SGTC Lady Jets climb to ninth in NJCAA national rankings, Jets receive votes

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2022

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From Staff Reports


AMERICUS – The South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets climbed three spots into ninth place in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I women’s intercollegiate basketball polls this week and for the first time since November, the Jets received votes to be included in the NJCAA Division I men’s basketball top 25 poll.  SGTC is one of only 10 colleges in the NJCAA to have both the men’s and women’s teams receiving votes or ranked in the top 25 in the nation.

The Lady Jets were ranked 12th last week but three consecutive wins allowed them to move back into 9th. The Lady Jets had climbed as high as the fifth-place spot nationally after opening the season unbeaten.  Since then they have dropped to as low as 21st before they started climbing back to 14th, 13th, 12th, 11th and 9th place.

They are currently in second place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Associate conference with an 11 – 3 record behind the top-ranked 13 – 0 Georgia Highlands Lady Chargers.  SGTC is 24 – 5 overall and Georgia Highlands is 24 – 2 on the season.  All three of the Lady Jets conference losses have been to Georgia Highlands and former Lady Jets head coach Brandon Harrell.  The Lady Jets have won 13 of their last 14 games with the single loss at the hands of the 3rd ranked Georgia Highlands Lady Chargers.

Ranked ahead of Georgia Highlands in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) is Three Rivers Community College and Shelton State Community College.  Western Nebraska Community College and Wabash Valley College round out the top five spots.

Northwest Florida State College, Tyler Junior College, New Mexico Junior College, South Georgia Tech and the College of Southern Idaho are ranked sixth through 10th.  Trinity Valley Community College, Chipola, Moberly Area Community College, Arizona Western College and Casper round out the top 15 spots in the women’s national rankings.

Georgia Highlands and the Jets are the only two Georgia two-year colleges to receive votes in the NJCAA Men’s Division I polls this week.  South Georgia Tech had climbed as high as 21st in the polls earlier this season.

In addition to the overall team rankings, four Lady Jets and four Jets were highlighted for their individual efforts.  Freshmen Alexia Dizeko 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 fourth leading rebounder in the nation with 321 over 27 games. Her teammate Alexia Dizeko, another freshman was ranked 23rd in total rebounds with 227 in 27 games.  These two Lady Jets were also highlighted for their field goal percentage shooting.   Gassama is ranked 32nd hitting 55.5 percent of her attempted shots while Alexia Dizeko is ranked 34th with a 55.4 percent success rate from the field.

Gassama went on to standout in three rebounding categories.  She is listed as the 9th best rebounder in the nation with an average of 11.9 total rebounds per game and 11th in defensive rebounds with an average of 7.4.  Offensively, she is listed as 17th with 4.4 offensive rebounds each outing.

Alexia Dizeko, the freshman shooting forward from Switzerland, is currently the 24th best scorer in the nation with a total of 393 points in 27 games.  Red-shirt sophomore Kamya Hollingshed from Locus Grove, GA, joined her on this elite list in the 36th spot with a total of 367 points so far this season.  Dizeko is also ranked as 38th in free throw percentage shooting.  She is hitting 80 percent of her attempts.

Their teammate, Maikya Simmons, the sophomore point guard from Stafford, VA, is ranked 16th in assists per game with an average of 5 to close out the individual accomplishments for the Lady Jets 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 defensive rebounds per game averaging 8.2 each outing.  He is 4th in total rebounds with 294 in 26 games and 5th in total rebounds per game averaging 11.3.  He is also listed as 40th in field goal percentage shooting hitting 61.6 percent of his shots and 43rd in blocks per game with 1.7.

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 16th in the nation in total points scored with 487 this season and Johnson is 34th with 445.   McGhee is 27th in the nation in points per game averaging 20.3.

Will Johnson is the 21st best free throw shooter in the league hitting 85.7 percent of his foul shots.  He is also 21st in the nation in assists per game with 5.8.

Malik Battle and Marvin McGhee were both listed as leaders in the nation in three-point percentage shooting.   Battle led the team with a 47.6 percent success rate from the three-point line, which is 14th best in the nation.  McGhee is ranked 20th hitting 46.4 percent of his shots.

The Jets will host Central Georgia Tech tonight at 7 p.m.   There is only one more home game for the Jets or Lady Jets after that and it is on February 23th at 7 p.m. when the Jets host Andrew College.

The Lady Jets will travel to East Georgia State College on February 19th.  The women’s NJCAA Region XVII tournament begins on February 19th but as one of the top two seeds, the Lady Jets will get a bye in that round and be seeded in the Semi-Final Region tournament at Georgia Highlands in Rome on February 25th.  The finals will be played on Saturday, February 26th.

The Jets travel to Georgia Highlands on February 19th before hosting Andrew College on February 23th and traveling to East Georgia State College on February 26th to close out the season.  The men’s NJCAA Region XVII tournament will begin March 1st with the top four teams hosting the first round and the highest seeded team remaining hosting the semi-finals and finals on March 4th and 5th.