Lady Jets prepared for NJCAA Division I National Tournament competition

   LUBBOCK, Texas — The sixth-ranked South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) Lady Jets are hoping to expand on their nine-game winning streak when they take on the winner of the 11th seeded Tyler Texas Junior College Apaches vs 22nd seeded Walters State Lady Senators in the second round of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Women’s basketball tournament in Lubbock, Texas. That game is at 8 p.m. (EST) today, Wednesday, April 21 and will be aired live at https://www.njcaa.org/network.  The cost to view the games is $10 for a championship day pass or $30 for the entire tournament.

   SGTC Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey said that Tyler and Walters State are two very different teams in styles of play. “Tyler likes to deny you really hard defensively and force you into careless mistakes. They are extremely athletic and play very fast. They remind me a lot of Georgia Highlands with the way they fly up and down the floor. They have four extremely talented guards who attack you off screens and really put pressure on you defensively to be fundamentally sound. Those guards can also really shoot the three well. They aren’t very big but play small ball better than anyone we have seen in a long time.”

Submitted by SGTC — The Lady Jets have nine sophomores of the 2020 – 2021 team. Shown from left are Kamiya Hollingshed, Imani McNeal, Sarah Lwambo, Flore Ngasamputu, Femme Sikuzani, Hope Butera, Moe Shida, and Veronica Charles. Not shown is Niya McGuire.

   Frey added that, “Walters is bigger and more like us in that they try to slow you down and execute in the half court. They have the leading scorer from their conference, and she can flat light it up from the outside. They play a variety of defenses and like to get their post players involved. They are deep in the post as well.  It should be an interesting matchup with contrasting styles.”

   Regardless of which team comes out on top in that match-up, which was to be played Tuesday, Frey acknowledges that his team will “have to bring our A game every time we hit the floor.  Obviously with this being the national tournament, there are some incredibly talented teams.

   “I have a lot of confidence in our young ladies. They have worked very hard to get to this point.  I feel like if we can bring our A game every time we hit the floor, we’ve got as good a chance as anyone. The key is relaxing, trusting ourselves and just go play,” added Frey.

    SGTC is in the same bracket with Chipola, Shelton State, and Trinity Valley. If they advance with a win, they will face the winner of the Chipola – Moberly Area vs. Eastern Arizona game.  “Without looking I know that Trinity Valley and Shelton State are both up there and ranked in the top seven in the country.I know Gulf Coast is up there and they can never be counted out. On our half obviously Chipola sticks out. They are the third seed, come from the toughest conference in the country and are very good.  I’ve seen them twice in person this year and they are legitimate,” said Frey.

   The Lady Jets bring a 22 – 3 record into the tournament. They lost twice to Georgia Highlands and once to the top ranked Jones County team earlier in the season. Georgia Highlands was able to secure an at-large bid and will also be in the national tournament.

    “There will be a lot of good basketball at the national tournament,” said Frey. “If we play well, we will do well.”

   The Lady Jets earned a sixth-place seed in the NJCAA National Tournament a win over Spartanburg Methodist in the NJCAA Region 17 tournament. They are ranked behind the undefeated Jones College team that came in with the first-place ranking.  Trinity Valley is second, Chiploa third, South Plains fourth, Northwest Florida State is fifth followed by the Lady Jets in sixth place.

   Shelton State, which SGTC beat twice during the regular season, was seeded seventh, Casper 8th, Three Rivers 9th, Wabash Valley 10th, and Tyler Texas 11th. Butler College was selected 12th and Georgia Highlands received an at-large bid for 13th. Moberly Area was seeded 14th and Gulf Coast State finished 15th. Closing out the seeds in order from 16th to 24th were:  Western Nebraska, Iowa Western, Miles, Eastern Arizona, Southern Idaho, Orthero, Walters State, Independence, and Eastern Oklahoma State. The tournament opened on Monday, April 19 and the championship will be played on Saturday, April 24.