EC Lady Lions to take on North Georgia in NCAA DII this afternoon
The Emmanuel College Lady Lions basketball team is fresh off their first ever Conference Carolinas tournament championship and will begin play in the NCAA Division II tournament this afternoon.
“The beauty of the whole thing is that I’m just really happy for our girls. They’ve worked really hard to get to this point. They had a lot of tough games, a lot of really close games where we came out successful. The people I’m most happy for are our seniors. As you know, we’ve been through this NCAA probation process now for four years. When I recruited those girls, the plan was for them to get a chance to play in the NCAA tournament and we got that chance this year. Then, for us to actually win the conference and then go on and actually make the NCAA tournament, I just think it’s a great accomplishment,” said Bona.
Bona said while the championship was big for the team, their focus throughout the year was not on the title.
“We didn’t put a tremendous amount of emphasis on it. This particular group, we’ve just tried to stay in the now. Once we were accepted (into NCAA DII) we had a meeting and we talked about it, and they were really excited about it, but we pretty much decided in our meeting that we were going to take one step, one day, one game at a time. It’s kind of what our saying is. We just approached it from that standpoint,” said Bona.
Emmanuel will face a familiar foe in the Southeast Regional Quarterfinals this afternoon in North Georgia College. Bona said the team’s focus has not changed from the regular season to now.
“We had a game with them in the Conference Challenge. That was our first game of the year. North Georgia’s a really good team. We were basically still trying to find ourselves at that time. They defeated us in that game. What’s going to happen in this game I don’t know. They’ve had a whole lot of games between then and now and we have, too. I think it’s going to be an interesting matchup. I think it’s going t be a real battle, like some of the games we’ve had here at the end of the year. I think we’re prepared for that. I have no reason to think that going into the game our kids won’t be ready to battle for the 40 minutes we’re going to play. I think they’re looking forward to that. It’s going to be exciting to see. We’re going to take it one game at a time like we started at the beginning of the year, and hopefully we can keep winning that last game. That would be the hope,” said Bona.
The Lady Lions will tip off against the Lady Nighthawks at 2:30 p.m. at Abney Center in Anderson, South Carolina.