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April 19, 2012

GCAA Player of the Year James Johnson is now an All-American, too

James Johnson, who led the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars to the state regular season title, has made the All-America second team selected by the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Johnson, a sophomore from Milwaukee, was one of 20 players selected for the national first and second teams. He was Player of the Year in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

James Johnson

Displaying a remarkable touch around the basket and a knack on the boards, the 6-foot-7 Johnson led the Jaguars in both scoring (15.6) and rebounding (10.5). He was among the GCAA leaders in each category. “He was great for us all year,” said head coach Alfred Barney.

“He could score— he could rebound— he was a great team player. He was the glue that held us together.”

In his freshman season at Highland Community College in Illinois before transferring to GPC, he averaged 14.2 points and 6.2 rebounds.

Johnson is GPC’ s first basketball All-American since 2008, when Jacquiese Holcombe was named to the second team. He is the fourth Jaguar athlete to earn All-America honors in the current academic year. Esther Anyanwu and Linda Chukwuji were named to the women’ s soccer All-America first team, and Mo Babouli made the men’ s soccer second team.

Scoring more than 20 points numerous times, Johnson’ s season highs were 32 and 27, both against Chattahoochee Tech and the league’ s defensive player of the year, Asauhn Dixon-Tatum.

“James is very poised when he plays,” Barney said. “His maturity is what really helped us. He’ s a leader on and off the court.”

The GCAA’ s 2012 Freshman of the Year, Jarvis Williams of Gordon, was also honored as an honorable mention All-American. He is the only other player from the conference garnering All-America honors.

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March 10, 2012

Gordon wrestles GCAA title from Jaguars

The second half has been a nemesis to the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars, and it haunted them again in the biggest game of the season Saturday.

Brandon Jenkins, guarding tourney MVP Ryan Fleming, sank five 3-pointers. Photos/Andrew McMurtrie

Gordon College won the half that counts, outlasting the Jaguars in a slugfest 73-60 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association championship game at Decatur Campus.

The Jaguars led at halftime 37-36 but lost the lead early in the second half and never recovered it.

“They made plays, and we didn’t make plays. They made free throws and we didn’t make free throws,” said head coach Alfred Barney. “I give credit to them. They came to play.”

The stats sheet makes the point emphatically. The Jaguars sank only four of 14 foul shots in the second half, and for the game they hit only 35.3 percent from the line.

Georgia Perimeter finishes the season with a 25-8 record, while Gordon (26-7) packs for the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.

The Highlanders held the lead for the first eight minutes of the game, but the Jaguars put together a 14-2 run to seize a 20-14 lead with 8:22 on the clock. That turned out to be the high point of the night for GPC, powered by a rash of three-point bombs from Christopher Blunt and Brandon Jenkins.

James Johnson had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

But Marquis Barnes replied with three of his own treys in a two-minute span, and the Highlanders were back in the game.

There were plenty of long range missles. Barnes hit four of nine 3-pointers, and Jenkins finished the game five-of-eight from beyond the 3-point line, leading the Jaguars with 15 points. Four others entered the rainbow column—Blunt (1/5) and Gordon’s Tyler Brookins (2/5), Reigarvius Williams (1/3) and George Brown (1/3).

Jenkins was followed by James Johnson with 14 points and Blunt with 10.

The battle of the boards was downright vicious, with each team grabbing 42 rebounds. Johnson and Terrance Talton pulled down 12 each, while Gordon had a pair with 11, Williams and Michael Tankersly.

Blunt and Caleb Hayes handed out seven and six assists, respectively, leading all in that category.

Intimidation abounded on the defensive ends, with constant double teaming and stripping the ball away, along with more than a little hacking and grabbing. The Jaguars made 38.1 percent of their attempts from the field, and Gordon hit 41.8 percent, a credit to both defenses.

Two minutes into the second half, Gordon went up 40-39 and retained the lead until GPC borrowed it 56-55 on a 3-pointer by Jenkins with 8:10 remaining in the game.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem was named to the all-tournament team.

But Brookins answered with a 3-point shot, and then Gordon persistently augmented the margin on the strength of 10-of-15 shooting from the foul line in the final seven minutes.

Meanwhile, Georgia Perimeter made two of seven during that stretch. The officials whistled a total of 32 fouls on GPC and 17 on Gordon.

GPC’s Muhammad Abdul-Aleem, who scored 27 points in Friday’s semifinal game, was selected to the all-tournament team. Also named were Gordon’s Williams and Ryan Fleming, Middle Georgia’s Mike Wheeler and Albany Tech’s Jamorris Gaines. Fleming earned the tournament most valuable player award.

