Photo courtesy of Xavier University
New Orleans and Mobile share a history going back hundreds of years. The connection has grown even stronger thanks to the play of Xavier University’s Jas Hill.
The 5-foot-7 guard, a graduate of LeFlore High School, has been named the Player of the Year for women’s basketball in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). The honors continued to pour in last week as she was selected to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American Honorable Mention squad.
“I was very surprised,” Hill, who played her previous two years at Tallahassee Community College, said to Lagniappe. “Coach Bo (Browder) said don’t expect anything. The year has gone pretty well. There is always room for improvement. I’m confident in my game and just hope to keep improving.”
Hill’s addition to the roster has made an instant impact. In her first season with the Gold Nuggets, she averaged 15 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while making 34 3-point baskets, 10 blocks and 43 steals.
She helped Xavier to the regular-season GCAC title with a 23-6 overall record and 13-1 league mark. She is the ninth cager in Xavier history to be conference player of the year.
“Jas has made major strides on and off the court and has worked extremely hard to become an all-around student-athlete,” Coach Browder told Lagniappe. “She is one of the most talented guards we have signed in my 20 years at Xavier.”
Hill started four years at LeFlore. As a senior, she averaged 20 points and 7 rebounds to help the Rattlers finish 34-0 and win the Class 6A state title. She scored 27 points and tied a state-tournament record with seven 3-pointers in the championship victory over Homewood. She was first-team all-state as a senior, after earning third-team honors as a junior.
At Tallahassee Community College, she averaged 19.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.7 steals as a freshman. In her sophomore campaign, Hill averaged 19 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.7 steals as her squad finished 29-6 and won the NJCAA Division I national championship.
Although the Gold Nuggets were upset in the GCAC Tournament, they did receive an at-large bid to the NAIA Division I National Tournament. Xavier qualified for nationals for the 20th time in 25 seasons.
Orange Beach hosts tennis event
The 2019 Polar Bear Classic attracted 61 tennis players to Orange Beach Tennis Center. The field included participants from Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Birmingham, Dothan and other communities in Mobile and Baldwin counties.
The championship match for each age division included:
Co-Ed 10s: Fin Moore of Orange Beach beat Elizabeth Tanner of Rogersville, Alabama,
Girls 10s Green Ball: Tereza Mojs of Gulf Shores beat Blaeze Russell of Orange Beach,
Girls 12s: Fiona McGill of Fairhope beat Jillian Tanner of Rogersville,
Girls 14s: Grace Swain of Mobile beat Cara Farni of Saraland,
Girls 16s: Rachel McMullan of Niceville, Florida, beat Julianne Legg of Mobile,
Boys 12s: Jacob Thom of Spanish Fort beat Maysun Marino of Daphne,
Boys 14s: Jacob Miller of Daphne beat Christian Stickler of Miramar Beach, Florida,
Boys 16s: Bradley Pouncey of Enterprise, Alabama, beat Jay Murray of Mobile.
The next tournament at the Orange Beach Tennis Center will be the Spring UTR Adult/Junior tournament on April 5-7. For more information, contact tournament organizer Rhett Russell at 251-233-9628.
The University of Mobile’s Colton Wells, a junior from Paradise, Texas, has been named an NAIA Competitive Cheer All-American. Alex Sutherland, a junior from Satsuma, received honorable mention honors. The Rams won both the Southern States Athletic Conference and NAIA Regional titles this year. In their initial trip to the NAIA Championships, they finished in 12th place.
University of South Alabama track and field’s Emilie Berge scored 4,203 points in the women’s pentathlon to set a new Sun Belt Conference (SBC) standard and place 10th at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships in Birmingham. The junior from Norway tied the all-time Jaguar high jump record with a fifth-place effort of 1.78 meters, placed sixth in the shot put with a 12.25-meter throw that was just shy of her personal-best, a season-best 8.75 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles and 2:20.03 in the 800-meter run, and a 5.79-meter long jump mark that was good for eighth in the event.
Berge was voted the SBC Women’s Indoor Field Most Outstanding Performer. Berge (pentathlon, long jump), Christian Ellis (triple jump) and Autavia Fluker (shot put) earned first-team all-conference honors after winning their respective events. Michaela Preachuk (weight throw) and the men’s 4 x 400-meter relay team of Jalen Boyd, Javen Jackson, Cam Martin-Stewart and Xavier Rogers claimed second-team accolades. Third-team honorees included Graham Collins (heptathlon) and the pole vault trio of Sean Collins, Noah Mumme and Chris Taylor.
Spring Hill College junior forward Tiffany Valentine was named to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Women’s Basketball All-Conference first-team roster. The Houston, Texas, native averaged 20 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Valentine ranks third in the SIAC in points per game and eighth in rebounds per game. Earlier this season, she passed the 1,000-career points mark.
Brandon Fischer, a senior post player for Spring Hill, has been named a SIAC Men’s Basketball All-Conference honorable mention for the second-straight season. The Buford, Georgia, native led the Badgers with 14.3 points and eight rebounds per game. He ranks 11th in the SIAC in points per game and fourth in rebounds per game.
USA right-hander Zach Greene has been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s 2019 Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List, awarded to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I. The Jacksonville, Florida, native finished tied for 10th in the SBC in strikeouts (80) and saves (5) last season. He ranked 13th nationally in strikeouts per nine innings (12.63), and 23rd in strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.15) in 2018. The Miami Marlins selected Greene in the 15th round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft.
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