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College Report: Briannica Tye, Sandy Cabadas make impact on basketball court

West Aurorgraduate BriannicTye (24) played four schools collegiately helped CumberlNAIA finals. |  PHOTO BY STEVE WAMPLER

West Aurora graduate Briannica Tye (24) played at four schools collegiately and helped Cumberland to the NAIA finals. | PHOTO BY STEVE WAMPLER

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Updated: August 16, 2013 6:27AM

Briannica Tye, a West Aurora graduate, executed a different kind of travel in her college basketball career. She played Division I junior college, in the NAIA and, on two occasions, on the NCAA Division I level.

“I was constantly searching for a place that fit me,” Tye said. “I was looking for a good fit athletically, academically and socially. I found that at Mineral Area Community College and Cumberland University.

“I learned to ask questions, though. Colleges recruit you because they have a need and you can fill that need. Make sure you are attending a school that will fill your needs as well. I got less and less shy about asking the tough questions.”

It is fair to say that as her career continued, Tye made better choices.

In her final year at Cumberland, she helped the Bulldogs advance to the NAIA finals, where they beat two nationally ranked teams before falling to Lee 43-41 in the semifinals. Cumberland finished 33-3 after an 18-2 run in the Mid-South Conference.

“Beating Lubbock Christian during the previous game was the best moment of the year,” Tye said. “They were the top-ranked team most of the year. I enjoyed not only playing for Cumberland, but being a student here as well.”

As a senior, Tye started every game and produced 290 points, 122 assists and 100 rebounds. She averaged 8.1 points, 3.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds and led the team in assists and steals (71). She shot 98-of-300 from the floor, 57-of-82 from the line, and converted 37 three-pointers.

Her career included stops at IUPUI and Robert Morris-Pennsylvania as well as Mineral Area College and Cumberland. Even though she was a point guard, she proved she could score as well, finishing with 1,295 points. She also had 500 assists, 365 rebounds, 251 steals and 24 blocked shots.

She was named to the NJCAA Division I All-American team in 2010-11. She also was also named to the NJCAA All-Region XVI team. As a senior, she was a second team all-conference pick.

Tye, the daughter of Michelle and Darrell of Aurora, is slated to earn her degree in business administration in December. She will be a graduate assistant for the Cumberland women’s basketball team during the 2013-14 school year.

Sandy Cabadas

East Aurora graduate Sandy Cabadas knew what her role was from the beginning of her career at Olivet Nazarene.

“I was basically there to rebound, get steals and block shots,” Cabadas said. “If I had an open shot, I took it. But most of the time, I was kicking it out to one of our shooters.”

Olivet plays what is called “Tiger Ball.” The players sprint down the floor, look for the three-pointer and take it. It has served the Tigers well, with Olivet posting more than 20 wins the last three seasons, including a 27-4 record in 2012-13. The Tigers have made three straight NAIA tournament appearances.

“I got used to dashing up and down the floor and loved my role,” Cabadas said. “It was a pleasure to be around players that loved the game as much as I did. I know I am going to miss the game of basketball and that style of play.”

As a senior, Cabadas led the CCAC with 63 blocked shots and was ranked 12th in the country among NAIA Division II players.

Cabadas, who played in all 32 games, averaged 2.1 points and 3.9 rebounds with 34 steals and 18 assists. She sank 19 three-pointers.

“There were many times that I was alone with two opposition players,” Cabadas said. “When I moved to block a shot, I wanted to put myself in a position to block either player. We call it bluff and retreat. It forces the player with the ball to pass the ball.

“I also try to read their eyes. That tells me what they are going to do.”

She finished her career with 159 points, 372 rebounds, 132 blocked shots, 82 steals and 51 assists. She nailed 51 field goals, 41 of which were three-pointers. Olivet went 93-37 in her four years, including 41-10 in the conference.

Cabadas, the daughter of Maria and Carlos of Aurora, earned her degree in information systems in May. She also earned a minor in Spanish.

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