From staff reports
AMERICUS – The South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets climbed one spot in 8and place in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I women’s intercollegiate basketball polls this week and the Jets again received votes to be included in the poll of the top 25 men’s basketball in Division I of the NJCAA. SGTC is one of only 10 colleges in the NJCAA to have both men’s and women’s teams receiving votes or ranked in the top 25 in the nation.
The Lady Jets were ranked 9and last week, but a win in their final regular season game saw them advance to 8and taking place this week before the NJCAA Region XVII Tournament. The Lady Jets had climbed to fifth place nationally after opening the season unbeaten. Since then they have dropped to 21st before starting to climb back to 14and13and12and11and9and and now 8and location.
The Lady Jets currently sit in second place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Associate Conference with a 12-3 record behind the 15-0 best Georgia Highlands Lady Chargers. The Lady Jets will face Andrew College in the semifinals of the NJCAA Region XVII season-ending tournament in Rome on Friday, February 25.and at 8 p.m., the top-seeded Georgia Highlands will face East Georgia State College in the other semifinal at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 25.and. The winners of these games will meet in the final on Saturday, February 26.and at 2 p.m. in Rome.
SGTC is 25-5 overall and Georgia Highlands is 26-2 on the season. All three Lady Jets conference losses were suffered by Georgia Highlands and former Lady Jets head coach Brandon Harrell. The Lady Jets have won 14 of their last 15 games with just one loss at the hands of 3rd ranked Georgia Highlands Lady Chargers.
Three Rivers Community College and Shelton State Community College are ranked ahead of Georgia Highlands in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Western Nebraska Community College and Wabash Valley College round out the top five spots.
Northwest Florida State College and New Mexico Junior College are sixth and seventh ahead of the South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets. The College of Southern Idaho and Mobley Area Community College round out the top 10.
Georgia Highlands and South Georgia Tech’s Jets are the only two-year colleges in Georgia to receive votes in the NJCAA Men’s Division I polls this week. South Georgia Tech had climbed to 21st in the polls earlier this season.
In addition to the overall team standings, three Lady Jets and four Jets were honored for their individual efforts. Freshmen Alexia Dizeko and Fanta Gassama along with sophomore Maikya Simmons were the three Lady Jets highlighted. Jets Sophomores Jalen Reynolds, Will Johnston, Marvin McGhee, III and Malik Battle were the four Jets singled out for their individual efforts on the field.
Freshman center Fanta Gassama led the Lady Jets in individual statistics this week. She was presented in five different categories. She is currently the fourth-best rebounder in the nation with 337 rebounds in 28 games. Her teammate Alexia Dizeko, another rookie was ranked 34and in total rebounds with 233 in 28 games. These two Lady Jets were also highlighted for their shooting percentage from the field. Gassama is ranked 30and hitting 55.9% of her shot attempts while Alexia Dizeko is ranked 35and with a success rate of 55.3% in the field.
Gassama stood out in three rebound categories. She is listed as the 8and leading rebounder in the nation averaging 12 total rebounds per game and 10and in defensive rebounds with an average of 7.5. Offensively, she is ranked 13and with 4.6 offensive rebounds in each outing.
Switzerland’s first-year striker Alexia Dizeko is currently the 37and top scorer in the country with a total of 402 points in 28 games. Dizeko is also ranked 39and in shooting free throw percentage. She succeeds on 79.5% of her attempts.
Their teammate, Maikya Simmons, the second-year point guard from Stafford, VA, is ranked 14and in assists per game with an average of 5 to close out the individual Lady Jets achievements listed in the national rankings.
Jets sophomore forward Jalen Reynolds of Darien, Ga., earned individual rankings in five categories according to NJCAA Weekly Stats. It is currently ranked 4and in the nation in total rebounds with 317 in 28 games. He is also fourth in rebounds per game with an average of 11.3. He got the 5and place place in defensive rebounds per game averaging 8.2 in each outing. It is also listed as 39and in shooting percentage from the field, hitting 61.2% of his shots and 47and in blocks per game with 1.7.
Sophomores Will Johnston, an Australian point guard, and Marvin McGhee, III, a guard from Atlanta, Georgia, both drew attention on the court for their scoring ability. McGhee is 19and in the country on total points scored with 524 this season and Johnson is 42n/a with 473. He also moved into 26and place in the nation for points per game with an average of 20.2.
Will Johnson is 21st the league’s leading free throw thrower, hitting 85.3% of his free throws. He is also 21st in the nation in assists per game with 5.8.
Both Malik Battle and Marvin McGhee have been listed as the nation’s leaders in three-point shooting. Battle led the team with a 49.6% completion rate from the three-point line, 4and best in the nation. McGhee is ranked 27and hitting 47.6% of his shots.
The Jets host Andrew College tonight at 7 p.m. There is the last home game of the regular season for the Jets. They will travel to East Georgia State College on Saturday, February 26and for a game at 3 p.m. to close the regular season. The Jets currently sit in second place in the conference behind Georgia Highlands. They’re dragging from a game. They will have the opportunity to host at least one game in the NJCAA Region XVII season-ending tournament on Tuesday, March 1.st and may have the opportunity to host the semi-final and final of the tournament on March 4and and 5and depending on that, they can move into first place by the end of the regular season.
The Lady Jets will travel to Rome for the NJCAA Region XVII Semi-Finals on Friday, February 25.and for an 8 p.m. game against Andrew College. East Georgia State College and Georgia Highlands open the semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday in Rome. The two winners will advance to the final on Saturday, February 26.and at 2 o’clock in the afternoon