By: Angel Martinez
The swish of the net, a silent crowd breaking out into a large ovation as the game ends after a long four quarters. The setting here was merely a glimpse of the true scenario Athletic Director Wayne Martin got to enjoy as PCCC’s very own Lady Panthers took home the regional basketball tournament. Beating out Brookdale Community College in a nail biting 65-60 game, on March 3rd, the Lady Panthers were headed to nationals where they would unfortunately only claim 5th place. Despite coming up short in nationals the Lady Panthers of PCCC can still hold their heads high. Claiming 1st place at regionals is no easy task so I’m certain everyone involved was still very proud. However, I wanted to know who and what attributed to the recent successes of our very own Lady Panthers. I caught up with Athletic Director Wayne Martin in his office on a Tuesday afternoon to learn about the factors aiding in the recent success of his women’s basketball team. First was simply a question about his feelings towards the success of the Lady Panthers. “It was a tremendous accomplishment for both the team and our school.” Director Martin went on to explain how much more impressive this achievement was given their limited roster. He was also impressed at how well the girls maintained the balance between academics and athletics. I also wanted to know what kind of requirements needed to be met in order to even join the Lady Panthers or any athletic program offered at PCCC. A full-time education which means about 12 credits a semester while also maintaining a 2.0 grade point average. These requirements aren’t strict but may prove tricky for those who have other business to attend to outside of school. Speaking of tricky, the next topic of inquiry is how tricky it is to schedule and maintain consistent practices with a limited roster. The answer was unfortunately, quite tricky, as players typically have 4 days of practice that are about 2-3 hours each day from Monday to Thursday. With a limited roster size and outside obligations practicing and joining a team as a whole an ordeal for those with an open schedule. Next on the list of questions were the goals that he sets for the team as in are they more extraordinary goals or obtainable based on the team’s skill? Athletic Director Martin chooses to set realistic and attainable goals for his team. Some examples of these goals are ideal team chemistry and team players that help the team perform at their peak. One area I wanted to inquire about is what kind of attitude Director Martin pushes for his team in terms of a competitive attitude or a more fun-loving attitude. Director Martin said “while winning is definitely the end goal, we want to have fun playing the sport while we’re winning.” He continues on to emphasize how important it is for him and his team to enjoy the sport, have good sportsmanship and still maintain a competitive attitude. Moving on to the more physical aspect of the sport I wanted to know how an underperforming player is handled. Athletic Director Martin simply said that they focus on the players’ strengths. They also look at weaknesses as an area of improvement. In contrast to weakness I wanted to know what kind of training is done to make his team stronger. The answer was strengthening and conditioning his team so they have more stamina for their games. He also pointed out the drills in the fitness center and the live ball drills the Lady Panthers partake in. Furthermore, I wanted to know who among the athletic staff he worked with to ensure the team’s goals are met. Teya Eaton, recognized as coach of the year, was the first and most prominent name to be praised. Her award as coach of the year was more than deserved given how far the Lady Panthers went this year. Lastly, moving away from Basketball, I wanted to learn about plans to expand the volleyball programs here at PCCC. While much of it was kept vague Athletic Director Martin said he has a strategic plan to help advocate for the programs. These programs would of course be for both men and women so long as they meet the academic requirements. While on the topic of volleyball I do feel the need to emphasize that A.D Martin said that the interest in women’s volleyball was declining. However, despite that, intramurals and recreational volleyball still draws in quite of few players. That could prove to be a starting and expansion point for the volleyball programs at PCCC.
Monday, March 18, 2019
Passaic County Community College Women’s Basketball team finished in 6th place in the 2019 NJCAA Division III Women's Basketball National Championship during March 14 – 16 at Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA. The PCCC Lady Panthers faced three days of intense competition as the championship 7th seed in the following manner: Day – 1: Passaic lost heartbreaking game to #3 seed North Country Community College (NY) 92 - 56 in the quarterfinals. Olivia Moses #23 led Passaic with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Day – 2: Passaic lit up the scoreboard against #6 seed UConn-Avery Point (CT) 106 - 96 win in the championship consolation game. The PCCC Lady Panthers jumped out to a 61-35 halftime lead, but had to hold on down the stretch as the UCAP Lady Pointers cut the margin to 6 points with just over a minute to play. The Panthers had four players in double figures, led by Jada Camacho #14 with 28, while Kathy Davis #3 recorded a triple-double with 25 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists. The Panthers also shot 54% from the field and out-rebounded the Pointers 54-45 in the high-scoring affair. Day – 3: Passaic came up a little short in their final game against #4 seed Hibbing Community College (MN) with a 83 - 71 lost for 5th Place in the championships. Kathy Davis #3 led Passaic with 22 points and 15 rebounds, as the Panthers finish their season at 21-7 overall.
Sunday, March 3, 2019
Congratulations to our Passaic County Community College Women’s Basketball Team for clinching the Region XIX Title with a 65 - 60 victory over top seeded Brookdale Community College, in the NJCAA Region XIX. Women's Basketball Championship Final at the Collins Arena this afternoon.
Brookdale led throughout, holding leads of 10-4, 24-20, and 46-34 after the first three quarters. But the Passaic Lady Panthers sparked a comeback in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Brookdale Jersey Blues 31-14 over the final 10 minutes. Zeniya Thomas led Passaic with 22 points, with 12 coming in the fourth quarter. Kathy Davis netted 20 points and Jada Camacho, who was named “Tournament MVP”, added 15 for the Lady Panthers. Teya Eaton, Passaic’s Head Women’s Coach received “Tournament Coach of the Year” for having a successful season as well.