SYRACUSE — The wait is over.
With a 74-64 victory over fourth-seeded Jefferson Community College, the second-seeded North Country Community College women's basketball team earned its first NJCAA Region III Tournament championship in school history Sunday.
This marks the first basketball championship for the Saints, who advanced to the title game via a 65-61 win in the semifinals over Fulton-Montgomery.
"Chad LaDue, our athletic director, has done a lot to help our program and move Saints athletics in the right direction, and this is a big step for us."
Dumont said the Saints' defense was the difference.
"Ty Taylor really controlled everything and the flow of the game for us," Dumont said. "She scored, she assisted, and she ran our sets. I just thought she did a tremendous job and really controlled the whole flow of the game."
When the Cannoneers cut North Country's lead to two points several times throughout the fourth quarter, Dumont said his team's defense answered the bell.
"I have to give a shoutout to Mary Parker, who defended phenomenally well (Sunday)," Dumont said. "Ashlyn Eyles is a phenomenal basketball player for Jefferson and was averaging about 23 points per game her last couple of games.
"Mary really defended her. We threw a lot of different people at her, but Mary really tired her out and shut her down. I was really impressed."
The duo of Jasmine Cruse and Carder controlled the inside for the Saints, Dumont said.
"They were both All-Tournament team. Kayla got MVP of the tournament. It was pretty impressive. They controlled the boards, which was one of the keys to our success, and they really shared it."