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NIC Cardinals bring home title

SALINA, Kan. – Tournament MVP Kama Griffitts hit four 3-pointers and scored 22 points and Tugce Canitez added a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds to power the North Idaho Cardinals to a 90-81 victory over the Trinity Valley Cardinals in Saturday’s championship game of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I women’s basketball tournament.

ShaKiana Edwards-Teasley chipped in with 17 points and five rebounds, Camille Reynolds scored 12 and Korina Baker handed out eight assists for North Idaho, which finished the season with a 32-3 record. It was NIC’s third straight trip to the tourney and its first title.

NIC, which was seeded fifth, breezed through the national tournament, winning four straight games by an average of 20 points.

“We played fantastic the whole week,” said NIC coach Chris Carlson. “Our defense was really good … the best one here.”

North Idaho scored 31 points off 19 Trinity Valley turnovers.

Griffitts, Canitez and Reynolds all earned all-tournament first-team honors.

Carlson was named coach of the year.

North Idaho will celebrate the title with a welcome-home reception today at 11 a.m. in Christianson Gym in Coeur d’Alene.

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