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NJCAA women's championships open at HJC

March 19, 1997

By BOB DeVINNEY

Staff Correspondent

It didn't take University of Richmond women's basketball coach Bob Foley long to capture the attention of his audience at the Elks Club on Robinwood Drive Tuesday night.

Foley, who just completed his first year of leading the Richmond program back to respectability after 11 successful seasons at Providence College, came to Hagerstown last night to address the NJCAA Women's Division II National finalists at the tournament's Tip-Off banquet.

With the championship field expanded to 12 teams, Foley took the opportunity to give junior college players and coaches a vision of what it takes to be successful, not only on the basketball court, but in everyday life.

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"Seize the moment," Foley said repeatedly. "When you walk on that court tomorrow, enjoy it. It may never happen to you again. To be successful, you must set goals, not only in athletics, but every day of your life. Then take what you've learned from athletics and use it for the rest of your lives.

"Success isn't measured by how many wins you have," he added. "Wins are great, but you forget them after a while. At Richmond, we look at success as players graduating and making successful lives for themselves."

Eighteen games are on tap during the four-day, double-elimination tournament, with the national championship game scheduled for Saturday night at 8.

Opening ceremonies begin this morning at 11. The first of four games is scheduled for noon.

General admission is $5 for daily sessions. A four-day tournament ticket may be purchased for $15 at the HJC Athletic Complex.

Region XX champion Frederick Community College (21-9) meets Union County (N.J.) - owner of a 28-1 record - tonight at 8. A win puts the Lady Cougars into Thursday night's 8:30 game against Lake Michigan (24-5). A loss drops them into the losers' bracket and sets up a noon game Thursday against the loser of today's 6 p.m. game between John P. Calhoun (Ala.) and Kirkwood (Iowa).

"We've gotta do what got us here ... rebound," said Cougars coach Jack Mehl. "If we don't, we won't win. It's that simple. We've got four quality post players. We have to control tempo, play solid defense, and stay focused and not let the distractions bother us."

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