Jets lose to East Georgia State in NJCAA Region XVII Quarterfinals
The third ranked South Georgia Technical College Jets’ 2018 – 2019 basketball season came to halt Tuesday night in the first round of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XVII tournament when sixth ranked East Georgia College staged a 93 – 82 upset win to advance to the semi-final round at Andrew College in Cuthbert on Friday, March 8th at 5:30 p.m. The Bobcats will match-up against Central Georgia Tech.
“We didn’t play well,” said South Georgia Technical College Jets head basketball coach Travis Garrett. “East Georgia’s team played like they wanted it more than we did. We didn’t play with the same intensity that we did on Saturday night and that made a big difference. We also did not shoot the ball well.”
South Georgia Tech and East Georgia State matched-up in the last regular season conference game on Saturday and the Jets dominated the Bobcats from the first whistle until the final buzzer taking an 88 – 66 win. The two teams wound up facing each other again only three days later in the tournament after the Jets finished the regular season in third place and the Bobcats fell into the sixth place spot.
But the outcome was totally different during the tournament action. East Georgia jumped out to an early lead and wound up posting a 54 – 35 lead at the end of the first half. They stretched that lead up to 26 points in the second half, before the Jets staged a come-back effort. The Jets were able to pull within eight points of the Bobcats with 3:43 remaining in the game with the score, 80 – 72. But that was as close as they would come and wound up losing 93 – 82.
The Jets only shot 40% from the floor and were 0 for 8 from the three-point line in the first half. They ended the night going 3 for 21 from the three-point line while the Bobcats hit 10 of their 22 three-point attempts and 48% of their regular shots. The Bobcats sank 13 of 16 free throws while the Jets were only 21 of 31 from the foul line.
South Georgia Tech finished the season at 14 – 17 overall but had its highest finish in the conference under head coach Travis Garrett in third place with a 10 – 6 performance. Despite finishing in seventh place in the conference for the past three seasons, Garrett’s teams wound up in the NJCAA Region XVII finals in 2017 and 2018. They played and lost the championship game to Georgia Highlands in 2017 and fell short again of a victory in 2018 against Central Georgia Tech. The Jets are 62 – 62 under Coach Garrett.
Sophomore center Sam Matice from Canada, and freshman guard Nick Cummings from Eastman, GA, tied for top scoring honors for the Jets. Matice and Cummings both recorded double-doubles. Sam Matice had 16 points and 15 rebounds as well as two blocked shots, while Nick Cummings came off the bench to score 16 points and pull down 12 rebounds. He also had a blocked shot.
Freshman guard Justin Johnson was the only other Jet in double-figures. He had 15 points and 11 rebounds. This is the first time this season that the Jets have had three players score in double figures and pull down double digit rebounds in a single game. Johnson was the only Jets to earn post-season conference honors in 2019. He was listed as a GCAA first team All-Conference player and was a member of the GCAA All-Freshman team. Freshman Dijon Brown tossed in nine points, had five rebounds and five assists and freshman Toriano Lewis came away with eight points. Jeremy Johnson managed to score five points, Adonis Green and Brice Paster both contributed four points and Jaylan McKinney had three points. DJ Fisher closed out the scoring with two points.
The Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) Champions, Andrew College, is hosting the NJCAA Region XVII tournament semi-final and final action. They will face the fourth-ranked Georgia Highlands team at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8th. East Georgia and Central Georgia Tech match-up at 5:30 p.m. March 8th in Cuthbert. The two winners will advance to the finals on Saturday, March 9th at 3 p.m. in Cuthbert.
South Georgia Technical College Jets fans have the opportunity to come out and view one more home game this season as the Lady Jets host Spartanburg Methodist at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 9th in the Hangar for the NJCAA District J championship. The winner of that game advances to the NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, Texas, March 18th – 23rd.