Jefferson Community and Technical College's Academic A Team road an impressive comeback, including defeating the eventual champion, to finish in 5th place in the Community College Championship Tournament in Atlanta Feb. 27 and 28.
After dropping its first two matches, the team roared back with four straight wins
over top 6 teams. JCTC finished the tournament tied for 4th place but lost the tiebreaker
in overtime. It was a heartbreaking defeat compounded by a judge's controversial decision
to accept an incorrect answer.
Jefferson went 4-1 in pool play on Friday night, ultimately finishing with an 8-3 record and the most wins ever by a Jefferson team at the national tournament.
The only KCTCS college to make it to the tourney, Jefferson also knocked off eventual champ State College Manatee in round 10, handing Manatee its only loss in the event.
Manatee entered the match at 9-0, but we built a huge 245-70 lead on them, only to hold off a furious comeback and win 290-285, Coach Pete Rodski said. Manatee won the championship game by a score of 410-195, finishing at 11-1, making our win over them all the more impressive. This match was recorded and will be available later.
The team's three losses were to teams finishing 2nd, 4th and 6th in the country. Jefferson and Valencia College are the only teams in the country who can boast top 4/5 finishes for the last four years.
Regarding the controversial call, the question asked for the author but the team responded with the title, Rodski said. Jefferson didn't realize the mistake until it received the questions later, but by then they ruled ineligible to appeal.
While deeply disappointing, it doesn't take way from Jefferson s exemplary performance, Rodski said.
In a show of team depth, Jefferson's B team also qualified for the national tournament.
Our B team performed admirably, and although they didn't get a win, they had several close matches and gained some valuable experience, Rodski said.
The A team consisted of Eric Bradley (14th in overall scoring), Marion Eicholtz (21st overall), Katie Edwards (67th) and Kimberly Cissell (82nd). Playing for the B team were William Edwards, Launi Brown, James Mitchell, Parker Jones, Paul Roederer, and Anthony Meyers.
The team has a few league matches left at Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Louisville to complete the semester.