After a tight first half, Georgia Highlands' 5-foot-11 post player Shanique Holston (Reynolds, Ga.), an NCAA Division I recruit, took over the game and carried her team to a 90-55 victory in a physical battle between the crosstown rivals.
GNTC (0-1) got out of the blocks quickly as freshman Alyssa Nichelson had two steals and a block in the first three minutes. Fellow frosh Kiarra Parks connected on three shots form the perimeter, but the Lady Chargers (1-0) forced several GNTC turnovers and capitalized on a handful of missed shots to go on a 15-4 run and open up a 25-14 lead with eight minutes to play in the opeing half.
But the Lady Bobcats refused to go away. A long 3-pointer by freshman Sierra Smith, and two late free throws by sophomore Emily Cole cut the Lady Chargers' lead down to five, but GHC used a lay-up at the buzzer to take a 41-34 into intermission.
However, the hosts would open the second half on a 17-4 run, keyed by nine points from Holston, to give GHC some breathing room and they would pull away from there, outscoring GNTC by 28 points in the second half.
“We like to schedule these games against bigger opponents to get our squad ready for region play beginning January,” said Williams. “To be straight forward, though, our team played extremely competitive with them.”
Nichelson (ankle) and Cole (knee) were injured in the second half. There has been no words on their status for Thursday night's game against Snead State (Ala.). That game will tip-off at 6 p.m. at the Winthrop-King Center on the campus of Shorter University in Rome.
The Lady Bobcats will head on the road this weekend as they will play in a tournament at Welch College in Nashville, Tenn.