Montgomery College Is Getting A Head Start On March Madness

12:27 AM, Mar 11, 2013   |    comments
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(WUSA) -- With March Madness right around the corner, the buzz about college basketball is about to reach a fever pitch. But flying under the radar is a local hoops team on its way to a different championship game.

The Montgomery College Lady Raptors are in practice mode for their upcoming work trip, to Rochester, Minnesota.

"It's all business," says shooting guard Jameelah Thalley. "We're going there for business. "It's not a fun trip. We can have fun after by celebrating, but right now it's business."

Unlike their NCAA Division I counterparts with a field of 64, Montgomery College is one of only eight schools headed to the NJCAA Division III big dance. They're going after their win over Middle Georgia Tech, grabbing the District G championship.

"It was great to know we were going again second year in a row and have a chance to make it past the first round," says Raptors point guard Jartu Toweh. "It would be nice to win everything." 

These ladies play in the shadow of bigger basketball programs, most notably the 2006 National Champion University of Maryland. But the Lady Raptors are trying to make their own mark.

"It's pretty cool to be in class and someone says i just saw you on MC website pretty cool you're going to nationals," says Toweh. "So its a cool feeling."

"Nobody wants to hear about Montgomery College," says head coach Tarlouh Gasque. "Everybody wants to hear about the big four-year schools. It's kind of tough, but it doesn't stop me."

Apparently not. Gasque has more wins in Division III hoops than any other active coach. She'd like to add a few more wins, and has an upcoming business trip to get it done.

"Why are we going to minnesota? To win a championship," says Gasque. "We started saying that from beginning of the season. Why are we playing this game? We're going to minnesota. Why are we learning these lessons? Because we're going to Minnesota. That's been the goal. Now we're there, we've got to make something of it." 

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