Jets, Lady Jets split with Georgia Highlands in conference match-ups for Alumni/Sophomore Day
The top-ranked South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets turned a one-point half-time lead into a 70 – 43 victory over Brandon Harrell and the third-ranked Georgia Highlands Lady Chargers in the opening match-up of the alumni/sophomore day game on the SGTC campus Saturday. The Jets were not as fortunate. The Jets were up 40 – 38 at half-time but fell 82 – 80 to the top-ranked Georgia Highlands squad in the second half of the double-header.
Despite the narrow loss to the Georgia Highlands Chargers, it was a great day for South Georgia Technical College which is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2018. An alumni game featuring former Jets and Lady Jets opened the day full of activities. Then the Americus – Sumter County Chamber of Commerce cooked hot dogs and hamburgers for the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and retirees at the game. The college recognized retirees and alumni and also presented the sophomore players with plaques in-between the two games as part of the celebration.
The SGTC Lady Jets have clinched their 3rd consecutive Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) conference title and are now 15 – 1 and 23 – 5 overall. This was their fifth consecutive victory. As the GCAA champions, South Georgia Tech will now host the semi-final and final round of the NJCAA Division I Women’s Region XVII Tournament on Friday, March 1st and Saturday, March 2nd.
The loss to Georgia Highlands dropped the South Georgia Technical College Jets into 3rd place in the GCAA District standings. Georgia Highlands is now in first place with a 9 – 1 and 15 – 7 overall record. South Georgia State College is currently in second place at 7 – 3 and 18 – 6 while the SGTC Jets are one game back with an 8 – 4 and 15 – 10 overall record.
“I thought we played a lot better in the second half than we did in the first half,” said SGTC Lady Jets head coach James Frey. “You have to give it to Brandon Harrell’s team, they came out and gave us all we wanted in the first half. Then we made some adjustments and were able to come back in the second half and shut down their offense.” The Lady Jets only gave up 17 points in the final 20-minutes of that game while scoring 43 in the second half.
Sophomore forward Esther Adenike stepped up on Sophomore Day and led the team in scoring with 14 points and seven rebounds. Freshman forward Ricka Jackson scored 13 points for the Lady Jets and had five rebounds and then sophomore guard Dakata Toney added 11 points and five rebounds. Sophomore forward Houlfat Mahouchiza closed out the double-digit scoring with 10 points.
Coach Frey started five sophomores on Sophomore Day and three of the four in double figures were sophomores. Freshman Alyssa Nieves accounted for seven points, Bigue Sarr contributed five points, Kayla Holmes and Sceret Ethridge both had four points and then Aubry Maulden closed out the scoring with two points.
After that game, the Jets and the Lady Jets recognized their sophomore players and managers. Fourteen individuals were recognized with plaques and they included six Jets players and one manager and seven Lady Jets. The Jets were: Mike Boone, Emeshuan Offord, DeVante Foster, Rico Simmons, Marquel Wiggins, Dawan Bass and Manager Wayne Bell. The Lady Jets recognized were Dakata Toney, Kayla Holems, Esther Adenike, Houlfat Mahouchiza, Kanna Suzuki, Seceret Theridge, and Davesha Murray.
Then the Jets roared out to try and gain a game on the top-ranked Georgia Highlands Chargers. The Jets were up 40 – 38 at the half but in the final two-minutes of the game, the Chargers found a way to secure the 82 – 80 victory. Georgia Highlands had a 10-point lead early in the game but there were a total of eight lead changes and four ties in the 40-minute match-up.
Jets head coach Travis Garrett also started five sophomores and sophomore guard Rico Simmons and sophomore forward Marquel Wiggins tied for top scoring honors with 19 points each. Wiggins also had 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Mike Boone was close behind with 18 points. They were the only three Jets players in double-digits. Sophomore Dawan Bass contributed eight points, Adonis Green had seven, DeVante Foster scored six points and Emeshuan Offord closed out the scoring with three points.
The loss dropped the Jets from second place into third place. As long as they finish in the top four spots in the GCAA, they will have the opportunity to host the first round playoff game. The men’s quarter-finals will begin on March 6th with the semi-final and final round to be played at the top-ranked seeds home court on March 9th and 10th.
Both the Jets and Lady Jets will be at home Wednesday, February 14th when they host Atlanta Metropolitan College in a conference match-up at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The two teams will travel to Albany on Saturday, February 24th, to face Albany Tech in a conference double-header at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. That is the last regular season match-up for the Lady Jets but the Jets will host Gordon State College on February 28th at 7 p.m. to close out their regular season schedule.