Lady Jets earn third consecutive trip to NJCAA National Tournament
Published 7:17 pm Monday, March 11, 2019
From Staff Reports
AMERICUS – The South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets’ basketball team rolled to an impressive 100-51 win over Spartanburg Methodist Junior College in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division 1 District J Championship Game on Saturday, March 9, at SGTC.
With that win, the Lady Jets have earned themselves a berth in the NJCAA Division 1 National Tournament in Lubbock, TX for the third year in a row and the fifth time in six years.
“This was a good win obviously,” SGTC head coach James Frey said. “This is what we have been striving for all season. We did what we needed to do to qualify for the national tournament. Now we need to concentrate and do what we do well. There are no bad teams at the national tournament. All of them are coming to play. If we play like we are capable of playing, I feel like we can do well.”
The Lady Jets are seeded 19th in the national tournament and will be playing 14th seeded Trinity Valley from Athens, TX in the first round. Tip-off is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19 at 10 a.m. in the Rip Griffin Center on the campus of Lubbock Christian University.
Trinity Valley comes into the tournament with a record of 26-4. This will be the Lady Cardinals’ 24th trip to the national tournament.
Both teams seem to match up well on paper. The Lady Cardinals average 79.5 points per game and shoot an average of 41.5 percent from the field. They shoot an average of 32.3 percent from beyond the arc and average 68.1 percent from the foul line.
The Lady Jets come into the national tournament with a record of 30-3. They average 81 points per game and shoot an average of 44.3 percent from the field. SGTC shoots 35.9 percent from the three-point line and they average 69.5 percent from the foul line.
In the win over Spartanburg Methodist, sophomore guard Alyssa Nieves led the Lady Jets in scoring with 20 points and earned MVP honors for her performance in the District J game.
While the Lady Jets are glad to be back in the national tournament for the third year in a row, Coach Frey believes they have reached the point where it is not just about going to the tournament. It is about performing well in the tournament. “I think we have established the type of program that expects to go to the national tournament,” Frey said. “We have finished in the Elite Eight and the Sweet 16 spots in our last four trips, but we have not been able to get past that level. This year, we have a tough draw, but our team is talented and earned the right to be in the national tournament. If we play our game and execute the way we are capable of, we can play with anybody.”
The Lady Jets leave for Lubbock, TX on Thursday, March 14. A special ceremony is set for each of the teams in the tournament on Sunday, March 17. The Lady Jets will then play their opening round game against Trinity Valley on Tuesday, March 19, at 10 a.m.