And that’s exactly what they did.
The homestandings Lady Bobcats would outscore West Georgia Tech 41-16 in the final 13 minutes of play to shock the Lady Golden Knights, 82-78, at the Winthrop-King Center in Rome.
Leading GNTC (9-8, 3-0) with monster numbers was freshman Odessa Person with 17 points and 21 rebounds in the historic win over West Georgia Tech (5-13, 1-1).
"Dee gets more and more consistent each week,” said GNTC head coach Jim Williams. “She has become our most consistent player. She has turned playing down low into and art and is proud of it. I mean, sometimes she pays the price, though.”
Three-pointers and paint work would help the NJCAA Region XVII defending champions claw their way back into the game. A three by Sierra Smith with four minutes to play would whittle things down to a six-point deficit, and back-to-back hard-fought buckets in the paint from Terika Mostella would make it a two-point game, 76-74, with 2:25 to play.
“Terika is growing up as a ball player,” said Williams. “Sometimes she gets rattled as a ball player. Tonight though, we are all very proud of our first-year player.”
The difference maker in the game would come with just 1:40 left to play as sophomore all-region guard Emily Cole would slice across the front court from wing to wing finally finding a hole to drive through to knot the score at 76.
But the Lady Bobcats would need more from their All-Region standout as it would be Cole who would take an outlet pass from Kiarra Parks and turn it into a three-pointer to give her team a 79-76 lead late.
“Kiarra had two looks, Emily on one wing and another outlet as well,” said Williams. “Smart pass and solid shot from our guards on that one.”
Before Tuesday’s win, the Lady Bobcats had not beat West Georgia Tech since the conference post-season tournament in February 2011. West Georgia Tech was ineligible for post-season play in 2012. The rematch between the two will take place on February 8 in LaGrange.
GNTC hits the road Friday night for their next action in NJCAA Region XVII play as they face-off with Southern Crescent Tech in Griffin.
The post-season region tournament will be held February 21-24 at Middle Georgia Tech in Warner Robins with a NJCAA National Tournament spot on the line.
West Georgia Tech men 88, GNTC 73
The Bobcats were not as lucky in their game against the Golden Knights, falling behind 46-42 at halftime before losing by 15 in the region clash in Rome.
Derrick Austin paced the Knights with 20 points. Randazerro Chaney had 19 in the win and Alyja Hennings went for 15.
Fernando Lemus, Jr. paced the Bobcats with 19, including 5-of-8 shooting from the three-point line. Richard Olsen had 16 points, Alex Miller had 10 points and nine rebounds, while Andrew Johnson finished with seven points.