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CMCC Mustang Women bring home national title

The team celebrates in Kirk Hall, where they put in many hours of training and practice to make it to the national stage.

For second time in three years, the Central Maine Community College Mustang Women have returned home as national basketball champions. The team exploded out of the gate last week at Penn State Fayette in Uniontown, PA to capture the 2019 USCAA DII National Championship with an 85-78 victory against number one seed Villa Maria College.

The win is bittersweet for tournament MVP Brooke Reynolds and Eraleena Gethers-Hairston, juniors who were also on the national championship team in 2017. Reynolds and Gethers-Hairston have played together since seventh grade.

“This is it,” said Gethers-Hairston. “The journey is done and we went out with a bang. We made history as the only two women in the State of Maine with two USCAA DII titles.”

Kristen Huntress, who scored 17 points in the final game, credits the team’s success to its closeness and dedication. “Personally, I’ve dreamed about winning a national championship since I was a little kid,” she said. “To be able to achieve this with my team is indescribable.”

Many of the women described Coach Andrew Morong as a great leader on the court and a key supporter off the court. “I looked at him as an older brother off the court,” said Gethers-Hairston. “He was always there for me. I have the upmost respect for him.”

Sophomore Jordyn Reynolds is cherishing the small moments. “As a college athlete, you only have so much time, and it flies by before you know it,” she said. “What I’ve taken away is to just cherish it all, every moment, every practice, every game. It all means something very special.”

In addition to winning the national tournament, four Mustang Women were recognized at the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association’s (USCAA) All-American Awards Dinner. Kristen Huntress and Alex Bessey earned Academic All-American Honors for having a 3.5 or greater cumulative GPA. Bessey also earned an All-American Honorable Mention selection. Jordyn Reynolds was named a USCAA Second Team All-American. Her older sister, Brooke Reynolds, was recognized as a USCAA First Team All-American. Brooke is only the third Mustang woman to be named First Team All-American three times in her career.

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