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Eastern Arizona College's Lady Gila Monsters celebrate their NJCAA Region 1 championship following their victory over Cochise College on Friday night.

It didn’t come easy, but the Eastern Arizona College women’s basketball team punched its ticket to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.

The No. 14 Lady Gila Monsters earned their automatic bid to the national tournament with a 91-83 double-overtime victory Friday night over No. 25 Cochise College in the NJCAA Region 1 final at EAC’s Guitteau Gymnasium.

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EAC women's basketball head coach Angelica de Paulo draws up a play during a timeout in Friday NJCAA Region 1 final against Cochise College.

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EAC's Shalance Montoya posts up in the first quarter of Friday's NJCAA Region 1 final.

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EAC guard Vitoria Santana looks to make a pass during Friday's NJCAA Region 1 final.

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EAC sophomore guard drives around a Cochise College defender in Friday's NJCAA Region 1 final.

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EAC guard Tiara Bolden finds a lane in Friday night's NJCAA Region 1 final against Cochise College.

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EAC forward Skye Miller reaches for a rebound in Friday's NJCAA Region 1 final.

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EAC freshman point guard Vitoria Santana brings the ball up the court against Cochise College in Friday's NJCAA Region 1 final.

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Freshman center Gracie Sorensen puts up a shot over a Cochise College defender in Friday's NJCAA Region 1 final.

Reach Tom Bodus at tom@eacourier.com or at (928) 424-6231.

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