The NCAA’s March Madness can wait for another month. Now, a special flavor of basketball excitement is bouncing into FSCJ South Campus.
Just call it February Fever. The Blue Wave’s women’s basketball program, sporting a record of 17-5, is chasing trophies as the 2014-15 season enters its stretch run.
The Blue Wave captured a second straight Mid-Florida Conference championship in 2014, advancing to the semifinals of the Florida College System Activities Association tournament. This time, coach Kristy Ward and her team have their eyes on even bigger goals.
“Our number-one goal is to win conference again for the third consecutive year,” Ward said. “Then, of course, win state or at least make it to the national tournament.”
For the Blue Wave, defense holds the key.
“We’re really strong defensively. Our two previous seasons, we were the top defensive team in the state of Florida,” Ward said. “So that’s kind of what we like to do, really play aggressive defense and create turnovers.”
But it hasn’t always been easy. Injuries and disciplinary issues have slashed the squad by six since the season’s start.
“The highlight of the season has been that we’ve been able to overcome all of that adversity and we’re still competing for a third conference championship,” Ward said.
Through it all, the Blue Wave has had a constant in Amber Jones. The 6-foot-1 sophomore from Indianapolis has attracted the attention of recruiters from NCAA Division I schools.
“She’s sort of our motor,” Ward said. “She’s solid defensively, she’s a big scorer for us and a leader on the floor as well.”
FSCJ winds down the women’s basketball schedule with six conference games before tournament time tips off in early March. If all goes well, the Blue Wave will get its chance to challenge the best at the FCSAA tournament in Ocala and the NJCAA national event later that month. The top two teams from Florida, as well as a possible at-large selection, will advance to the nationals.
Wednesday, Feb. 4 6 p.m. Daytona State College (away)
Saturday, Feb. 7 4 p.m. Hillsborough Community College (away)
Wednesday, Feb. 11 6 p.m. Santa Fe College (home)
Wednesday, Feb. 18 6 p.m. College of Central Florida (away)
Saturday, Feb. 21 2 p.m. Daytona State College (home)
Monday, Feb. 23 6 p.m. Hillsborough Community College (home)