Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats Have Season-Opening Win In Florida

Saturday, November 4, 2017 - by Scott Herpst

The date was Feb. 1, 2014 and the Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats were still based out of the Floyd County campus in Rome when they picked up a 71-62 home victory over Johnson University.

Little did anyone know what would transpire over the next three-plus years.

The program moved its home base to Rossville the following season and underwent a complete overhaul starting with the 2014-2015 campaign, from the players down to the coaching staff.

David Stephenson, who was already serving as the men's coach and the school's Athletic Director, put on his third hat and took over as head coach of the women's team. He also had to recruit an entire new roster to begin that new season.

Injuries, individual academic issues and player defections would hamper the team's progress over the next three seasons. At one point, the Lady Bobcats played over half a season with just five players on the entire roster.

But through it all, the Navy-and-Silver never lost hope and on November 3, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida, their patience and hard work was finally rewarded.

Georgia Northwestern finally snapped its losing streak and did so emphatically with a 72-60 over homestanding Trinity Baptist College in the season opener for both clubs.

Madison Lewis, who has missed most of the past two seasons because of knee issues, made a triumphant return to the lineup on Fridaynight. The 6-foot-3 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (Ga.) High School alum had one of the best single statistical games in the program's history with 27 points and 19 rebounds.

Freshman guard Jayla Stone had a solid all-around game in her collegiate debut, scoring 17 points, grabbing six rebounds, dealing out four assists and collecting four steals. Another freshman guard, Tori Harvey, poured in 13 points and racked up a tidy 13 boards to go with four assists and a pair of steals for the Lady Bobcats, who led 32-24 at intermission.

Katy Phillips added seven points, five rebounds and three assists, while Mia Clark had four points and seven boards. Christina DeSalvo pulled down six rebounds and matched Tori Hall with two points. Taylor Bethune did not score, but contributed with five rebounds.

Georgia Northwestern had been slated to face Blue Lights College out of North Carolina on Friday in the first day of the Trinity Baptist College Classic, but Blue Lights was one of two schools to drop out of the four-team tournament. As a result, Georgia Northwestern faced Trinity on Friday rather than Saturday as scheduled.

The Lady Bobcats (1-0) will not play on Saturday.

Trinity Baptist (0-1) will come to the Rossville Athletic Center for a rematch next Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. The game will be the Lady Bobcats annual Food Drive Game. Admission will be free to fans who bring in a canned or non-perishable food item.

Trinity Baptist is also scheduled to play in the Tim Walthour Memorial Tournament in Rossville on Dec. 8-9.

Trinity Baptist men 72, Georgia Northwestern 51

Fresh off a thrilling 71-67 win over the Hiwassee College junior varsity squad on Wednesday, the Bobcats couldn't keep the magic going on Friday as they dropped the opener of the Trinity Classic to the host school.

The Eagles (1-0) led wire-to-wire, opening up a 10-point lead eight minutes into the contest and taking a 35-25 lead into halftime. They were able to pull away in the second half as the Bobcats shot just 25 percent from the floor and 53 percent at the free throw line.

Tyler Phillips had 10 points, eight rebounds and three steals for Georgia Northwestern (1-1), while Bryce Waters added nine points and five boards. Kolbi Suttles finished with eight points, followed Davian Wheeler with seven points and Micah Wheeler with six points and seven rebounds.

Justin Smith added six points, followed by Deontae Jackson and Davantae Kimble with two each. Cole McKeehan added one.

Jykale Walker had 13 points for the Eagles. Marquel Perry dropped in a dozen points and Chandler Roberts finished with 10.

The Bobcats will play again on Saturday against a familiar foe in Georgia Gwinnett College. Tip-off is set for 12 noon.

For more information on Georgia Northwestern Bobcat Athletics, visit our website at www.bobcatscountry.com.



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