Defending Region XVII Champs Pre-Season Number One Again

(Rome, Georgia)– What started out as a pilot program in athletics five seasons ago has turned into what could be G

“Freshmen packing a punch in October practices for the Lady Cats. Creekview alum Alyssa Nichelson, left, gets hounded on defense by All-Region, All-Area, and All-Georgia team member Kiarra Parks (Pepperell). The Lady Cats are picked to finish first in NJCAA Region XVII in 2012-13.”

eorgia Northwestern’s most promising run in NJCAA Basketball to date.

Bobcat Athletic Director David Stephenson has seen the men’s and women’s programs come full circle since year one in 2007. With a successful recruiting campaign this past off-season, both GNTC squads have legitimate chances at taking home some hardware in the 2012-13 campaign.

“Both the Bobcats and Lady Cats have an incredible mix of recognized prep standouts and veterans on the NJCAA level,” said Stephenson.  

For the second straight year, the Lady Cats have been picked as the region’s pre-season number one.  An honor which comes on the heels of the programs’ first-ever trip to the NJCAA national tournament this past winter. The Lady Cats earned the berth after winning their region tournament in Oxford, Georgia this past February.

For the Lady Cats, all eyes are on freshman standout Kiarra Parks from Pepperell H.S. (GA). She is a member of the pre-season NJCAA All-Region XVII first team roster. Parks was an All-Region and All-Area honoree her senior season with the Lady Dragons scoring 24 points per game throughout the 2011-12 prep schedule.

Sophomore Emily Cole from Adairsville H.S. (GA) and new Lady Cat Alyssa Nichelson from Creekview H.S. (GA) were named NJCAA All-Region XVII second team.

Outside threats will be led by Cole and Parks. Pepperell long-shot artist Anna Baker and Armuchee’s Sierra Smith are expected to fill in the gaps from three-point land in 2012-13. “As for Alyssa (Nichelson), she’s a flat-out hustler,” said Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jim Williams. “She plays 94-feet of basketball and goes in high-gear the whole way.” Nichelson scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds per game during Creekview High School’s elite eight run last year which saw the Lady Grizzlies go 26-4 on the season.

“We have been blessed with the pick-ups we’ve made in the off-season,” said Williams. A pair of All-Region and All-Area point guards in Parks and Alana Jones from Rockmart H.S. (GA) gives the Cats solid depth at the point. Jones dropped in 15 points a night in her senior season on the prep level.

Another player who stands out in the recruiting class is freshman Mariah Price from Chattooga H.S. (GA). The 5-foot-8 freshman was the center of the Lady Indians attack at the War Lodge in Summerville this past season. Price led the way with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists per game. “She basically averaged a triple-double the entire season. We’ll gladly take that,” snickered Williams.

Even more impressive this year is the defensive size the Lady Cats will be bringing to their slate of games. Freshmen Terika Mostella (6-foot), Odessa Person (5-foot-10), and Charron Woodley (5-foot-9) bring solid frames and high-pressured defense to this GNTC line-up.

“Terika (Mostella) was a beast for Cartersville H.S. (GA) last year, Charron Woodley (Model H.S., GA) is the daughter of Assistant Coach (Consuelo) Saxton who played Division I ball with Alabama, and Odessa Person (Lineville H.S., AL) is related to former NBA star Chuck Person,” said Williams. Chuck’s daughter, Eisha, plays for Southern Union out of Wadley, Alabama. Those two teams will meet up in Rome on December 7. “They’ve already been talking trash with each other about the game,” said Williams.

Sophomore Brittney Daughtry and freshmen Keesha Wise (Rome H.S., GA) and Megan Flaherty (Creekview H.S., GA) will also see playing time throughout the next four months. “Brittney had some injuries last year playing down low, but we are going to get her ready to roll,” said Williams of the Georgia School for the Deaf alum.

Joining Williams on the bench for his third season at the helm of the Lady Cats are assistant coaches Saxton, Robbie Nash, and Emanuel Turner. “These guys help give this team energy and direction,” said Williams.

The Lady Cats open up their 2012-13 campaign with a NJCAA Region XVII Jamboree this Saturday in Carrollton, Georgia. GNTC’s region title defense officially begins on November 6 against Georgia Highlands in Rome, Georgia. All Lady Cats home games for the season will be played at the Winthrop-King Center on the campus of Shorter University in Rome, Georgia.

For more information on Bobcat Athletics at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, contact the Office of Sports Information at 706.764.3813 or e-mail to