The GNW “Seven” Stump High-Scoring Hiwassee, Losing Streak Ends

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Bobcat sophomore co-captain Jesse Moore drives inside with the ball in the final minute of Georgia Northwestern’s win Tuesday night
Bobcat sophomore co-captain Jesse Moore drives inside with the ball in the final minute of Georgia Northwestern’s win Tuesday night
- photo by Don Foley

“I felt so good inside when it happened. Felt like I was going to explode,” said Georgia Northwestern freshman Ty Bonds (Southeast Whitfield) whose steal in the final three seconds sealed the win the Bobcats had been fighting for over the past three weeks.

Freshman Bobcat Ben Patton (Dade County) locked in for five three-pointers and went four-of-four from the free throw line in Georgia Northwestern’s dramatic final seconds win at home over Hiwassee College JV, 80-76. And just like that, the seven-game losing skid was over.

Hiwassee College’s Keith Mack hit a three-point with 25 seconds left in the game to knot things up at 76-all. “I knew after that we would have the ball with the shot clock off and we could hold it for the last shot,” said Bobcat freshman Matt Woods.

With five seconds left, Woods would turn to Bobcat co-captain Kyle Wilson (Armuchee). “So I held out to get the last look and looked to Kyle (Wilson),” said Woods. “He gave me a signal to go back door. So, I dribbled to him as if to bail him out and he snuck down the baseline. I hit him and he knocked down a huge lay-up. It feels great to get a win for our team because we’ve had so many close games.”

Wilson had missed the team's last game, a three-point overtime loss at Southern Crescent Tech in Griffin, Ga., last Friday night. “I was out with the flu,” said Wilson. “I came into the game tonight feeling about sixty-percent.” They couldn’t tell at the scorer’s table as the recovering patient managed to drain 18 points, hit a pair of three-pointers, and go four-of-five from the free throw line.

Free-throw shooting played a huge role in the win at the Rossville Athletic Complex on Tuesday night. The Cats went 18-of-21 from the charity stripe. Georgia Northwestern (4-14, 0-8) as a team this season has only shot 61-percent from the line. Tonight’s percentage: 86-percent. “I thought it was going to slip away when they were up by six late,” said Bobcat sophomore co-captain Jesse Moore (Dade County). “But I knew we were going to pull through when the free throws started falling for us.”

With just over two minutes remaining, Moore drew a foul earning him a pair of free throws. Tempers got the best of the Hiwassee squad as the leading scorer for the Tigers Zach Williams would be called for a technical foul. Moore would hit his free shots. Then, Patton sank the technical free throws. “We’ve been doing a lot better with free throws,” said Moore. “We drill for it in practice extremely hard. You miss practice free throws and only one thing happens. Running.”

GNTC’s last win came at Clayton State on Jan. 21, 59-53. “It feels so, so good,” said Bobcat freshman forward Steven Ware (Heritage-Catoosa.) “We have been working really hard to get a win. A lot of people played their best tonight and we had legs to finish out the game.”

Running less than they did in their last meeting in November helped control the tempo tonight. Just three months ago, Hiwassee hosted the Bobcats to a high-scoring affair in Madisonville, Tennessee as the Tigers JV’ers beat Georgia Northwestern 122-105.

“It’s the only time in my 20-plus years of coaching a team of mine put up over 100 points and lost,” said Georgia Northwestern Head Men’s Basketball Coach David Stephenson.
“With only seven players remaining on the roster in this second half of the season, we’ve been forced to really play a more disciplined, half-court style offense,” said
Stephenson. “When they play it like they did tonight, they’ll be able to beat almost anyone on the schedule.” When the buzzer sounded tonight, you could visually see Stephenson shaking his shoulder back and forth as the imaginary monkey jumped off his back.

“It’s like a 500-pound gorilla sitting on you when you fight like we have these past six weeks,” said Stephenson. As he congratulated his team which he has dubbed ‘The Magnificent Seven’, it was emotional. “I truly fought back tears. These guys have matured to a level on and off the court these past few months unlike any other team I’ve coached.” The “Seven” wore new warm-up shirts into the game tonight stating simply on the back, “The Magnificent Seven.”

