Eastern Florida State Women’s Basketball Captures First Region VIII Tournament Championship in Program History
By Michael Parsons, Eastern Florida State College // March 12, 2023
Leilani Guion finished as the tournament's Most Valuable Player
NICEVILLE, FLORIDA – For the first time in program history, the Eastern Florida State College women’s basketball team has cut down the nets at the Region VIII Tournament.
The Titans, who came in as the No. 1 seed in the state tournament, defeated Northwest Florida State College 48-43 in the championship game Saturday night at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville.
Tournament Most Valuable Player Leilani Guion finished with 13 points, along with Region VIII All-Tournament player L’or Eyeba Mputu.
Also making the all-tournament team was Elli Garnett, who finished with nine points and seven rebounds, along with Shadaria Smith, who had four points, five assists, and five rebounds.
The Titans went into halftime with a 24-23 lead on a Shadaria Smith basket right before the buzzer, as both teams played really well on defense.
It remained close throughout the contest as the teams seemed to trade baskets as the lead changed 15 times in the game.
Smith hit a basket with 2:13 remaining to give the Titans the lead. Isimenme Ozzy-Momodu made a big block, and with 35 seconds left, L’or Eyeba Mputu made a basket to make it 48-43.
From there, the defense took over, and the Titans were Region VIII champions.
It is the first time in 25 years that a team from outside the Panhandle has won the Region VIII Tournament title.
The women’s basketball team is now a program-best 31-1 and has automatically qualified for the NJCAA Division I National Tournament on March 22-27 at the Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock, Texas.
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