Unlucky streak plagues SGTC Jets for three games
Published 7:00 am Sunday, January 10, 2016
From STAFF REPORTS
The South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) Jets recently went on the road, traveling to the Gulf Coast Classic in Panama City.
The Jets opened the tournament with a tough 81–76 loss to the Northwest Florida State College Raiders before returning to action to take on the defending national champions, the Gulf Coast State College Commodores in the second round of competition. SGTC suffered a 65-49 loss to the host team.
The Jets returned to conference play on Jan. 6, traveling to Waycross to battle the South Georgia State College Hawks. The Jets’ unlucky streak continued in this contest, with the SGTC men suffering a 71-61 defeat in the road match.
After the series of unfortunate defeats, the Jets’ overall record dropped to 2–3 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) and 11–8 overall.
In the Jets’ first contest of the Gulf Coast Classic, the Americus team got off to a slow start, giving up 38 points while scoring 30 in the initial period. The Jets returned after the half to outscore the Raiders 46-43, but could not overcome the team’s early deficit.
Of six players who contributed points for the Jets in the match, five shot their way into double figures.
Torico Simmons and Demario Beck each contributed 17 points to the contest, while Corbyn Jackson followed close behind with 15. Amir Warnock came off the bench to add another 12 and Clarence Smith tossed in 10 more. Jamal Norman rounded out the Jets’ final score with five points.
Beck and Jackson led the team’s rebounders, each pulling down nine. Warnock followed close behind with seven rebounds.
Simmons dished out seven assists while Smith and Beck each contributed a pair of steals.
Beck further did his part on the defensive side of the ball, blocking three shots. Jackson contributed two blocks.
In the second round of the tournament, the Jets held their own through the initial 20 minutes. SGTC matched their Gulf Coast opponents point-for-point through the first period to tie the score 30-30 at half-time.
The Commodores got fired up in the second half, however, and threw 35 points on the board while holding SGTC to only 19 to take the win.
Beck, once again, paced the team in this contest, throwing in 12 points. Smith was the only other Jet to hit double figures in the contest with 10 points.
Warnock led the team on the boards, pulling in nine rebounds, followed by Beck and Jackson, who each brought down eight.
Simmons dished out five assists and gained two steals in the contest. Beck contributed two blocks.
The Jets returned to the court on Jan. 6, traveling to Waycross to battle South Georgia State College. The loss marked the Jets’ third consecutive defeat and dropped the Jets’ ranking one spot in GCAA competition, with the team now in fifth place.
The Jets were up 34–29 at the end of the first half, but South Georgia State came back and outscored the Jets 42–27 in the second half to take the 71–61 victory.
“We have to learn to play hard the entire game and we must be able to make plays when things break down,” said SGTC first year head coach, Travis Garrett. “We have to understand that we need to stick to what works for us and that’s being balanced on offense and playing great team defense.”
The Jets have played a very tough non-conference schedule this season and are hoping that the strength of that schedule will pay dividends over the next two months as they concentrate on their conference opponents. SGTC will have the opportunity to move closer to the top of the standings between January 11 and 13, when they host both Chattahoochee Tech and Atlanta Metro in big conference match-ups. The Jets’ next 11 games are all against conference teams.
“We will change some things up before we play a very good Chattahoochee Tech team on Monday and I would like to encourage everyone to come out and support us in that conference match-up,” said Garrett.
Beck was, again, the leading scorer for the Jets against South Georgia State with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Smith was the only other Jet in double figures with 12 points. Smith also had three rebounds, two assists and three steals.
Simmons tossed in nine points while Jalen Mitchell contributed seven points. Matt McMorris and Derrick Trawick both added six points. Jackson had five points, and Norman closed out the scoring with three points. Simmons also had three rebounds, three assists, and three steals while Jackson had five rebounds and three assists.
Both the Jets and the Lady Jets will be at home in a conference double-header on Jan. 11, when they match-up with Chattahoochee State College. The two teams will also host Atlanta Metro on Jan. 13 in conference games.