GCAA commissioner David Elder presented the league Player of the Year trophy to Johnson and Coach of the Year trophy to Barney, honors announced last week.

Despite the disappointing finale, Barney praised his players. “They stayed together,” he said. “Through all of the adversity, they stayed together and won the regular season championship. We restored order a little. We’ve just got to go one more step next year.”

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March 9, 2012

Abdul-Aleem lifts Jaguars into region championship game

Team effort and balanced scoring has long been a hallmark of Jaguar basketball. But sometimes, when things aren’t going right, a man has to take matters into his own hands.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem pulls in a pass from Caleb Hayes on the way to two of his 27 points.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem did just that Friday night, pouring in 27 points and grabbing eight rebounds to lead Georgia Perimeter College to a 51-44 victory over Albany Tech in the conference semifinals. His talent show— along with the usual team effort— sent GPC into Saturday’s championship game of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (Region 17 of the NJCAA).

GPC (25-7) will host Gordon College at 4 p.m. Saturday for the region title and the right to advance to the NJCAA national tournament. Gordon eliminated Middle Georgia College 79-66 in the earlier semifinal Friday.

“He played big,” coach Alfred Barney said of Abdul-Aleem’s performance. “When he just plays the game and doesn’t worry about anything else, he always plays big.”

Both teams began with torrid defenses and chilly offenses. GPC kept Albany Tech off the scoreboard for nearly seven minutes, until Patrick Lewis canned a 3-pointer. Still, GPC had only five points with 13:20 on the board and proceeded into a six-minute lull without a score.

“We couldn’t get any rhythm. The flow wasn’t there,” Barney said. “But we played good defense to not allow them to get away.”

Brandon Jenkins turned in an exceptional defensive effort, holding all-region selection Jamorris Gaines to 15 points on the night.

“Brandon always does a great job on the other team’s top scorer,” Barney said.

Brandon Jenkins produced a superb defensive performance for the Jaguars.

Gaines’ 15 points led the guests, followed by Lewis with 10. Albany Tech finishes the season with a 16-16 record.

After the teams scratched and clawed to a 20-18 halftime score, advantage GPC, Abdul-Aleem came out of the locker room on fire in the second half. He scored the Jaguars’ first seven points on a put-back, a scoop layup and a 3-pointer.

But the Titans pressed and took a five-point lead, 31-26, on another trey by Lewis.

Almost 10 minutes later, Abdul-Aleem pulled in a long pass from Caleb Hayes for a highlight reel transition basket, and then he sank a 3-pointer to give the Jags a 40-37 lead they never relinquished.

The Titans put forth a gallant effort at the end, but Hayes scored all of his six points in the closing three minutes, and free throws by him and Shareif Adamu cemented the outcome.

Abdul-Aleem was the only Jaguar in double figures. James Johnson had eight points as the visitors’ frontcourt collapsed on him each time he touched the ball.

“Tomorrow we’ve got to put the ball in the hoop,” Barney said.

The championship game with Gordon will be video webcast by veteran sportscaster Jim Dewitt and Jock Jive, a broadcast company based in Florala, Alabama. Find the link under “Game Webcasts” at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

GORDON COLLEGE 79, MIDDLE GEORGIA COLLEGE 66

Ryan Fleming and Marquis Barnes scored 21 points apiece Friday night to lead Gordon College to victory in the region semifinal opener.

Fleming's scoring included four 3-pointers early in the second half that rescued Gordon from a 37-35 halftime deficit. He had 19 points in the second half after shooting just 1-for-8 from the floor in the first half.

“Our guys just weren’t ready for the season to end,” said Gordon head coach Israel Ingle. “Ryan and Marquis stepped up in the second half, and Reigarvious Williams had a double-double.”

Williams registered 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Highlanders, who shot 43.3 percent from the field and 70.8 percent from the free throw line.

Mike Wheeler led Middle Georgia with 14 points, followed by Brentine Taylor with 13 and Shane Heyward with 11.

Gordon, which is in its fourth season of the renewal of the basketball program after a 17-year absence, now has 11 consecutive victories over GCAA teams and is 25-7. Middle Georgia finishes its season 22-9.

The GCAA championship game will be played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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March 8, 2012

Four sports, three days and two national tournament quests

The stars have aligned to produce perhaps the biggest weekend of Jaguar sports history. The coaches who recruited them hope for success in contests that will reverberate around the country.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams at Georgia Perimeter College have a chance to win berths in their national tournaments. Baseball region play continues with the Jaguars taking on their chief rival. There’s big-time softball, too.

