Georgia Northwestern Lady Cats Rally From 17 Down, Win State Title

Sunday, March 6, 2011 - by Don Foley

With West Georgia Tech apparently running away with the inaugural TCSGAA Women’s Basketball title game held at Tennessee Temple University Saturday, Georgia Northwestern didn’t score their first point until Cedartown’s Kayci McGee hit a free throw to make it 11-1 with 12:55 left in the first half. After the break, the Lady Cats faced a 17-point deficit well into the second half, but somehow wound up winning.

“We were just hanging our heads,” said Lady Bobcat Assistant Head Coach Robbie Nash. “It was like we were getting run out of the gym.” That’s when the streak hit. Freshman Lady Cat Kayci McGee lit up the nets for a pair of threes to spark a 15-0 run in the final ten minutes to help Georgia Northwestern (2-0) topple the Lady Golden Knights, 72-65.

“We couldn’t even have a real celebration on the court. We were just plain exhausted,” said Lady Cats Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jim Williams on capturing the conference crown. “It came down to who had fresh legs at the end. We were very fortunate to win. These were two very competitive teams today.”

Lady Cat freshman Mia Morrow (Rome) led the way with a double-double by way of 17 points and 11 assists. Fellow freshman Jessica Williams (Pepperell) added a double-double of her own with 16 points and 10 boards.
The story of the game came at the free-throw line. In the season-opener last November, the Lady Cats fell by one at home to the very same West Georgia Tech team, 63-62. They shot a dismal 17-of-42 from the charity stripe that day. In the first-ever TCSGAA Women’s Title Game Saturday, they were 13-of-14 from the line. Now, West Georgia Tech (1-1) fell by seven in the conference championship.

The Lady Golden Knight performance from the foul line Saturday: 8-of-15. That’s seven points. Freshman Lady Cat Mia Morrow hit clutch free throws in the final minute. The 5-foot-1 point guard went four-for-four in the final minute to help nail down the tournament title.

Georgia Northwestern’s Shadow Day (Chattooga), Mia Morrow (Rome), and Kayci McGee (Cedartown) were named to the TCSGAA All-Tournament Team. Lady Cats Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jim Williams was named co-coach of the year in the TCSGA. West Georgia Tech’s Kenny Edwards also took home the honor.

This is the first season of varsity collegiate women’s basketball for both Georgia Northwestern and West Georgia Tech. “The recruitment process for 2011-12 is underway,” said Williams. “We are talking with some talented prep players. And now, we have a great core of players who could return for the run.”

In the TCSGAA third-place game Saturday afternoon, Georgia Northwestern’s sophomore co-captain Jesse Moore (Dade County) drained 13 of his 21 points in the game to stop Southern Crescent Tech, 69-64.

Fellow sophomore co-captain Kyle Wilson (Armuchee) capped off his career at the two-year program with 16 points in the tournament win. Freshman Bobcat Ben Patton drained a quartet of threes popping in 12 points in the winning effort.

“We’ve had talented teams in the past. However, this team has had the best chemistry, teamwork, and flat out character of any bunch I’ve had at the college,” said Georgia Northwestern Men’s Head Basketball Coach David Stephenson of his 2010-11 squad. “Kyle (Wilson) and Jesse (Moore) should have a great shot at getting looks from some area four-year programs. Now, they are the only two we lose next year. We will be talking to recruits now who will be adding to a great core next season.”

Moore and Wilson were named to the Men’s All-Tournament Team this weekend in the TCSGAA post-season event hosted by Tennessee Temple University. Moore and Wilson have also previously earned academic honors from the college and the association over their careers at the two-year program.

“Jesse’s (Moore) final two points came on a huge dunk,” said Stephenson. “It was exactly the way I hoped it would happen for him. He and Kyle (Wilson) have worked so hard for this program, on the court and in the classroom.”

The Georgia Northwestern Bobcat Men’s squad also earned the conference’s Sportsmanship Award for the second year in a row. “It’s a testament to the kind of young men we are building,” said Stephenson. This is Stephenson’s fourth season as the head coach of the Bobcat men’s basketball program.

Stephenson also earned conference honors being named Co-Coach of the Year in the TCSGAA. West Georgia Tech’s Niki Olokovich also took home the honor.

For more information on the Bobcat and Lady Cats athletic programs at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, contact the Office of Sports Information at 706.764-3813 or e-mail to dfoley@gntc.edu. Georgia Northwestern is Northwest Georgia’s largest college education nearly 10,000 students every year.

BOX SCORES
Women’s Box Score
TCSGAA Women’s Title Game

Georgia Northwestern Lady Cats (72) - Shadow Day 13, Mia Morrow 17, Crosby 2, Kelsey Philpot 11, Kayci McGee 13, Jessica Williams 16
West Georgia Lady Golden Knights (65) – Porsha Goss 10, Quita Rogers 26, Hannah Penn 11, Roshunda Dobbs 13, Wyatt, Cookerly 5.
Halftime Score – 28-23, West Georgia Tech

Men’s Box Score
TCSGAA Men’s Third-Place Game
Georgia Northwestern Tech Bobcats (69) – Kyle Wilson 16, Woods 7, Jesse Moore 21, Bonds 6, Ben Patton 12, Ware 4, Jackson 3.
Southern Crescent Tech Tigers (64) – Ricky Bird 20, Dominique Gilbert 19, Cortez, McKibben, Rueben Hardy 19, Thomas 6, Jackson, Adeoye.
Halftime Score: 30-30.


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