SALT LAKE CITY — The Snow College Lady Badgers, the No. 3 seed in the Region XVIII tournament, knocked off Colorado Northwestern Community College on Wednesday,77-53, then lost in the finals to Southern Idaho.
Kennedy Eskelson led the Badgers with 13 points and six rebounds, Samiana Suguturaga added 11 points and Jenna Czarnecki came off the bench to add 11 as well on 3-of-5 shooting from behind the 3-point arc.
“Jenna gave us a big lift,” Snow College women’s basketball coach Zu Grinsell said. “We were needing some bench help in this game, and Jenna gave us that lift. We got a great lift from everyone off the bench in this game.”
Tylie Jones came off the bench to add eight points and eight rebounds and Addi Johnson contributed another seven points off the bench.
“We started a little slow, and it took some time to get into our game,” said Grinsell. “I like how we adjusted, and the girls knew what had to be done after the half, and they came out and did what we planned.”
With the win, the Lady Badgers advanced to face Salt Lake Community College on Friday. In a back-and-forth game, Snow College held off the Lady Bruins 64-56.
“I was so proud of this team,” Grinsell said. “We never gave up, and the effort was tremendous. We overcame a tough third quarter and just gave it everything.”
Eskelson hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer to end the first half, which was huge for Snow College momentum going into the half.
“Kennedy is so even-keeled,” said Grinsell. “She got a rebound with the clock running down, brought it up the floor and pulled up for the three that gave us a big lift.”
Eskelson and Passion Reitz each finished with 13 points in the win, Eskelson also led the Badgers with six rebounds. Sarah Lange finished with 10 points and four rebounds for the Badgers.
For the second year in a row, the Lady Badgers played their way into the Region XVIII championship game to face the College of Southern Idaho.
In the title game, the College of Southern Idaho was too much for Snow College, beating them 63-57.
Reitz and Ashlee Edwards played limited minutes due to leg injuries, and Samiana Suguturaga was in foul trouble for most of the game.
“We got some good help off the bench again,” Grinsell said. “Tylie Jones, Liv Harding, Dani Ross, Kylie Larsen and Addi Johnson all gave great efforts and stepped up to help.”
Eskelson carried the Badgers with 12 points and earned All-Tournament team honors along with Lange, who had 11 points. Edwards was named to the All-Conference first team, Reitz was named to the All-Conference second team, and Eskelson and Johnson received honorable mention.