JCCC qualifies for NJCAA National Softball Tournament
May 4, 2015
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Johnson County Community College softball team claimed its 18th Region VI tournament championship on Saturday, May 2 with an exciting 5-4 win over No. 5 ranked Highland Community College at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka. The victory qualified the Lady Cavaliers for the NJCAA Division II National Tournament May 13-16 in Clinton, Miss.
Sophomore catcher Samantha Kreissler led the offense, collecting a single and a double with two RBI. Sophomore third baseman Haley Cope also had a single and a double with one driven in, and freshman Heidi Prockish provided the game-winning RBI. Her single with two outs in the sixth scored Carly Campbell, who drew a lead off walk. That was the third run Campbell scored in the game.
“Carly had two lead off walks for us, and that really set the tone and sparked us,” said head coach Aubree Brattin. “It was unexpected for us two win (the title) but we are extremely happy.”
The Lady Cavaliers reached the title game with 5-2 win over Coffeyville. Tied at 2-2, Johnson County plated three runs in the top of sixth and sophomore Sydney Koch held the Lady Ravens hitless the final two innings to pick up the win.
Koch also helped herself out at the place, hitting a two-run home run in the sixth. Sophomore Caitlin Martin put JCCC up 2-0 in the second with her two-run blast over the fence.
Johnson County opened the tournament facing perennial region power Cowley, but Koch held the Lady Tigers to just one hit in an 8-0 victory. She also had a single and a triple and drove in two runs.
“We made some good plays on defense, but they didn’t really hit the ball hard on Sydney,” Brattin said.
Sophomore Carly Campbell had a two-run single and Prockish ripped two hits and drove in a run. Prockish also pitched the final 2.1 innings in relief, and allowed just one hit to earn the save.
Johnson County (34-13) will be making its 18th trip to nationals, but its first since 2010. The Lady Cavaliers finished runner-up in 2007.
Johnson County wins national title on Brown's buzzer beater
May 4, 2015
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Johnson County freshman guard Alexis Brown knocked down a buzzer beater jumper as time expired to give the Lady Cavaliers a 66-64 victory over top-ranked Parkland College in the 2015 NJCAA Division II Women’s National Championship at JCCC Gymnasium on Saturday night. Brown’s game winning shot sent a wave of students onto the court for a celebration.
This is Johnson County’s second national championship and the first for head coach Ben Conrad, who also picked up his 300th career win in the process.
Tied at 64-64 with 21 seconds remaining, freshman Kayonna Lee grabbed a crucial offensive rebound off a JCCC miss, giving Lady Cavaliers the opportunity to take the final shot. After a timeout, freshman guard Erica Nelson found Brown on the right wing. She dribbled right, stepped back and let it fly.
During the timeout Conrad said he debated between having Nieka Wheeler, Brown or even Nelson take the final shot, but ultimately chose Brown.
“I just felt Lex in that closely guarded situation was our best chance,” Conrad said. “We ran a little box iso (isolation) play we used to run a lot. She made a big time shot in the biggest moment of her basketball life.”
Brown finished with 14 points off the bench for the Lady Cavaliers. She was 5-for-13 from the field with two 3-pointers, and 2-of-3 at the line.
Johnson County was led offensively by Wheeler’s 16-point effort. She was 5-of-14 from the field, with two treys, and hit 4-of-5 free throws. She averaged 19.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in JCCC’s four games and was chosen the tournament’s MVP.
“She is a special kid, special person, great leader and warrior,” said Conrad “She will be a successful person in her life because of her character.”
Nelson finished with 11 points and five assists, and Lee was the game’s top rebounder with 11, including six on the offensive end. Lee also grabbed a key offensive board and kick out that led to a Brown three-pointer that gave Johnson County a 64-61 lead with 1:38 to play.
Johnson County shot just 37 percent in the first half, but hit six of its nine 3-pointers in that half to built a 10-point lead with six to play. Parkland fought back and JCCC only led 34-31 at halftime.
The first four minutes of the second half saw the Cobras erase its three-point deficit and turn it into a five point advantage, but from there the two teams exchanged six lead changes and four ties.
“Parkland was just an extremely difficult team to play in that final,” Conrad said. “They are one of the tougher teams both mentally and physically I’ve personally faced in my career.”
