Freshmen Cats Show Their Growl, Cut Teeth In Music City

Saturday, November 10, 2012 - by Don Foley

(Nashville, TN) – After what could best be described as young, talented, and raw after the first two games of the 2012-13 season, the Georgia Northwestern Bobcat attack managed to find their growl. Led by sophomore All-Region and All-District forward Alex Miller’s 18 points, the Cats cut their teeth on Trinity Baptist in a nail-biter in the Welch College Invitation in Nashville Friday, 68-67.

A trio of three’s from the quiet floor leader of the Cats helped pace the game for Georgia Northwestern (1-2). Trinity’s Nehemiah Braddy would led the Bruin attack. The Jacksonville, Florida native would lead Trinity with 17, including five three-pointers, in the loss.

Up only three at the half, the Cats would fall behind by two with just 5:19 remaining in the game. At that point, Bobcat Men’s Head Basketball Coach David Stephenson called a timeout. For the final 5:19, the Cats ran a 94-foot attack that would make any seasoned coach proud. “They played like I knew they could,” said Stephenson. “All out, fundamental, trying to make the right things happen at the right time. Incredible hustle by this young team.”

With Miller picking up his fourth foul at the eight minute mark, Georgia Northwestern would have to turn to other resources to lead the attack. Enter freshmen Hunter Ivester (Trion). The 5-foot-11 Cat would drop a dozen points and pull down seven boards as he led the attack offensively and defensively in the final minutes with the first win of the season hanging in the balance.

“He hit a key pair of free throws with just over a minute left to make it a two possession game,” said Stephenson. “Our entire team played well in the clutch. The game was neck and neck throughout. In other words, every shot was huge.”

Miller would return with four minutes to play with the Cats up 68-67. A foul against Miller with nine seconds left put the NJCAA standout at the free throw line. A missed first shot and a second shot negated by a lane violation left Georgia Northwestern playing defense for a chance at the win.

A shot from 12 feet fell short and sophomore co-captain Bud Todd and Ivester both went up high to simultaneously grab on to the ball and pull down the game-saving board.

A key loss to watch for Georgia Northwestern will be freshman Cody Cochran (Gordon Lee). Just moments after making his first collegiate basket in the first half, the 6-foot-6 freshman forward fell hard to the court after twisting his left knee. His status is doubtful for the closing round of the Welch College Invitational on Saturday.

A note worth mentioning was the play of freshman Cat Trea Covington (LaFayette). The 6-foot-2  swing man found his rhythm from outside dropping three-of-five from three-point land. Covington also left the crowd in awe with a dive over the scorer’s table to save a loose ball in the first-half.

Georgia Northwestern will tip things off with host college, Welch, at 3 p.m. eastern tomorrow in Nashville. The Lady Cats also play in the same tournament against Warren Wilson College at 10 a.m. eastern Saturday.

For more information on Bobcats Basketball at Georgia Northwestern, contact the Office of Sports Information at 706.764.3813 or email to dfoley@gntc.edu. Georgia Northwestern has five campuses across Northwest Georgia directly serving nine different counties in the Peach State.

 

Georgia Northwestern (68) – Cochran 2, Johnson 2, Quinton Cotton 11, Olsen 2, Hunter Ivester 12, Covington 9, Bostic 6, Todd 6, Alex Miller 18, Jackson, Robinson, Reynolds.

Trinity Baptist (67) – Lewis, Nelson 2, Landa, Marcel Powell 15, Westberry 2, Raines 2, Howard, Leach, Johnson, Terrell Goldwire, 11, Adams 6, Nehemiah Braddy 17, Alan Sylvain 12.

Halftime Score: 36-33, Georgia Northwestern.



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