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Undefeated National Champs: Thomas More Celebrates

The Thomas More College womens' basketball team celebrated its NCAA Division III National Championship on campus on Wednesday where the title trophy and banner were unveiled.

There were many local leaders on hand to commemorate the Saints for their 33-0 season and their championship hardware, including Crestview Hills Mayor Paul Meier, Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann, and Bishop Roger Foys of the Diocese of Covington.

“Not only have I heard so much about how fantastic of a team you are, but of how fantastic of individuals you are,” Knochelmann said. “And with that, that's one of the things that your presence, not only to the community, but to the country to be able to present that to us and show us such top individuals means so much.”

Knochelmann also declared April 15, 2015 as Thomas More Womens' Basketball Day in Kenton County.

Thomas More is the only four-year college basketball team in the country to finish the season undefeated.

Junior Sydney Moss was named the 2014-15 NCAA Division III Womens' Player of the Year, after averaging 27.4 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game, and 3.4 assists per game. Freshmen Abby Owings (Simon Kenton) and Nikki Kiernan (Newport Central Catholic) were also key contributors this season by each averaging double-digits in scoring.

“Sometimes it's the freshmen that can make the difference,” Thomas More President David Armstrong said. “I couldn't be more proud of their effort, especially in the championship game.”

Head coach Jeff Hans presented a commemorative championship basketball to Bishop Foys to put on his desk. Hans talked about how the team's journey began a year before their undefeated campaign.

“The media talked about how we had some unfinished business from last year, and that we had an agenda, and yeah, we did. We just never really talked about it,” Hans said. “For some of you that were here for our first scrimmage, I didn't think we would 15 games. It was a tough schedule and there was a lot of work that went in to it, and they got better every day. As a coach, that's all you can ask for, and when we needed to play our best basketball at the end of the season, we did.”

“We took it all the way, wire to wire, the only undefeated team in Kentucky,” President Armstrong said. “Every other champion in the NCAA and NAIA have at one loss except us.”

Story & photos by Bryan Burke, associate editor

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