Lady Jets ranked 18th nationally in NJCAA Division I standings
The South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets dropped two spots into 18th in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I women’s basketball rankings in the first poll of the 2019 year after losing to the 12th ranked Shelton State Lady Bucs during a Holiday Classic in Americus. The Lady Jets are currently 9 – 0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) and 17 – 2 overall.
“We are not where we want to be but it is good to be recognized as one of the best teams in the nation,” said South Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey. The Lady Jets earned back-to-back trips to the National Junior College Athletic Association in the 2016 – 2017 and 2017 – 2018 seasons and would like nothing better than to earn their third consecutive trip to Lubbock, Texas in 2019. They have made the trip to the national tournament four times in the last five seasons.
“Each year the team sits down and outlines our goals for the upcoming season. It is our goal to make it to the national tournament again this year. But in order to accomplish that goal, we have to do several things first. We have to win our conference, the NJCAA Region 17 tournament, and the District J championship game. We are off to a good start but we have to finish strong,” added Frey.
In addition to the 18th place NJCAA national ranking, the Lady Jets also had four players to earn individual national rankings in different categories. One of South Georgia Tech’s Jets players was also included in the NJCAA men’s individual statistic national rankings.
Sophomore guard Mari Hill from Japan was ranked 8th in the nation in assists and 23rd in steals. Sophomore Forward Fatou Pouye from Kaolack, Senegal and sophomore Center Bigue Sarr from Kaolack, Senegal were also listed in two categories each. Fatou Pouye was ranked 15th in the nation in total rebounds and 16th nationally for her offensive rebounding. Sarr was listed as 17th in blocks and 45th in total rebounds. The fifth Lady Jets player included in the individual national rankings was freshman Laky Samo from Mozambique. She was listed as 16th in free-throw percentage shooting.
Hill, who has played in and started all 18 of the Lady Jets games this season, is averaging 6.2 assists per game. That earned her the 8th place in the nation. She was also ranked 23rd in the nation in steals with an average of 3.1 per game.
Pouye, who is 6’0”, has pulled down 163 rebounds this season in 18 of the Lady Jets games, to earn the 15th place in the nation for total rebounds. She has 81 offensive rebounds and 82 defensive rebounds. She is also ranked 16th for her average of 4.5 offensive rebounds per game.
The other Lady Jet sophomore to earn national recognition was 6’ 3” center Bigue Sarr. She was listed as 17th in the nation in blocked shots with an average of 2.2 per game. She is also listed as one of the top rebounders in the nation. She was ranked 45th with a total of 136 rebounds in 15 games.
Laky Samo was the only freshman from the Lady Jets squad to be included in the individual national rankings. She is ranked 16th in free-throw percentage shooting. She has an 86 percent success rate from the foul line. She has played in all 18 of the Lady Jets games this season and started twice.
The only member of the Jets basketball squad to garner national attention in the individual statistics was freshman Justin Johnson of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The guard is ranked 25th in the nation in total points scored with a total of 332 points this season in 17 games. He was also listed as 40th in points per game with an average of 19.5 per outing. He is a 46% field goal shooter and has made 28.6 percent of his three-point attempts and 57.4% of his free-throws. The Jets are currently 1 – 2 in the conference and 5 – 12 overall this season.
The Jets and Lady Jets will take to the road over the next two weeks. They both travel to Griffin to take on Southern Crescent on January 16th. Those conference games are at 5:30 and 7:30. Then the Jets travel to Waycross on Saturday, January 19th to place South Georgia College while the Lady Jets travel to Hanceville, AL to face Wallace State Community College that same day. The two teams travel to Albany to face Albany Technical College for a conference doubleheader on January 23rd at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. and then to Swainsboro on January 30th to take on East Georgia State College at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The men will also travel to Barnesville on January 26th to face Gordon College at 3 p.m. The next home game for the Jets and Lady Jets will be on Saturday, February 2nd at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. against Central Georgia Technical College.