SGTC Lady Jets move up in NJCAA national rankings to 13th
The South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets were able to climb one spot in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I women’s intercollegiate basketball polls after securing five straight wins in January. They will have a chance to keep that designation Thursday, January 20th when they host the 17th ranked Florida Southwestern Buccaneers at 7 p.m. in the Hangar.
The Lady Jets had climbed as high as the fifth-place spot nationally after opening the season unbeaten, but four tough losses dropped them as low as 21st before they started climbing back to the 13th place position.
SGTC Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey is pleased that his team moved up but he realizes that to continue the trend they have to keep winning. “We are improving each week,” said Frey. “We knew that we were going to have growing pains this year since we have nine freshmen but I have been pleased with how they are growing each game. Thursday against Florida Southwestern will be a good test for us.”
Northwest Florida State College is still the top team in the nation with a 17 – 0 record and Three Rivers Community College is second with a 16 – 0 record. Shelton State Community College moved into third place with a 16 – 1 record while Trinity Valley Community College and Georgia Highlands closed out the top five spots.
The College of Southern Idaho, Tyler Junior College, Western Nebraska Community College, Pensacola State College and Jones College were ranked sixth through 10th in the nation. Wabash Valley, Moberly Area Community College, South Georgia Tech, Eastern Arizona College and New Mexico Junior College filled the 11 through 15 spots.
In addition to the overall team rankings, four Lady Jets and four Jets were also highlighted for their individual efforts. Freshmen Alexia Diseko and Fanta Gassama along with sophomores Kamya Hollingshed and Maikya Simmons were the four Lady Jets spotlighted. Jets Sophomores Jalen Reynolds, Will Johnston, Marvin McGhee, III, and Malik Battle were the four Jets singled out for their individual efforts on the court.
Freshman center Fanta Gassama led the Lady Jets in individual stats this week. She is currently the third leading rebounder in the nation with 239 over 19 games. Her teammate Alexia Dizeko, another freshman was ranked 21st in total rebounds with 163 in 20 games. These two Lady Jets were also highlighted for the field goal percentage shooting. Alexia is currently ranked 33rd in nation hitting 56.8 of her shots. Gassama is 38th with a 55.1% shooting rate from under the basket.
Gassama went on to standout in the defensive rebounding category. She was ranked sixth nationally averaging 7.7 per game. She is listed as 13th in offensive rebounding with another 4.9 per game.
Alexia Dizeko, the freshman shooting forward from Switzerland, is currently the 13th best scorer in the nation with a total of 314 points in 20 games. Red-shirt sophomore Kamya Hollingshed from Locus Grove, GA, joined her on this elite list in the 45th spot with a total of 252 points so far this season.
Dizeko is also ranked 46th in free-throw percentage shooting hitting 80.2 of her shots. Her teammate, Maikya Simmons, the sophomore point guard from Stafford, VA, is ranked 9th in assists per game with an average of 5.5 to close out the individual accomplishments listed in the national rankings.
Jets sophomore forward Jalen Reynolds from Darien, Georgia, earned individual rankings in five categories the NJCAA weekly stats. He is currently ranked 3rd in the nation in total rebounds this season with 210 in 19 games. He is listed as 6th nationally in defensive rebounds per game with an average of 8 per outing and 9th in the nation in rebounds per game averaging 11.1. He is ranked 36th in field goal percentage shooting hitting 63.2 percent of his shots and 47th in blocked shots with 1.7 per outing.
Sophomores Will Johnston, a point guard from Australia, and Marvin McGhee, III, a guard from Atlanta, Georgia are both garnering attention on the court for their scoring ability. McGhee is currently 29th overall in points per game averaging 20.2. McGhee leads the team in scoring with 344 total points this season, which is 19th in the nation. Johnston is close behind with 319 points, which is 31st nationally.
Johnston is also listed as 17th in the nation in free throw percentage shooting with an 88% success rate and 26th in assists per game with an average of 5.6 each outing. McGhee is in 12th position in points per game with an average of 21.9. McGhee is listed as 40th in three-point percentage shooting hitting 46.2% of his attempts.
The other Jet to break into the individual rankings is sophomore guard Malik Battle from Douglasville, GA. He is 29th in the nation in three-point percentage shooting. He has hit 47.2 percent of his shots this season in 14 games.
The Lady Jets will host Florida Southwestern at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 20th in the Hangar and then both teams will play at home on Saturday, January 22nd in a double-header. The Lady Jets will take on East Georgia at 1 p.m. and the Jets follow up with Georgia Highlands at 3 p.m.