Yellowjackets Take Home National Runner-Up Trophy

The RCTC Yellowjackets continued their string of outstanding NJCAA Tournaments with a Runner-Up finish in 2024. The Yellowjackets, who were the defending National Champions from 2023, and finished 3rd in 2022, fell 76-60 to MCAC foe Minnesota West in the title game. RCTC, who was short-handed having only 6 healthy players entering the title game, had three players foul out, and played much of the fourth quarter with 4 players, including Sophie Andring who hadn’t played in a game since a knee injury back on January 24th. RCTC’s Macaya Copeland and Kara Goetzinger played all 40 minutes in the game, while Jada James played 35.

Minnesota West got out of the gates fast taking a 21-15 lead after one quarter. Hattie DeVries had 10 points in the frame for Minnesota West, while Goetzinger had 6 for the Yellowjackets. Minnesota West outscored RCTC again in the second quarter to take a 42-33 lead into the break. RCTC had cut the lead to 6 before a half-court heave at the buzzer extended the Lady Jays lead to 9. The third quarter was all RCTC as the Yellowjackets cut the lead to 2, 52-50 heading into the final quarter.

The Yellowjackets foul trouble proved too much to overcome in the final frame, as Aniyah Reuben, Janae Bennett, and Jada James all fouled out. This left the Yellowjackets with three healthy bodies and Andring to finish out the game. The Lady Jays closed out RCTC with a 24-10 final quarter.

RCTC shot 33% for the game and was only 1-21 from three-point range. Minnesota West shot it at a 42% clip, and knocked down 8 triples.  RCTC outrebounded Minnesota West 40-30, with Goetzinger pulling down 12 and Jada James grabbing 13 boards. Despite fouling out James lead all scorers with 24 points, while Macaya Copeland added 16 and Goetzinger poured in 15. James was 9-17 from the floor and 5-8 from the charity stripe.  Andring, finished with 3 rebounds for the Yellowjackets.

The Yellowjackets’ Jada James, Macaya Copeland, and Kara Goetzinger were all named to the NJCAA All-Tournament team.