The Lady Cats became NJCAA Region XVII co-champions with a win in their regular season finale Saturday over Middle Georgia Tech. The win put the defending region champs at 13-10 overall, 4-2 in the region. However, West Georgia Tech also boasts a 4-2 region record meaning the coin toss was needed to determine the region's top seed.
West Georgia Tech is now in the difficult position having to face tournament host Middle Georgia Tech in an elimination round game Saturday at noon. Georgia Northwestern will take on Southern Crescent Tech in the other elimination round game Saturday at 4 p.m.
The winners of those games will battle on Sunday for the NJCAA Region XVII title and the region's automatic bid into the NJCAA National Tournament beginning the following week. After winning the region title last season, the Lady Cats fell in the first round of the national tournament losing at the eventual fourth-place finisher in Montgomery College-Rockville (Md.)
Sophomore Emily Cole is GNTC's lone returner from last year's national qualifying squad. She says that there is really only one thing this team needs to keep in mind for success in the post-season.
"No matter what happens, we need to remember that it takes a team that loves each other to accomplish great things," she explained. "United we stand, divided we fall."
The league also voted head coach Jim Williams as Coach of the Year for a third consecutive season, while Odessa Person, Kiarra Parks, and Alyssa Nichelson were also honored by the region.
Person was named to the NJCAA Region XVII First Team Squad, leading the region with more than 13 rebounds a game, including four games of 21 rebounds.
Parks and Nichelson were Second Team selections. Parks scored 11 points and collected two steals a game from her guard spot, while Nichelson scored 11 points a game and averaged five boards.
The GNTC men will have a tough road to navigate if they are to extend their season. The Bobcats (8-18, 0-8) open the tournament on Friday at 5:30 p.m. against West Georgia Tech with the winner drawing top-seeded Middle Georgia Tech in the elimination round Saturday at 6 p.m. Southern Crescent Tech will take on Emory-Oxford in the other elimination game on Saturday at 2 p.m.
All games will be held at Middle Georgia Tech. All region games in the men's and women's tournament will be available live in HD video online. Link information will be available at www.gntc.edu.