Too bad no tennis matches are scheduled and soccer is out of season.

The Jaguars, regular season champions of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association in men’s basketball, will host fourth-seeded Albany Tech on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the region tournament. In the other semifinal, at 5 p.m., second seeded Gordon plays No. 3 Middle Georgia.

The region final is at 4 p.m. Saturday, with the winner advancing to the national tournament.

That same day, the GPC women’s team has a chance to advance to nationals for the sixth time in eight seasons, playing Region 10 champion Spartanburg Methodist in Spartanburg. The game starts at noon.

The Jaguars’ baseball team, on fire with an 18-5 record and a No. 6 national ranking, host No. 15 Middle Georgia College for three games – Friday at 7 p.m., with a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. Middle Georgia won a marathon series opener Tuesday night in Cochran, 3-2 in 13 innings.

On Friday, the GPC softball team travels to Marianna, Fla., to face No. 7 Chipola College in a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. The Jaguars are eager for the rematch after losing to Chipola 3-2 early in the season.

On the road to Florida, they opened their GCAA schedule Thursday with a 1-0, 8-3 doubleheader victory over Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton.

GPC fans can keep up with Jaguar sports news and features at www.gpc.edu/athletic. Breaking headlines are filed on Twitter and Facebook, with links available at the website.

Want to hear the games as they happen? The Jaguars are leaders in webcasting, too.

The men’s basketball tourney will be video webcast by Jock Jive in conjunction with the GCAA. The baseball games and the women’s basketball district match will be audio webcast at iHigh.com. Links to all webcasts are available at the website, under “Game Webcasts.”

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March 8, 2012

Jaguar Journal: Jaguars head to semifinals with momentum

In most of their otherwise outstanding season, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars have had trouble putting opponents away. There were numerous close calls and a couple of outright disasters.

That’s why their fans got restless early in the second half of Tuesday night’s conference tournament play-in game against South Georgia Tech when the Jets made a mini-run.

But this time was different. The Jaguars cranked up their trademark defensive pressure and soon it was showtime. A 58-point second half buried the Jets 95-60, sending GPC to Friday night’s 7:30 semifinal against fourth-seeded Albany Tech.

The other semi, at 5 p.m., matches the second and third seeds, Gordon and Middle Georgia. Saturday’s Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association final, also at Jaguar Arena on the Decatur Campus, will be at 4 p.m.

Coach Alfred Barney called Tuesday’s impressive performance “the best second half of basketball we’ve played all year.” The question is whether it will generate the momentum to carry the Jaguars to their first berth in the NJCAA tournament since 2008.

The Jaguars (24-7) beat Albany Tech (16-15) twice during the regular season, and neither time was it easy. In Decatur on Jan. 17, the Jaguars spurted ahead early, led by seven at the half and saw the lead wither to a single basket with about two minutes remaining before winning 63-58. At the time, Barney called it “a wake-up call” to close out games.

Alas, his players slept through the alarm. The same thing happened over and over.

The game at Albany Tech went better, thanks to a defense that held the Titans to 27 percent shooting. The Jaguars put the clamps on guard Jamorris Gaines, the league’s scoring leader at 19 a game, in the second half and won 49-39 on Feb. 11, wrapping up the regular season title in the GCAA (also known as Region 17 of the NJCAA).

The Titans sent word Tuesday night that they can pull out a close game, getting a steal and a 3-pointer from Tony Fear in the final seconds of a 57-56 play-in victory over Chattahoochee Tech at home.

“Georgia Perimeter is physical,” Albany Tech coach Sylvester Patterson told the Albany Herald. “We just need a couple of people to step up, and I feel we will be there in the end.”

The Jaguars, of course, have been stepping up all season, led by GCAA Player of the Year James Johnson, who is averaging 16 points and 11 rebounds. Muhammad Abdul-Aleem and Shareif Adamu were honorable mention all-region.

Gaines can expect to see plenty of Brandon Jenkins, the best outside one-on-one defender in the league. Also, the Titans gain no advantage in numbers as GPC’s nine-man roster is loaded with talent and in top shape.

Freshman point guard Caleb Hayes has shown he’s a game-winner and has matured into an excellent floor general. Chris Blunt comes off the bench as a major 3-point threat. George Wood plays an aggressive game in the paint, as does the great leaper, Terrance Talton. Al’keem Roulhac keeps the offense moving when he takes the floor. The team achieves acrobatic proportions when they’re on a roll.

The semifinals and finals will be video webcast by Jock Jive, in conjunction with the GCAA. A link is available at www.gpc.edu/athletic, under the “Game Webcasts” section.

