-nine performance from the field. Guard Laura Litchfield (a Champaign Central alum) scored 16 points for the Cobras.
Nieka Wheeler led Johnson County with 16 points, and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, according to the NJCAA Division II tournament’s Twitter feed.
Saturday’s title game marked the end of a 35-2 season for Parkland. Coach Mike Lindemann led the team from a loss to Missouri’s Mineral Area College in its opening game to a season-long winning streak that only ended one game short of a national championship.
Urbana attorney and former Miss America Erica Harold was among those congratulating the Lady Cobras for their efforts: “So much respect for @ParklandWBB for playing w/heart + earning @WomenHoopsNJCAA runner-up honors!”
After the game, the team tweeted thanks to their fans: “Thank you to the amazing @ParklandWBB fans who overtook the JCCC gym and to all those who followed the action online and cheered from afar”.
Although they ended with a loss, the Parkland Lady Cobras reached a new pinnacle, with their first runner-up finish in the NJCAA Division II women’s college basketball tournament. The team placed fifth in the tournament last year. Meanwhile, the Johnson County Cavaliers earned their 2nd national title, on top of a previous victory in 2000.