Following the conclusion of his team’s regular-season finale on March 9, Blinn College women’s basketball head coach Jeff Jenkins said his team was not yet peaking.

Apparently, the Buccaneers were just waiting for the Region XIV Tournament.

Blinn concluded an impressive run at the postseason tournament with a big 84-70 victory over 12th-ranked Trinity Valley Community College while punching its ticket to the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship tournament Saturday in Tyler, Texas.

“We definitely were not peaking at the end of the season. We were 4-1 in our last five games, but we just weren’t playing well, and I was pretty frustrated,” Jenkins admitted. “Boy if this team did not compete hard this week to win this tournament. We made shots and we made plays and I’m so proud of them.”

Chelsy Singleton 2023-24 (Michel Alfaro)
(Pictured: Blinn freshman guard Chelsy Singleton puts up a shot against Trinity Valley Community College during a game March 16, 2024, in Tyler, Texas)

Blinn won the regional tournament for the second time in three years after finishing as the runner-up to Trinity Valley last season. In their third title game appearance in as many seasons, the Bucs put forth arguably their best performance in their biggest game of the year, breaking through offensively to shoot almost 54% from the field (30 of 56) and 81.% from the free-throw line (18 of 22). 

Fourth-seeded Blinn and second-seeded Trinity Valley went into the second quarter tied 17-all, but the Cardinals pulled ahead to take a slim 42-38 advantage by halftime.

From there, however, it was virtually all Blinn.

The Bucs fell behind 48-44 early in the third period but went on a game-changing 13-0 run to permanently seize momentum. 

Tocarra Johnson 2023-24 (Michel Alfaro)
(Pictured: Blinn freshman forward Tocarra Johnson puts up a shot against Trinity Valley Community College during a game March 16, 2024, in Tyler, Texas)

Freshman guard Chelsy Singleton started the rally with a slick layup past a pair of Cardinal defenders, and freshman guard DJ Kincade followed with a free throw to pull Blinn within one. Freshman guard Wynter Jones then found a wide-open Tocarra Johnson near the corner, and the freshman forward buried the mid-range jumper to give the Bucs the lead for good.

Johnson completed the run with another open jumper, this time from the free-throw line, to make it 57-48.

“I was waiting for this type of performance all year,” Jenkins added. “I was a big believer that we would start making plays, and tonight we made shots. This was good as they’ve shot all year.”

Blinn went into the fourth quarter leading 63-54 and outscored Trinity Valley 21-16 across the final 10 minutes to seal the win. Freshman guard Jonesha Neal followed with 14 points, freshman guards Chelsy Singleton and Elizabeth Walton tacked on 11 apiece, and freshman forward Tocarra Johnson had 10.

“Our depth helped us this week,” Jenkins added. “We’re able to play 10 players confidently and they all made an impact at some point. Again, I’m just really proud of this team.”

Jeff Jenkins 2023-24 (Michel Alfaro)
(Pictured: Blinn head coach Jeff Jenkins cuts down the net after his team won the Region XIV Tournament on March 16, 2024)

All-Tournament honors went to Neal (15.7 points per game during the tournament) and Jones (10.3), while Johnson was named the tournament MVP with an average of nine points and 8.3 rebounds.

Blinn’s run of three consecutive national tournament berths is the longest in program history.

Up next, the Buccaneers await seeding for the 24-team tournament. An NJCAA selection show will reveal the field when it airs at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, on The national tournament begins Tuesday, March 26, at the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper, Wyo.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 45 NJCAA national championships since 1987.

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