JAGUAR JOLTS: Barney is shooting for his eighth national tournament appearance in 16 seasons at GPC and its predecessor, DeKalb College. … The region has produced four different champions in four years – GPC in 2008, then South Georgia Tech, Middle Georgia and Waycross. … All won on their home court as the top seed with the exception of Waycross, which won at nearby Coastal Georgia. … The Jaguars have lost in the tournament semifinals the last two seasons. ... Numerous recruiters from four-year schools descended on Jaguar Arena Tuesday night, and they’ll be back for the weekend. … The Jaguars are still among “others receiving votes” in the national poll. … After all the talk of balance in the region, the top four seeds won the play-in games at home. Gordon beat Waycross 60-57, while Middle Georgia beat East Georgia 67-62.

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March 6, 2012

Jaguars close the deal, advance to semifinals with 95-60 win

Head coach Alfred Barney has expressed one wish about his men’s basketball team this season—learn to close the deal in the second half, an oversight by the Jaguars that has led to several unnecessary losses.

Tuesday night, when it counted, the Jaguars emphatically answered the wish. Leading by only five points at halftime, they exploded in a display of athleticism in the second period, shooting 73 percent from the field and chalking up 58 points.

The result: Georgia Perimeter College rolled to a 95-60 victory over South Georgia Tech in the first round of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament at GPC’s Decatur gym.

“That was the best second half of basketball we played all year,” Barney said, complimenting both offense and defense. “Our offense was generated from the defense.”

With the win and its top-seed ranking in the regular-season standings, GPC will host Friday’s semifinals and Saturday’s championship game.

The Jaguars (24-7) had won their January visit to South Georgia Tech 85-75, and then the Jets beat GPC 60-58 at Jaguar Arena on Feb. 4 when the Jags suffered one of their second-half collapses in the final minutes.

But Tuesday the Jaguars would have none of that, leading all the way—37-32 at the intermission—and dominating in most categories: 41-33 on the boards, 53-37 percent from the floor, 14-25 in turnovers, 15-6 in thefts. They made 43.8 percent of their 3-point attempts, with Hayes hitting three of three.

The defense clamped down when the Jets (14-17) made a little noise early in the second half, and the offense simply went wild.

Producing peak performances, Shareif Adamu and Caleb Hayes led five Jaguars in double figures. Adamu scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Hayes followed with 19 points.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem added 14 points, Brandon Jenkins 13 and James Johnson 12. Johnson pulled down 10 rebounds and snatched five steals, while Jenkins dished off seven assists.

“I just thought we played real well,” Barney said.

A red-hot Khiry White led South Georgia Tech with 29 points. He sank three of four 3-point shots and was 10-for-12 from the foul line.

In Friday’s semifinals, the Jaguars will play fourth-seeded Albany Tech at 7:30 p.m., with the winner advancing to the 4 p.m. title game on Saturday. Albany Tech (16-15) nipped Chattahoochee Tech 63-62 Tuesday in another first-round game.

Georgia Perimeter bested the Titans in both games of their regular-season series, 63-58 at home in January and 49-39 a month ago in Albany.

The 5 p.m. semifinal game Friday will feature second-seed Gordon College (24-7) and No. 3 Middle Georgia College (22-8). Gordon defeated Waycross College Tuesday 60-57, while Middle Georgia won over East Georgia College 67-62.

The semifinals and Saturday's 4 p.m. championship will be video broadcast live on web TV, with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

The GCAA tournament finals will be played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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March 2, 2012

Johnson voted Player of the Year, Barney Coach of the Year

James Johnson

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars swept the top Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association season awards for 2011-12. Alfred Barney was voted Coach of the Year by his peers, and James Johnson was named Player of the Year.

Two other Jaguars—Muhammad Abdul-Aleem and Shareif Adamu—were honorable mention selections.

GPC (23-7) won the regular season title in the GCAA and will host South Georgia Tech in the region tournament quarterfinals at Jaguar Arena on the Decatur Campus on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Johnson, a sophomore from Milwaukee who transferred to GPC from Highland Community College in Illinois, consistently displayed a remarkable scoring touch around the basket and toughness on the boards. He averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Jaguars, among the GCAA leaders in both categories.

Abdul-Aleem, a sophomore from Atlanta who played at W.D. Mohammed High School, averaged 13 points and eight rebounds as a swingman while stepping out of the shadow of his higher-scoring twin brother, Musa, who was forced to sit out the season with a foot injury.

Alfred Barney

Adamu, a sophomore transfer from Alabama State in NCAA Division 1, came on strong down the stretch playing significant minutes off the bench. He averaged 10 points and six rebounds.

