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Six members of Trinity Valley's unbeaten women's basketball team are suspended, leading to a forfeit that ends 47-game winninng streak

ATHENS, Texas — Trinity Valley Community College announced Friday that it will forfeit its women’s basketball game Saturday against Weatherford College.

The five members of the Lady Cardinals who defeated Austin Elite last weekend were (from left) Kyhonta Doughty, Krystle Henderson, Savannah Carter, Catania Grant, and Shlonte Allen. (Photo from the Athens Daily Review)

The Lady Cardinals, undefeated in 11 games and ranked No. 2 among the nation’s junior college women’s teams, had just four healthy eligible players becaue of a brouhaha last weekend against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M that resulted in the suspension of six TVCC players.

Saturday’s forfeit will end the Lady Cardinals’ 47-game winning streak and drop their record to 11-1.

The suspensions are the result of an on-court altercation late in a game last Friday during the TVCC Classic in Athens. All but one were suspended for leaving the bench to run onto the floor. Trinity Valley finished the game with four players in the 83-61 victory.

Although a team can finish a game with four players, NJCAA rules require a team to begin a game with at least five players. Picking up a player off the street wasn’t an option due to NJCAA restrictions, so Catania Grant, a freshman on the college’s volleyball team, was brought in.

However, Grant aggravated a leg injury in the game, leaving her unavailable to play against Weatherford.

The Lady Cardinals’ next outing is their Region XIV conference opener at home Wednesday against Panola (8-4). As a result of sitting out the Austin Elite game and the forfeited Weatherford contest, all 10 of Trinity Valley’s players will be eligible to play against Panola.

The Lady Cards, ranked No. 2 in the nation, have wins over No. 9 Central Arizona, No. 11 Weatherford and No. 13 NEO so far this year. All three teams were undefeated on the night they were beaten by the Lady Cardinals.

Among the suspended is Adut Bulgak, a 6-4 freshman from Canada, who is leading the league in rebounds (12.3 per game) and blocked shots (3.8 per game) and is second in scoring (16.3 points per game).

Another suspended player, Shannon Smith, a 5-8 sophomore from Gastonia, N.C., is the league’s No. 4 scorer at 14.2 points per game, No. 9 in assists with 3.1 per game; and No. 7 in steals with 2.7 per game.

Also suspended were Victoria Wells, a 5-10 sophomore from Los Angeles (leading in steals); Roddricka Patton, a 5-4 freshman from Neches, Texas (second in assists); Julianne Anchling, a 6-3 freshman from France; and Dominique Brooks, a 6-4 freshman from Chicago. Among the four, they are averaging 16.5 points a game.

Smith and Wells recently signed national letters-of-intent with NCAA Division I schools – Smith with Michigan and Wells with Texas Southern.

The only TVCC players not suspended and thus available to join Grant against Austin Elite were Shlonte Allen, a 5-9 freshman from Arcadia, La.; Savannah Carter, a 5-9 sophomore from Tulsa, Okla.; Krystle Henderson, a 5-5 sophomore from Dallas; and Kyhonta Doughty, a 6-1 freshman from New Orleans.

Against Austin Elite, Allen had 33 points, 21 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 steals and 5 blocks. Carter had 28 points and 26 rebounds. Henderson finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists. Doughty scored 8 points.

Grant, who hadn’t played basketball since high school, scored 11 points that included two 3-pointers.

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