Jets and Lady Jets split GCAA decisions on Alumni-Sophomore Day

Published 7:01 pm Monday, March 11, 2024

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By Su Ann Bird


AMERICUS – The South Georgia Technical College Jets and Lady Jets closed out the regular season Saturday with split Georgia College Athletic Association (GCAA) decisions against East Georgia State College as part of the SGTC Alumni-Sophomore Day celebration.  The Lady Jets suffered a hard fought 86 – 78 overtime loss to the 22nd nationally ranked East Georgia Lady Bobcats but the Jets finished the season with an 86 – 74 win over the East Georgia Bobcats in the second half of the double-header.

Both the South Georgia Technical College Jets and Lady Jets will now host quarter-final tournament rounds of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XVII tournament on Tuesday, March 12 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The second-place Lady Jets will host the seventh-seeded Southern Crescent Lady Tigers at 5:30 p.m. and the fourth place Jets will host the fifth-seeded Central Georgia Tech Titans at 7:30 p.m. in the Hangar.  The winners of those games will advance to the semi-final round on Friday, March 15.  The women will travel to Swainsboro to East Georgia State College and Albany Tech will host the men’s semi-finals and finals.

The Lady Jets finished the GCAA conference in second place behind East Georgia State College.  SGTC is 13 – 5 in the conference and 20 – 10 overall.  East Georgia is ranked first with an 18 – 0 conference record and a 25 – 3 overall record.  The Jets were in a four-way tie for second place in the GCAA conference but after head-to-head competition finished fourth.  Albany Tech came away in first place with a 13 – 3 record followed by Georgia Highlands (11 – 5) and South Georgia State (11 – 5).  South Georgia Tech was fourth (11 – 5) and Central Georgia Tech (11 – 5) finished in fifth place.  East Georgia was sixth 7 – 9, Gordon College finished seventh at 4 – 12 and Andrew secured the eighth-place spot with a 3 – 13 record.

The SGTC Jets and Lady Jets sophomore players were recognized during the intermission between the two games and SGTC alumni were also recognized at that time.  The Lady Jets sophomores included:  Isabel de Souza Bueno, Greta Carollo, Vera Gunaydin, and Maeva Fotsa.  The Jets sophomores recognized were:  Deonte Williams, Israel Momodu, Mohand Ammad, Ryan Djoussa, Batosse Gado, Justin Evans, Jaylen Woods and Noah Barnett. The Sumter County Chamber of Commerce hosted a tailgate with free hot dogs and hamburgers and all the trimmings as part of the Alumni-Sophomore celebration.  SGTC also provided free t-shirts and give-aways for alumni and supporters.

In the opening game, Lady Jets fell behind East Georgia as many as 14 points in the first half and never managed to take a lead in the first 20-minutes.  East Georgia scored first and were up 31 – 17 near the end of the first quarter.  The Lady Bobcats remained up by 14 points at the half with the score 47 – 33.

A strong third quarter effort allowed the Lady Jets to cut the deficit to six points, 61 – 55, going into the final 10-minutes.  Greta Carollo hit back to back three-pointers with 3:47 remaining in the third to help the Lady Jets remain competitive.


Mio Sakano, 13, scored 24 points for the Lady Jets in the overtime loss to East Georgia.
Photo by SGTC Athletics

A strong fourth quarter, despite two starters fouling out, allowed the Lady Jets to pull ahead 73 – 72 with 20.3 seconds remaining.  East Georgia’s Celeste Scott made one of two free-throws with .3 seconds to tie the game at 73 – 73 and force the game into overtime.

A third Lady Jet, Destiny Bishop fouled out with 3:34 remaining in the five-minute overtime with the Lady Jets down, 74 – 76.   SGTC tied the game at 76 – 76 with 3:22 remaining but back-to-back three pointers by East Georgia gave them an 82 -76 lead.  Both teams scored again but the final buzzer sounded with East Georgia remaining undefeated in the GCAA with the 86 – 78 win.

Freshman guard Mio Sakano led the Lady Jets in scoring with 24 points.  She was followed by sophomore Greta Carollo who added 16 points.  Isabel De Souza Bueno and Enola Papin both added 10 points each to close out the double-digit scoring.  Vera Guanydin had nine points before fouling out and Destiny Bishop scored seven points before fouling out.  Maeva Fotsa closed out the scoring with two points and seven rebounds.

A total of 63 free throws were shot in that forty-minute contest.  The Lady Jets were 33 of 39 and East Georgia was only 10 of 24.  East Georgia made 10 of 26 three-point attempts but the Lady Jets were only three of 13 from the three-point line.

After that disappointing over-time loss, former SGTC head men’s basketball coach Travis Garrett and his East Georgia State Bobcats took to the court to face SGTC current head men’s basketball coach Chris Ballauer and the Jets.

The Jets pulled ahead 44 -34 at the half and outscored the Bobcats 23 – 21 in the third quarter and tied them with 19 points in the fourth quarter to secure the 86 – 74 victory and the right to host a GCAA tournament game.

Freshman Camerion Johnson was the top scorer for the Jets with 19 points.  He was followed by sophomore Mohand Ammad who came off the bench to add 14 points.  Freshman Kameron Foman and sophomore Deonte Williams closed out the double-digit scoring with 13 points each.

Freshman Jafeth Martinez had eight points.  Sophomore Ryan Djoussa accounted for six points, Daryl Bod added five points, Israel Momodu had four, and Jaylen Woods and Vaughn Prosser had two points each.

The Jets and Lady Jets will both play at home Tuesday, March 12 at 5:30 and 7:30 as part of the NJCAA Region XVII quarter-final tournaments.