Warner-Robins, Ga. – Georgia Northwestern fought back from a 17-point deficit in the second half to come within one shot of Middle Georgia Tech Sunday afternoon in the NJCAA Region XVII Title Game. However, the Lady Cats would not be able to push their way over the top as the Lady Titans would claim the championship and the region’s lone national tournament bid with a 64-58 win.
After sweeping the regular season series with Middle Georgia Tech (10-19, 4-4), the Lady Cats would find it hard to beat the same team three times in a season.
25-percent shooting from the field and 47-percent shooting from the foul line would contribute in Georgia Northwestern’s (14-11, 6-2) season-closer.
The note of interest from the title game for the Lady Cats was the fouling out of sophomore Odessa Person (Lineville, AL). Before fouling out just inside the four-minute mark, the nation’s eighth-leading rebounder would pull down 13 rebounds, drop in nine points, and swipe three balls in the effort. “It was an incredibly physical game today and they just let these teams play,” said Georgia Northwestern’s Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jim Williams. “Odessa and this entire team simply played their hearts out. She has an incredible shot to play at a four-year program next year.”
Last year’s region champs would find themselves trailing 44-27 in the second half before they would turn up the pressure and look to their bench to clean the road nets for points as they Cat subs would bucket 14 in the second stanza. With 2:25 remaining, Georgia Northwestern’s team effort would cut the deficit to two, 59-57. However, three trips down the court and three missed shots later and the Lady Cats would end the game fouling for shots at the ball.
A note to watch will be an injury to freshman post player Terika Mostella (Cartersville, GA) who went down in a chase for a loose ball late in the game. A hard fall on her left knee left the first-year Lady Cat on the hardwood for several minutes as specialists tended to the injury. Early reports are that she suffered a severe strain of ligaments in her left knee. “It’s the same knee she hurt badly in high school,” said Williams.
Middle Georgia Tech’s NJCAA Region XVII two-time Player of the Year Ashley West would led her Lady Titans with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. The 5-foot-8 forward from Perry, Georgia would play all forty minutes of the championship. Middle Georgia forward Tynisha Walton would make her presence felt with 13 points and 23 rebounds on the day.
Georgia Northwestern was led by freshmen Kiarra Parks (Cleveland, TN), Sierra Smith (Armuchee, GA), and Alyssa Nichelson (Canton, GA) with 13, 12, and 11 points, respectively in the tourney final. The Lady Cats expect to return six from this year’s roster. Leading all scorers in the title bout was sophomore Lady Titan Kameelah Wynn with 19 points, including 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the three-point line.
The Lady Titans will play at the winner of NJCAA Region XX Women’s Champion in the NJCAA Round of 16 on March 2. Allegheny County-Boyce (PA) and NJCAA Final Four team Montgomery College-Rockville (MD) are playing today to determine that champion from NJCAA Region XX.
“This team is returning a lot of talented freshmen next season,” said Williams. “We are returning most of our starters and a ton of subs. Ones have come through for us in the clutch all season long. We are looking forward to what next season will bring. The final games for Cole and Person, though, are bittersweet. They’ve been vital to our success this year.”
The Lady Cats are a member of NJCAA Region XVII, the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, and a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia. For more information on Georgia Northwestern Athletics, contact the Georgia Northwestern Office of Sports Information at 706.764.3813 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Georgia Northwestern (58) – Jones 2, Cole 7, Alyssa Nichelson 11, Sierra Smith 12, Person 9, Kiarra Parks 13, Price 4, Mostella.
Middle Georgia (64) – Tynisha Walton 13, Ashley West 13, Asheleigh Burnett 13, Gresham, Hudson 1, Kameelah Wynn 19, Gadson 5.
Halftime Score: 35-27, Middle Georgia.
Georgia Northwestern fought back from a 17-point deficit in the second half to come within one shot of Middle Georgia Tech Sunday afternoon in the NJCAA Region XVII Title Game. However, the Lady Cats would not be able to push their way over the top as the Lady Titans would claim the championship and the region’s lone national tournament bid with a 64-58 win in Warner-Robins
- Photo2 by Don Foley