Georgia Northwestern’s Region Run Begins January 5
(The R.A.C., Rossville, Georgia) – Georgia Northwestern’s All-Region and All-District First-Teamer Alex Miller (Gordon Central) dropped 26 points on Tennessee Temple Friday night to help the Bobcats claw the Crusaders at The R.A.C., 85-81.
“Everybody hustled tonight and really finished strong,” said Miller. “This is the first game it felt like we got a lead and truly finished it out.” Miller, a sophomore from Calhoun, Georgia, went 10-of-19 from the field and six-of-six from the free throw line in the non-region win against the four-year college from Tennessee.
The Cats shot 80-percent from the free-throw line, a number the Cats have not come close to from the charity stripe all season long. “We put up a ton of free-throws and shots from the field in practice yesterday,” said Georgia Northwestern Men’s Head Basketball Coach David Stephenson.
The Bobcat coaching staff has been using the non-region games in November and December to find what combinations work best on the court before NJCAA Region XVII play begins January 5.
Georgia Northwestern guard Hunter Ivester played an instrumental role tonight scoring 18 points, pulling down eight boards, and stealing the ball five times. His key moment coming in the final minute of play when on the back end of two free throws he was awarded missed its mark and he sprawled out across the paint to fight for a loose ball and help the Cats stay on top.
“Our team played great tonight and really showed a solid effort down the stretch,” said Stephenson. “I think we have a very strong top seven or eight on the roster that will cause a lot of chaos come January. With (Fernando) Lemus and (Justin) Dempsey coming back in January, we’ll have a solid top nine or ten that will really have a shot at doing some good work in our region.”
Fernando Lemus, Jr. (Model) is returning after a season-ending knee injury early last year in his freshman year. He returns after rehab with two full years of eligibility remaining. Justin Dempsey is a sophomore Bobcat returning to the active roster for region play beginning with Southern Crescent Tech on January 5.
Tennessee Temple standout Karlos Rich’ard led the Crusaders with 19 on the night. After shooting 60-percent from the field in the first half to help take a 40-38 lead going into the half, the Crusaders saw the Cats offense take off in the second half.
“We put up nearly 50 points in the second half and finished with 85 on the scoreboard. We’ll win a lot of games if we can keep that pace up,” said Stephenson. ” In spite of Tennessee Temple shooting lights out from the three-point line going 11-of-21 from long range, the Cats managed to stepm the tide by outrebounding the Crusaders by 10 boards.
Georgia Northwestern (5-8) saw its free-throw shooting really shine in the clutch as freshman Quinton Cotton (Model) stroked a key pair of free throws with three seconds remaining to ice the game away for the Cats. “I told these guys tonight that they need to start shooting like men,” said Stephenson.
Georgia Northwestern Bobcats (85) – Quinton Cotton 13, Jackson, Hunter Ivester 18, Todd 4, Alex Miller 26, Bostic 6, Robinson, Reynolds 8, Richard Olsen 10, Johnson.
Mid-South Greyhounds (81) – O’Neal, Cox, Reddick 2, Jovanovic 8, Slade 2, Defender 6, Freeman 7, Karlos Rich’ard 19, Douglas Slade 12, Baugh 3, Antwan Ruise 12.
Halftime Score: 40-38, Tennessee Temple.
Cutline: “Freshman Bobcat Hunter Ivester drives for two after one of his five steals against Tennessee Temple on the night.”
Cutline2: “Freshman Bobcat Quinton Cotton slices through the paint for two of his 13 points in the Friday night win over the Crusaders.”