Johnson County’ victory ended Parkland’s 35-game winning streak, which had not lost since its season opener. Nadine Vaughn led the Cobras with 20 points. She was 7-of-9 from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 at the line. All-tournament picks Laura Litchfield and Hannah Wascher followed with 16 and 14 points.
Johnson County won its final 12 games of the season and finished with a final record of 34-2, setting a new season mark for victories. Conrad now has a record of 207-32 in sevens seasons at JCCC and has a strung together six consecutive 30-win seasons.
“This was special not only for our players and coaches, but for the students and fans that came out and supported us, and this campus community,” said Conrad. “All of Johnson County and Kansas can be proud of what our kids did in this tournament. But we don’t define our teams based on what happens in 40-minutes in March, never had and never will. We’ve had some special people it did not work out for in March. That being said, it is special and such a validation of our process and how we approach our day-to-day work in this program.”
Johnson County baseball is No. 1 for the first time ever
March 5, 2015
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Johnson County Community College is the top Division I community college baseball team in the country.
The Cavaliers ascended to the No. 1 spot in the Marucci Sports NJCAA weekly rankings on Wednesday, after earning a No. 7 ranking in the preseason poll. This is the first time in Johnson County baseball history the program has been selected No. 1 overall.
“It is really nice to know that there are some people who think we are worthy of a No. 1 ranking at this point of our season,” said JCCC head coach Kent Shelley. “I am excited for our program, our fans and our alumni who have worked so hard to make it the program what it is today. I will be much more excited if at the end of the year we finish ranked No. 1 in the final poll. Then I will know that we had a pretty good year. I don’t think it’s something to get too giddy about being this early in our season, but I do know how hard our boys work in the classroom and on the field to put out a product that our college and community can be proud of, and for that, I am happy they are receiving some recognition for their efforts.”
JCCC received three first place votes and 177 points, 11 more than second-ranked St. Johns’ River State (Fla.). Delgado (La.), Cochise (Ariz.) and Weatherford (Texas) round out the top five.
Johnson County is off to a 12-1 start this season, and rank among the top hitting teams nationally.
Johnson County No. 1 in first season poll
December 3, 2014
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Johnson County Community College women’s basketball team was a unanimous choice for No. 1 when the NJCAA released its first weekly women’s Division II top 20 of the 2014-15 season.
Coach Ben Conrad’s Lady Cavaliers collected all four first-place votes tallying 80 points to take over as the nation’s top ranked team. JCCC moved up three places from its No. 4 spot in the preseason poll.
Johnson County has now appeared in 75 consecutive polls, and has held the No. 1 ranking 27 times under Conrad.
The Lady Cavaliers earned the No. 1 ranking on the strength of recent road victories at Dean, Marshalltown and Southeastern while posting a perfect 11-0 record in November. Their 11 November wins are the most in the program’s history.
After the first month of play, Johnson County is the top scoring team in the country, averaging 90.9 per game. Ten players average six or more points, including three in double figures.
Sophomore Nieka Wheeler leads with a 12.4 per game average, but close behind are freshman Alexis Brown (12.2) and sophomore Braile Fields (10.3).
Defensively, the Lady Cavaliers are holding their opponents to just 42.5 points per game, and have the second-best field goal defense in the country.
Price named NJCAA Softball All-American
May 22, 2014
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. –The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) released its 2014 Softball All-America team today, and Johnson County Community College pitcher Zoe Price was selected to the first-team. She is the 40th All-American in the program’s history, and 14th to earn first-team honors. Price is just the second pitcher to be named first-team, joining Hall of Fame hurler Kelly Becher.
Price, a sophomore from Pleasanton, Calif., was a workhorse in the circle for Johnson County. She finished the season 21-2 overall, with a 1.45 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 140.1 innings of work. Her 21 wins tie the eighth-best season in team history. For her career, Price was 41-9 overall, with 247 strikeouts in 327.1 innings pitched. Her 41 wins rank sixth all-time, and she ranks seventh in both strikeouts and innings pitched. Price was also productive with her bat. She hit .386 (34-for-88) with 10 doubles, four homers and 23 RBI. She led the team in home runs, and tied for the lead in doubles.
Price was also selected first-team All-East Jayhawk Conference and All-Region VI/District D honors earlier this season. She was a second-team all-region/district selection as a freshman.