Winchester wins gold medal for Lady Vikings

Monday, November 18, 2013
Valley sophomore Jacarra Winchester (top) swept through five matches to take the 123-pound championship of the MVC Open. (Chris Allen/Democrat-News)

Sophomore Jacarra Winchester won all five of her bouts to earn the only gold medal for the Missouri Valley College women's wrestling team Saturday during the MVC Open in Grove C. Redford Gymnasium.

The event was billed as the largest collegiate women's wrestling tournament in the country, with the WCWA's 14 highest-ranked programs participating -- including the No. 5 Lady Vikings.

After winning her first two matches by technical fall, Winchester -- a San Leandro, Calif., product currently ranked second at 123 pounds -- pinned No. 10 Simon Fraser (B.C.) freshman Jennifer Anderson in the quarterfinal rounds.

A tech fall over Cumberlands (Ky.) junior Tamara Tillman put Winchester into the title match, where she notched an 8-2 decision over King (Tenn.) junior Kayla Brendlinger -- No. 2 at 116 pounds.

Valley picked up two other medals during the day, fourth place from No. 6 junior Brittany Jones (170 pounds) and fifth by seventh-ranked junior Frances Elfiong (143).

Jones opened with a pair of technical-fall victories before suffering the same fate at the hands of top-ranked Simon Fraser senior Justina DiStasio in the semifinals. DiStasio went on to take the championship while Jones beat No. 7 King junior Kerri Bumpers on the back side, 8-0.

Lindenwood freshman Gaby Guzman, ranked ninth at 155 pounds, pinned Jones in 1:31 of the third-place match.

Elfiong also posted two technical falls and an 8-5 decision before losing in the semifinal round, in a 10-0 tech fall, to No. 2 Wayland Baptist (Texas) junior Tamyra Mensah. After dropping a 4-0 decision to top-ranked Oklahoma City senior Stephanie Gellmacher, Elfiong nipped Lady Stars sophomore Kayla Aggio -- No. 3 at 136 pounds -- for fifth place, 6-5.

Junior Samantha Lovelace (116) won three of her five matches for Valley -- with junior Tierra Williams (116), freshmen Sharice Schnell (123) and Christy Powell (123), and unattached freshman Ku'uleilan Lankford each going 2-2.

The Lady Vikings will return to dual action Wednesday with a match at No. 8 Missouri Baptist.

Women's Basketball

Senior Gabi Morales scored 22 points and collected 12 rebounds Friday to pace the Valley women's basketball team to a 76-46 non-conference home win over Missouri Baptist.

Behind Morales' 11 points, the Lady Vikings took a five-point lead into halftime, then came out of the break with an 8-0 run as junior TaLaya Earls made two buckets.

The Lady Spartans got the deficit back into single digits with 15 minutes remaining before Valley answered with an 11-0 spree, Morales and senior Brielle Martinez each scoring four points, for a 20-point cushion with 11:43 left.

Sophomore Taylor Klingelhoefer tallied 13 points off the bench to lead Missouri Baptist (0-3).

Earls finished with 16 points, nine boards and four assists and senior Jasmine Harris added 12 points and five steals for the Lady Vikings (3-2) -- who forced 28 turnovers, 15 on steals.

Valley takes a three-game win streak into Tuesday's home contest against College of the Ozarks, No. 10 in the NAIA Division II rankings.

Men's Basketball

WICHITA, Kan. -- Friends shot 77.3 percent from the field during the second half Saturday to run away from the MVC men's basketball team for a 92-51 non-conference victory at Wichita, Kan.

The Vikings took an early lead, sophomore Jacob Powell's three-pointer putting them up 11-6 eight minutes into the contest. However, the Falcons followed with a 20-8 stretch and -- with senior Joe Mitchell scoring 15 points -- took a 31-28 lead into halftime.

Friends staged a 19-2 blitz during the first four minutes of the second period, senior Colton Rush hitting four bombs and notching 17 points in the opening seven minutes of the half.

Rausch wound up with 34 points and Mitchell had 21 for the Falcons (2-2), which was only one spot out of the NAIA Division II Top-25 poll to begin the season.

Powell's 13 points topped Valley, which had 26 turnovers and only five assists and was out-shot by a margin of 52.5 to 31.0 percent from the floor -- including 15-2 from outside the arc.

The Vikings (4-2) will be on the road Tuesday at Haskell (Kan.).

Contact Chris Allen at callen@marshallnews.com

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