Cathy Stephenson, wife of Georgia Northwestern’s coach and Bobcat scorekeeper, said that her family may have started a new tradition for the Bobcats. “We have our new baby daughter, Jocelyn with us tonight and everyone on the team gave her a high-five,” said Mrs. Stephenson. “So, we are 1-0 with high-fives from the coach’s kid.”

The “Seven” will be back in action this Saturday as they hit the road to face Emory-Oxford College in Georgia. The “Seven” lost to Emory-Oxford at home just two weeks ago, 85-63. A make-up game with Clayton State is in the works for next week. No date or time is set yet for the game slated to tip-off at The RAC, home of the Bobcats.

The TCSGAA Conference Tournament will be held on March 4-5 at Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga.

For more information on the Lady Cats and Bobcats Basketball programs at Georgia Northwestern or any student-athlete project at Georgia Northwestern, you can contact the Office of Sports Information at 706.764-3813 or email to dfoley@gntc.edu. Georgia Northwestern is Northwest Georgia’s largest college with an annual enrollment of nearly 10,000 students across four campuses and online.

Men’s Box Score
Georgia Northwestern Bobcats (80) – Kyle Wilson 18, Woods 6, Jesse Moore 14, Ty Bonds 16, Ben Patton 21, Ware 2, Jackson 3.

Hiwassee Tigers JV (76) – Mack 3, Zach Williams 27, Henderson 3, Biven, Joel Bailey 20, Boyd 5, Justin Brownie 13, Allen, Bowering 2.

Halftime Score: 47-39, Georgia Northwestern


Bobcat guard Treas Jackson draws contact as he drives to the basket against Hiwassee College forward Zach Williams
Bobcat guard Treas Jackson draws contact as he drives to the basket against Hiwassee College forward Zach Williams
- Photo2 by Don Foley

Hannah Marshall Becomes First-Ever Cheer Cat From Gordon Lee

Georgia Northwestern Cheer Cats Head Coach Karen Stoker is big on bringing in as many recruits as she can that have good tumbling skills and her latest signee is no exception. Gordon Lee senior Hannah Marshall became the newest member of the recently-crowned National Champions when she signed her papers in front of family and friends at Gordon Lee  on Thursday . ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: SEC Coaches - Early Hot Seats

We are four full months away from the start of the college football season. That's 120 days or so, or one-third of an entire year. Putting it in those terms......we're still a long way from the opening weekend of play. Yet, some of the conversation on sports talk shows has been, " Which coaches are on the hot seat as we begin the 2016 season ?"   When you think about ... (click for more)

Federal Judge Rules That Hutcheson Medical Center And Its Trustees Owe Erlanger $36,379,968.20

A federal judge at Rome, Ga., has ruled that the Hospital Authority of Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties and Hutcheson Medical Center are liable to pay Erlanger Health System $36,379,968.20. Judge Harold Murphy, in a 90-page opinion, discarded a counter-claim brought by Hutcheson against Erlanger. He directed that Erlanger be paid $20 million for money it spent while managing ... (click for more)

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson Hospitalized; 2 Cleveland Police Officers Injured After Altercation With Man With History Of Assaults

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson and two Cleveland Police officers were injured Thursday while intervening in a domestic assault in progress. While driving on 25 th St. N.W. Sheriff Watson witnessed the assault, it was stated. When the sheriff tried to intervene, the man involved in the assault attacked him. During the scuffle the man struck Sheriff Watson numerous times, ... (click for more)

Jill Levine Is An Educational Rock Star

No one has covered the Hamilton County Department of Education drama better than Roy Exum.  Thank you, Roy, but I take issue with your unnamed sources.  Professional jealousy and sour grape darts should not be anonymous.   HCDE is so dysfunctional, and there is good cause to place this public organization under a microscope, dissect it into pieces and discard all ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Cancer Is Not A Battle

I read a marvelous essay not long ago where the author urged, “Stop telling the lie that cancer is a battle … a battle implies a fair fight, and there was nothing fair about my cancer or the cancer that took the life of my friend. Those experiences were about as fair as getting hit by a car – and nobody says people lose their battles with automobiles.” Mary Elizabeth Williams, ... (click for more)