Lady Jets finish GCAA regular season with 18 – 0 unbeaten record
The South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets finished the 2018 – 2019 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association regular season undefeated with an 18 – 0 record and captured its fourth consecutive GCAA Division I women’s basketball regular season championship with an impressive 100 – 50 win over the Albany Technical College Lady Titans in the SGTC Alumni/Sophomore Day celebration in the Hangar on the Americus campus, Saturday.
The Jets fell just four points shy of making the day a complete sweep against the Albany Tech Titans as they tried to overcome a 14-point deficit in the second half before falling 88 – 84 in one of their last three remaining GCAA regular season conference contests.
The South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets have only had one other unbeaten regular season record in the 14-year history of the program. That was during the 2011 – 2012 season in Brandon Harrell’s last season as the Lady Jets head coach. His team went 19 – 0 in the GCAA and Harrell posted his 100th win as the Lady Jets head coach that same season. Coach Frey has had two one loss conference seasons and they came in 2017 – 2018 and 2016 – 2017.
South Georgia Tech Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey said he was extremely proud for his team to finish the regular season with an unblemished record. “This team has worked really hard and I am proud of them for this accomplishment. But this is just one step toward our ultimate goal for the season. We now have to focus on the NJCAA Region XVII conference title, and after that the District J play-in game and securing a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament. This is what we have worked for all season, but now we have to make sure we execute. We are down to having to win each game to advance to the next step,” said Frey.
This was the Lady Jets ninth straight victory and fifth GCAA regular season conference title in six years. Frey took over the reigns as the head coach of the Lady Jets in 2012 – 2013. He had a 20 – 12 record that first year and has improved on it each year since. In 2013 – 2014, the Lady Jets won the regular season, the NJCAA Region XVII title, the District J tournament and advanced to the National Tournament for the second time in the history of the women’s program and the first time for Coach Frey as a head coach. The Lady Jets posted a 30 – 5 overall record, which was the best in the history of the men’s or women’s program.
The next year, Coach Frey’s squad finished second in the GCAA regular season behind Darton but beat Darton in the Region XVII tournament to earn a second trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in two years. His team won its first game in the National Tournament that season and finished at 29 – 8 overall. In 2015 – 2016, the Jets won the GCAA title but finished second in the NJCAA region XVII tournament. The Lady Jets wound up 27 – 6 that season and gave Coach Frey his 100th victory as a head coach.
The Lady Jets came back strong in 2016 – 2017 and 2017 – 2018 to win back to back GCAA regular season conference titles, the NJCAA Region XVII championship and the District J tournament play-in games. They went back to the NJCAA National Tournament and wound up as one of the Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen teams nationally. They were 29 – 4, and 29 – 6 overall. Coach Frey ended the 2017 – 2018 year with a 154 – 35 record as a head coach at South Georgia Technical College and with four NJCAA National Tournament appearances in six years.
The Lady Jets posted their fifth 100-plus point win this season Saturday in the match-up against Albany Tech. Sophomore guard Alyssa Nieves led the Lady Jets in scoring with 18 points in under 25 minutes of playing time. She hit four three-point shots in that match=up and also had three steals, two assists and two rebounds.
Sophomore forward Fatou Pouye and freshman forward Kamya Hollingshed both contributed 15 points in that match-up. Pouye had a double-double night with 11 rebounds and one blocked shot. Hollingshed had three rebounds to go with her 15 points.
Sophomore forward Ricka Jackson closed out the double-digit scoring with 11 points and five rebounds. Freshman Amar Edeh scored eight points and freshman guard Rio Yamazaki had seven points. Anna McKendree and Bigue Sarr accounted for six points each and Mari Hill and Oumy Gueye scored four each. Laky Samo closed out the scoring with two points.
“We were glad to get that win behind us,” said Lady Jets head coach James Frey, who added that now the real challenge begins. “You can make up a loss here and there in the season but it is tournament time now. Each game stands alone. You win and advance or you go home. We plan to win and advance.”
As the top seeded team in the GCAA regular season the Lady Jets will host the NJCAA Region XVII tournament on Friday, March 1st and Saturday, March 2nd. The Lady Jets will host the winner of the Albany Tech – Andrew College quarter-final match-up on Friday, March 1st at 5:30. The other semi-final game will be held at 7:30 on Friday and the two winners will meet in the final round on Saturday at 2 p.m.
While the Lady Jets celebrated their unbeaten season, the Jets were struggling to secure one of the top four spots in the GCAA regular season and earn the right to host a quarter-final round game in the NJCAA Region XVII tournament.
Missed free throws ended up costing the Jets the victory as they fell 88 – 84 to Albany Tech in the second-half of the SGTC Sophomore/Alumni Day Celebration. The Jets only converted 18 of 27 free throw attempts while Albany Tech hit 19 of 23 and those points were enough to allow Albany Tech to take the four-point victory.
The Jets were down 43 – 32 at the end of the first half and fell behind as many as 14 points in the second half at 72 – 58. The Jets came back late in the game were only down by one point, 83 – 82 with 45 seconds remaining. Albany Tech converted on free throws to go up 85 – 82 with 32 seconds remaining and stretched the lead to 87 – 82 in the final 21 seconds of the game. The Jets were able to close the gap to 88 – 84 by the final buzzer.
Freshman guard Justin Johnson led the Jets in scoring with 17 points. Ten of those came in the first half. Toriano Lewis was close behind with 16 points, Nick Cummings had 14 and Jeremy Johnson closed out the double-digit scoring with 13 points. Adonis Green added nine points, Jonathan Tchuisse had five, Jaylan McKinney and Sam Matice both wound up with four points and DJ Fisher posted two points on the night.
The loss dropped the Jets to 8 – 6 in the GCAA and 12 – 16 overall. They are currently one game back from four teams with five losses. Central Georgia Tech is in first place with a 10 – 5 record. Andrew College, Georgia Highlands, and Gordon College are all in a three-way tie for second place with 9 – 5 records and South Georgia Tech is currently in fifth place with an 8 – 6 record. East Georgia is one game back at 8 – 7. South Georgia State College is seventh with a 6 – 7 – 1 record, Albany Tech is eighth at 2 – 11- 1 and Southern Crescent Tech is last at 2 – 12. Only the top eight teams will advance to the NJCAA Region XVII tournament.
South Georgia Tech has a chance to move up in a contest against Gordon College at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27th. Georgia Highlands will host Central Georgia Tech that same night at 7:30 p.m. and South Georgia State will host Gordon College at 7 p.m. Andrew College will travel to South Crescent Tech on Wednesday as well.
The final games of the season for the men’s teams will be on Saturday, March 2nd. South Georgia Tech will host East Georgia at 6 p.m., Gordon will host South Georgia State, Andrew will host Georgia Highlands and Albany Tech will host Southern Crescent Tech. The games Wednesday and Saturday will determine who qualifies for the NJCAA Region XVII tournament. The quarter final round will be played at the higher seeds on Tuesday, Marcy 5th and then the top ranked regular season winner will host the semi-final and final round on Friday, March 8th and Saturday, March 9th.