Lady Jets remain ranked #8 nationally
By Su Ann Bird
AMERICUS – The South Georgia Technical College women’s basketball team (SGTC) still remains ranked #8 nationally in the final 2020 -2021 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division 1 Women’s basketball polls this week. The Lady Jets finished the regular season 19 – 3 overall and 13 – 2 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA).
Jones College, which defeated the Lady Jets earlier this season, remained in the top spot nationally. They were followed by Northwest Florida State College, Casper College, Trinity Valley Community College, and South Plains College to close out the top five spots. Shelton State and Chipola College were ranked sixth and seventh ahead of SGTC. Butler Community College of Kansas and Three Rivers Community College in Missouri round out the top 10. Georgia Highlands College, which captured the GCAA regular season conference title over the Lady Jets, finished the season ranked 13th nationally.
In addition to the national ranking, both the Lady Jets and the Jets had individual players highlighted in the individual national statistics. Sophomores Veronica Charles and Femme Sikuzani were recognized for the Lady Jets, while sophomore Jalen Reynolds and freshmen Marvin McGhee and Will Johnston were the Jets who received national recognition.
Jets sophomore forward Jalen Reynolds of Darien, GA remained in first place in the NJCAA Division I top rebounding stats. Reynolds is leading the league with a total of 277 rebounds in 22 games this season. That is 22 more than the next competitor. He has 92 offensive rebounds and 185 defensive rebounds this season. The second-place rebounder has a total of 255.
Reynolds is also currently third nationally in rebounds per game with an average 12.6 per game. He is also listed as fourth in defensive rebounds per game with an average of 8.3 per game and sixth in offensive rebounds with 4.2 per game. His teammate, freshman guard Marvin McGhee of Atlanta, is currently tied for 29th in total rebounds with 163. That includes 35 offensive and 128 defensive. His is also listed 48th in the nation in defensive rebounds with an average of 5.8 per game.
Both Reynolds and McGhee also earned recognition for their offensive production. Reynolds is 46th in the nation in total points this season with 325 and McGhee is close behind in 48th with a total of 323 points.
The other member of the Jets basketball team to be spotlighted nationally was freshman guard Will Johnston. The 6’ 2” guard from Sydney, Australia, is currently ranked 34th in assists with an average of 5.2 per game.
The two Lady Jets to be singled out for their individual efforts include sophomore Femme Sikuzani and Veronica Charles. Charles, a 5’ 4” inch guard from Benue State, Nigeria, is ranked 13th nationally in steals. She is averaging 3.4 per game over 21 games. She was also selected as the Defensive Player of the Year for the GCAA and was named to the GCAA All-Region second team for her performance on the court this season.
Sophomore center Femme Sikuzani earned national recognition in two different categories. Sikuzani currently ranks 27th in total rebounds and has 177 rebounds this season, including 79 offensive rebounds and 98 defensive rebounds. Her average of 3.6 offensive rebounds per game earned her the 47th spot in that category nationally.
The Lady Jets finished the regular season in second place in the GCAA behind Georgia Highlands College. They will now advance to the NJCAA Region XVII tournament. Georgia Highlands and SGTC will both receive a bye in the quarterfinal round of the tournament. The Lady Jets will play the winner of the East Georgia College – Albany Tech game in the semi-finals on Friday, April 2 at 8 p.m. in Rome at Georgia Highlands. The winner of that game will advance to the finals, which are set for 2 p.m. Saturday, April 3 at Georgia Highlands.
The Jets finished the 2020 – 2021 regular season in third place in the GCAA with an 11 – 5 conference record and a 13 – 9 overall record. That finish will allow them to host a quarterfinal game in the NJCAA Region 17 tournament. That game will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6 in the Hangar. The Jets will play either Southern Crescent Tech or Central Georgia Tech depending on the outcome of the South Georgia State-Southern Crescent Tech game Tuesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. An upset win by Southern Crescent Tech would force them into a tie for fifth place with Central Georgia Tech. Those two teams split in the regular season. SGTC will play the sixth-place seed in that first round.
The winners of the quarterfinal round in the men’s NJCAA Region 17 competition will advance to the NJCAA Region XVII finals and semi-finals on April 9 and 10 in either Rome or Waycross. Georgia Highlands is currently ranked first in the GCAA with a 13 – 2 record and South Georgia State is ranked second with a 12 – 3 record. Both teams play on Tuesday, March 30. A win by Georgia Highlands will clinch the regular season title for the Chargers and allow them to host the semi-final and finals of the tournament.
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