Down by as many as 13 in the first half, the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats would follow the scorching hot shooting of freshman Tavish Reynolds (Calhoun, GA) to a 67-64 win at The R.A.C. Tuesday over visiting Welch College (TN).
Reynolds would clean the home nets for seven three-pointers in contributing to his team-high 23 points. Bobcat sophomore NJCAA All-Region and All-District First-Teamer Alex Miller (Calhoun, GA), Bud Todd (Trion, GA), and Richard Olsen (Calhoun, GA) all added 11 points each.
Junior Flames forward Kendrid Sides (Pensacola, FL) would lead all scorers with 27 points in the road loss.
After falling behind 24-11 with eleven minutes to go in the first half, Georgia Northwestern would turn up the heat on defense going on a 23-12 run to give the Cats a 36-34 lead at the intermission. The Cats would outrebound Welch 41-32 in the home win for Georgia Northwestern Men’s Head Basketball Coach David Stephenson and his young squad. Nineteen of the 41 boards for the Cats came off of the offensive glass.
With ten seconds remaining, NCCAA program Welch would bring the ball down the court looking for a chance at a three-pointer and a tie at the R.A.C. A shot from long-range on the left wing by Flames junior gunner Jake Manning, 5-of-9 from beyond the three-point line, would get rejected by Miller with four seconds to go. A second rushed attempt would go up and fall well short of drawing rim as the Cats would run away with the rebound and the win.
Freshman Hunter Ivester (Trion, GA) helped on the defensive end of things as he would pull down 10 rebounds and make three steals in pressure situations against the Flames (6-13). The Cats also now boast a winning record at The R.A.C. with a 6-5 mark at home. The Tuesday night win snaps a three-game slide by Georgia Northwestern. “Our starters and our bench gave a full effort,” said Stephenson.
There’s one interesting stat that has Georgia Northwestern (8-17, 0-7) standing up and cheering this week. As part of a promotion, the Bobcats have hosted area cheer squads at their home games. As a result, they are now undefeated at The R.A.C. when area schools send their spirit leaders. Rossville Middle School sent their squad on January 25 and the Bobcats topped four-year college Macon State on January 25. Tuesday night, it was the LaFayette Middle School cheerleaders who took to The R.A.C. hardwood and showed their support.
Stephenson has now won 490 games in his 25-year coaching career. “We really wanted to give him his 500th this year,” said freshman reserve Andrew Johnson. “However, we’ve been doing a lot of growing this season and it might not happen. We did the math, though. If we win out, the regionals, district, and nationals, he would get his 500th win with the national title game.”
Georgia Northwestern closes out the regular season in NJCAA Region XVII Saturday at The R.A.C. as the Cats and Lady Cats host Middle Georgia Tech. The next week, the NJCAA Region XVII post-season tournament will be held at Middle Georgia Tech in Warner-Robbins, Georgia February 22-24 as two teams will earn bids to the NJCAA National Tournament.
A team that is no stranger to the national stage is the Lady Cats. They earned a bid last season losing in the first round to Montgomery College-Rockville (MD). The defending region champion will open things up at 2 p.m. as they play for a share of the regular season region title. A win by the Lady Cats will make Georgia Northwestern co-champions with West Georgia Tech.
If the Lady Cats win Saturday afternoon, a coin toss would be held before the regional tournament the following week to determine whether Georgia Northwestern or West Georgia Tech would win the top seed in the event.
The Bobcats and Lady Cats are members of NJCAA Region XVII, the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, and a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia. For more information on Bobcat Athletics, contact the Georgia Northwestern Office of Sports Information at 706 764-3813 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Georgia Northwestern (67) – Cotton 8, Ivester 3, Bud Todd 11, Alex Miller 11, Tavish Reynolds 23, Richard Olsen 11, Johnson, Dempsey.
Welch College (64) – Chol 9, Jake Manning 27, Smith, Simon, Kendrid Sides 19, Stox, King 7, Fuqua 2.
Halftime Score: 36-34, Georgia Northwestern.