Jets end season with tournament loss to South Georgia State Colege
From STAFF REPORTS
WAYCROSS – South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) freshman guard, Rico Simmons, stepped up to the foul line with .02 seconds on the clock and sank two free throws to tie the game at 57–57 against the second-seeded South Georgia State College (SGSC) team and send the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Region XVII quarterfinal tournament game into overtime in Waycross on March 1.
“We played hard and we put ourselves into a position to upset South Georgia State, but we just couldn’t execute in the overtime period,” said Jets first year head coach, Travis Garrett, after the Jets dropped the 73–65 overtime decision to the SGSC Hawks.
SGSC entered the tournament as the number two seed in the conference. The win against South Georgia Tech was Hawks’ coach, Corey Baldwin’s 200th victory as a head coach. He and his team advanced to the NJCAA Region XVII semi-final round. They went on to face the third-ranked Central Georgia Tech squad.
The top-ranked Georgia Highlands team faced against the fourth seeded Chattahoochee Tech team on March 4. The two winners will advance to the finals to determine the NJCAA Region XVII champions in a 4:00 p.m. game on March 5 in Rome.
SGTC and SGSC were neck and neck throughout the regulation game Tuesday night. The score was tied at 32–32 at the end of the first half.
Despite trailing by as many as eight points in the last five minutes, the Jets were able to tie the game at the buzzer with Rico Simmons’ pair of free throws.
Sophomore, Clarence Smith, was the leading scorer for the Jets with 16 points. Smith was followed by Corbyn Jackson with 15 points. Simmons followed close behind with 13 points and Demario Beck closed out the double-digit scoring with 11 points. Smith, Simmons, and Beck were all named to the All-Region teams for their play during the regular season.
Pat Welch scored seven points for the Jets and Matt McMorris was the only other Jet to score with three points.
The leading scorer for South Georgia State was Tyrone Sam with 26 points. Karim Mawuenyega and Russell Keyhea both added 13 points to lift the Hawks to their 200th win for Coach Baldwin.
The Jets finished the year with a 15–16 overall record and a trip to the NJCAA Region XVII quarterfinals under first year head coach Travis Garrett.