SGTC Lady Jets drop conference decision to Georgia Highlands in Rome

Published 2:36 am Tuesday, December 21, 2021

By Su Ann Bird

 

ROME, GA – It was a meeting between two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) nationally ranked teams but at the final buzzer the 16th ranked South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets lost a 77 – 63 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) conference decision to the 7th ranked Georgia Highlands College Lady Chargers in Rome, GA.  This was SGTC’s second loss to Georgia Highlands and head coach Brandon Harrell this season.

“Same story, different day,” said South Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey.  “We had better numbers than Georgia Highlands everywhere except on turnovers and offensive rebounds.  They scored 30 points off of our turnovers and it is hard to beat a good team when you give up that many points on turnovers.”

The Lady Jets lost to Georgia Highlands 65 – 54 in November in Americus and Coach Frey was hoping his young team (10 freshman) would have matured after a month and nine games.  However, the Lady Jets still committed 24 turnovers (one less than the first game with 25) while Georgia Highlands went from 14 turnovers in the first match-up to only 10 in the second game against the Lady Jets.

“We are still 11 – 4, even with the two losses to Georgia Highlands, but we have to do something to stop the turnovers and get back on track,” said Coach Frey.  The two losses to Georgia Highlands make it extremely hard for the Lady Jets to win the GCAA regular season conference title.  Georgia Highlands won the regular season championship last year in a shortened COVID-19 season but the Lady Jets defeated Georgia Highlands 84 – 82 in Rome in double-overtime in the GCAA tournament to earn the right to advance to the national tournament for the fifth consecutive year.

Coach Frey is hoping that the Lady Jets can come together and make that same scenario happen in the 2021 – 2022 season.  But his team will have to grow up between now and February and March.

Freshman Alexia Dizeko led the Lady Jets in scoring with 19 points.  She had a total of nine rebounds, six defensive and three offensive.  Red-shirt sophomore Kamya Hollingshed posted 17 points and was five of 11 from the three-point line.  She had three rebounds and one steal.  The only other Lady Jet in double-figures was Laurie Calixte with 12 points.

Luana Leite followed up with five points, Susana Posada had four and then Maikya Simmons and Fanta Gassama closed out the scoring with two points each.  The Lady Jets shot 39% from the field, 33% from the three-point line and hit 77.8% of their free throws.  They had a total of 40 rebounds, 11 offensive and 29 defensive.

Georgia Highlands had a total of 35 rebounds, 16 offensive and 19 defensive.  They shot 40% from the field, 25.8% from the three-point line and 47.8% from the free throw line.  Their scoring was balanced with four starters in double-digits.  Crystal Corley was the leader with 19, Jada Alston 15, Jashanta Simmons, 13, and Alexandra Shinshkina 11.

The Lady Jets will now take a short holiday break and return to the court in Americus for the Lady Jets Holiday Classic, December 28th – 30th.  South Georgia Tech, Tallahassee Community College, Georgia Highlands, Gulf Coast State, Chattahoochee Valley Community College, St. Petersburg College, Eastern Florida and Lawson State will all be featured.

The Lady Jets open on Tuesday, December 28th at 1 p.m. against Tallahassee Community College.  Georgia Highlands and Gulf Coast play at 3 p.m. followed by Chattahoochee Valley and St. Petersburg at 5 p.m.  Eastern Florida will take on Lawson State at 7 p.m.

On Wednesday, December 29th.  Chattahoochee Valley opens with Tallahassee at 1 p.m.  Eastern Florida plays Georgia Highlands at 3 p.m., Gulf Coast and St. Petersburg College face off at 5 p.m. and the Lady Jets close out the night with Lawson State at 7 p.m.

The tournament ends on Thursday, December 30th.  The games start at 10 a.m. with Eastern Florida and Chattahoochee Valley and then at 12 noon, St. Petersburg will play Lawson State.  Tallahassee Community College and Georgia Highlands match-up at 2 p.m. and the Lady Jets will close out the tournament with a game against Gulf Coast at 4 p.m.

“Our Lady Jets Holiday Classic has become one of the premier junior college women’s events.  We have eight teams including four ranked in the top 25 in the country.  There will be four games a day for three days in the Hangar and it will be high level college basketball,” said Frey, who invited the community to come out and support the Lady Jets.