Jets move into 3rd place in GCAA rankings after defeating East Georgia State College
The South Georgia Technical College Jets came out strong in their last Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) 2018 – 2019 regular season game Saturday and defeated East Georgia State College, 88 – 66. The win allowed the Jets to finish the GCAA season in 3rd place and earn the right to host a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XVII tournament quarterfinal game on Tuesday, March 6th. The Jets will play East Georgia again in the Hangar at 7 p.m.
“This is what we have worked for,” said South Georgia Technical College Jets head coach Travis Garrett. “Obviously, we would have liked to have won the regular season conference title, but we are pleased that we will be hosting a quarterfinal game here on our home court. I am proud of the Jets and the way they came out and took control early and never let East Georgia tie or lead in this game. Now we have to do the same thing again Tuesday night in the quarterfinal round in order to advance to the semi-finals and finals.”
Andrew College and Central Georgia Technical College had identical 11 – 5 overall records in the GCAA Division I regular season action. Andrew College defeated Central Georgia Tech in the final meeting of the regular season, 78 – 65 and that allowed them to finish in first place in the NJCAA Region XVII tournament rankings. Central Georgia Tech is currently second, South Georgia Tech and Gordon College both have 10 – 6 regular season conference records but the Jets climbed into 3rd place after defeating Gordon twice in head to head competition. That dropped Gordon into fourth place. The top four teams host the quarterfinal games in the Region XVII tournament on Tuesday, March 5th. Then the highest seeded team remaining will host the NJCAA Region XVII semi-finals and finals on March 8th and 9th.
In Tuesday’s quarter final action, Andrew College will host Southern Crescent Tech (8th), Central Georgia Tech will host South Georgia State College (7th), South Georgia Tech will host East Georgia State College (6th) and Gordon will host Georgia Highlands (5th).
“We have the opportunity to advance to the semi-finals and the finals, but we have to play with the same type of intensity that we exhibited Saturday and Wednesday. Now it is tournament time and we have to win to keep advancing,” said Coach Garrett. The Jets won their last two regular season games. They defeated Gordon College 77 – 70 on Wednesday, February 27th and then East Georgia 88 – 66 on Saturday, March 2nd.
In the game Saturday against Gordon, the Jets pulled ahead in the first half by as many as 14 points before they settled into a 44 – 32 half-time lead. The Jets continued to display balanced scoring and strong defense in the second half and captured the 88 – 66 victory and the right to host the NJCAA Region XVII quarterfinal game on Tuesday, March 6th at 7 p.m.
Freshman guard Justin Johnson led the Jets in scoring with 18 points but he had help on the scoring front from Brice Paster who added 15 points, and Dijon Brown and DJ Fisher. Both Brown and Fisher came off the bench to contribute 11 points each. Brown also had two rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Fisher came up with two rebounds and one assist.
Toriano Lewis and Nick Cummings, two more freshmen, also came off the bench to add nine and eight points respectively. Cummings had three dunks, three rebounds, and one assist and Lewis had three rebounds and one assist as well.
Other Jets who added to the scoring totals were Durand Greene and Jeremy Johnson with six points each and Jaylan McKinney who closed out the scoring with four points. The win allowed the Jets to finish the season at 10 – 6 and 14 – 16 overall.
This is the first time that Jets head coach Travis Garrett and his teams have finished in the top four in the conference and earned the right to host an NJCAA Region XVII conference game, but they have advanced to the finals for the past two seasons losing to Georgia Highlands and Central Georgia Tech in the NJCAA Region XVII tournament title game.