Jets take narrow 66 – 65 win over CGTC
Published 6:15 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022
From Staff Reports
AMERICUS – Malik Battle hit a three-point shot with 1:24 remaining to allow the South Georgia Technical College Jets to come from behind and take an impressive Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) 66 – 65 last second victory over Central Georgia Technical College. The Jets are now 9 – 4 and 17 – 10 overall and in second place in the conference. Georgia Highlands leads the conference with a 10 – 2 and 17 – 9 record.
“This was a great team win,” said South Georgia Technical College Jets head basketball coach Chris Ballauer. “All nine of our guys played a part in the win. Our team found a way to win and that is what championship teams do. I am very proud of the guys. Central Georgia Tech played a great game. We were just able to pull it out at the end.”
Central Georgia Tech took the lead in the second half with 6:54 remaining. There were seven lead changes and five ties in the second half before the final buzzer sounded. Central Georgia Tech was up by as many as seven points (64 – 57) with 2:18 remaining. Will Johnston went to the foul line for the Jets and allowed the Jets to close the gap to 64 – 63 with 2:02 on the clock.
The game was deadlocked until Malik Battle hit a three-pointer (64 – 66) with 1:24 remaining. Central Georgia Tech made a free throw to cut the lead to one point (65 – 66) with 32.9 seconds remaining. South Georgia Tech tried to play for one final shot but Central Georgia Tech regained the ball with 2.9 seconds left. The Titans did get a shot off but it was unsuccessful and the Jets won 66 – 65. The loss dropped Central Georgia Tech to seventh in the conference with a 4 – 8 and 13 – 10 performance this season.
The Jets had built up a 12-point lead mid-way through the first half but Central Georgia Tech had cut the lead to four points, 37 – 33 at the end of the first half. The Titans outscored the Jets 32 – 29 in the second half but fell one-point shy of the victory.
Three Jets were in double digits in that game. Will Johnston, 6’ 3” sophomore from Sydney, Australia, led SGTC in scoring with 16 points. He also had five rebounds and six assists. Sophomore guard Malik Battle was close behind with 14 points. He was three of seven from the three-point line and hit three of four foul shots. Sophomore guard Marvin McGhee, III, was the other Jet in double-digits. He wound up with 12 points, three rebounds and two assists.
Matija Milivojevic, a sophomore guard/forward, tossed in eight points and pulled down eight rebounds. Sophomore center Jalen Reynolds contributed seven points and walked away with 10 rebounds. He also had two blocked shots.
Sophomores Justice Hays and Kallin Foneseca both wound up with three points. Nathan Wilson had two and Bryce Turner hit a free throw for one point for the Jets.
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 Jets travel to Georgia Highlands on Saturday, February 19th before hosting Andrew College on February 23th and traveling to East Georgia State College on February 26th to close out the regular 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.
South Georgia Tech would like to snatch the first place seeding away from Georgia Highlands in the final games of the season. The Jets have three regular season games left with one against Georgia Highlands. They would need to win that game and at least one of their other last two. Georgia Highlands would need to lose to the Jets and then lose two of their other three remaining games.
Georgia Highlands travels to South Georgia on February 17th before hosting South Georgia Tech on Feb. 19th and Gordon College on February 23rd. Their last game of the regular season is Saturday, Feb. 26th at Albany Tech.
The Lady Jets will travel to East Georgia State College on February 19th for their last regular season game. The women’s NJCAA Region XVII tournament begins on February 22nd 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.