The first-ever match-up between NJCAA’s Georgia Northwestern and NAIA’s Reinhardt University went to the buzzer Thursday night as the Eagles would soar away with the win, 87-84.
A last-second play in the first half saw the ball in the hands of freshman point guard Rico Mears who launched a three and connected to take a 42-39 lead into the half. The Eagles would come out firing in the second stanza as they would build a 10-point lead with just under eight minutes left to play.
Aggressive play by the Cats over the next two and a half minutes would make the game a one-possession game for most of the final five minutes. With six seconds to go and trailing by three, the Bobcats could not get a good look at the basket and would fail to launch a buzzer-beating shot at the Brown Athletic Center in Waleska, Georgia.
Georgia Northwestern’s LaDarius Watkins would lead the way for the Bobcats in the non-region battle. The 6-foot-4 freshman from Chattanooga’s East Hamilton H.S. would lead the Cats with 19 points and seven boards in the contest.
Sophomore Hunter Ivester (Trion, GA) would do damage from the guard slot with 10 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and a pair of blocks. Fellow sophomore Tavish Reynolds (Calhoun, GA) would drop in 18 points from his shooting guard spot for the Cats.
Reinhardt JV’s Warren Staples (Fayetteville, NC) led all scorers with 24 on the night. Eagle sharpshooting freshman Blaine White (Joliet, IL) would connect from beyond the three-point line five times in the match-up.
Georgia Northwestern (2-2) will next hit the hardwood Monday night at the Rossville Athletic Complex (R.A.C.) The Bobcats will host Sewanee (TN) for a 7 p.m. tip-off. For information on all Cats Country intercollegiate athletic programs, check out BobcatsCountry.com, e-mail the Office of Sports Information at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 706 764-3813.
Georgia Northwestern (84) – Olsen 8, Tavish Reynolds 18, Hunter Ivester 10, Watkins 1, Mears 9, Harris 2, Powell 3, McLin 4, Bell 6, Cochran 4, LaDarius Watkins 19.
Reinhardt University (87) – McCullough 3, Blaine White 15, Sapp 6, Warren Staples 24, Isaiah Hugley 17, N. Jones 9, Lynch 3, D. Jones 8, Tremble 2, Polhill II, Shelley.
Halftime Score: 42-39, Georgia Northwestern.