Joining Johnson on the all-region first team were Jarvis Williams of Gordon, Jamorris Gaines of Albany Tech, Shane Heyward of Middle Georgia and Lamar Richardson of East Georgia. Williams was named Freshman of the Year, the honor GPC’s Musa Abdul-Aleem won last year.

The second team was Asauhn Dixon-Tatum of Chattahoochee Tech, Darius Minor of Atlanta Metro, Darius Tookes of Waycross, Ryan Fleming of Gordon and Khiry White of South Georgia Tech. Dixon-Tatum was named Defensive Player of the Year.

Joining Muhammad Abdul-Aleem and Adamu on the honorable mention team were Charles Shedrick of Atlanta Metro, Sean Tate of Chatthoochee Tech and Kentavious “Tae” Clowers of South Georgia Tech.

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February 18, 2012

Jaguars beat Waycross on Sophomore Night, will host No. 8 seed in tournament

Overcoming a ballhandling hiccup here and there, the Georgia Perimeter Jaguars closed out the regular season Saturday night with a 68-53 victory over Waycross College.

Now they must wait. And then wait some more.

As regular season champions of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, the Jaguars know they host the eighth-seeded team in a play-in game March 6. Because of the dogfight for seeding in the rest of the league, they might not know the identity of that opponent for 10 days or so.

“We don’t want them to get rusty,” said GPC coach Alfred Barney of his players. “It’s a fine line. We don’t want to overwork them, but we don’t want to underwork them.”

On the other hand, the nine-man roster should be rested and refreshed.

Against Waycross, the Jaguars (23-7, 14-4) produced an energetic start on defense and a 30-11 lead. It was 40-19 at halftime, 47-21 early in the second half.

Waycross (17-9, 7-7) countered with a press and cut its deficit to 12 before the Jaguars restored order with about four minutes remaining. A brief moment or two brought back bad memories of Tuesday’s overtime loss to Chattahoochee Tech.

“We just can’t finish out ballgames,” said Barney. “The most disappointing this is that the mistakes we are making are nothing new. Now if you lose you go home, so we can’t make those mistakes.”

Shareif Adamu, who usually plays off the bench but was in the starting lineup for Sophomore Night, benefited from some snappy passing near the basket and rolled up 13 points in the first half, 15 for the game.

Brandon Jenkins had 12 points, all on 3-pointers, and James Johnson also had 12 as the Jaguars shot 52 percent from the floor.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem led the Jaguars with nine rebounds.

KeShaun Mayfield, who stepped in at point guard with Kelcey Walker injured, led the Swamp Foxes with 16 points. Stan Maxwell had 14.

Darius Tookes was held to five points, about a third of his average, all of them the free throw line. As a team, Waycross shot 29 percent.

“We play good defense,” said Barney, who traditionally builds his teams along those lines. “We’ve just got to finish games.”

The Jaguars honored the six sophomores on their roster before the game — Adamu, Abdul-Aleem, Johnson, Jenkins, Christopher Blunt and Terrance Talton. A redshirted player, Abdul-Aleem’s twin brother Musa, has a year of eligibility remaining but has signed to play next season at South Florida.

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February 14, 2012

Jags stumble in closing seconds of regulation, lose in OT

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars are getting to be old hands at playing close games. But even though the Jaguars are regular season champions of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, not everything has gone their way.

Tuesday night’s was one of those games that got away, as the Jaguars watched a seven-point lead in the final 30 seconds of regulation turn into a 79-73 overtime loss to Chattahoochee Technical College.

“Same old story. We’ve got to start closing out games before the tournament gets here,” said GPC coach Alfred Barney, who has seen his team fail to close seemingly done deals several times.

The bad result overshadowed a stellar night by potential GCAA Player of the Year James Johnson--27 points and 15 rebounds. Shareif Adamu had 14 points and nine boards. Caleb Hayes contributed a career-high 12 assists.

The Jaguars (22-7, 13-4) seemingly had things under control when Hayes made two free throws with 29 seconds remaining for a 65-58 lead. Things still looked promising at the 13.5-second mark, even after two free throws and a clutch 3-pointer by Sean Tate.

Then disaster struck.

On the inbounds play, the Golden Eagles’ Brannon Hopkins made a steal and was fouled. His two free throws tied the score at 65, and the final shot for the Jaguars, a 3-point attempt by Hayes, went awry.

The Jaguars went ahead in the overtime with two quick buckets, then wound up putting Chattahoochee Tech (17-10, 7-9) on the free throw line too much. Hopkins put the Golden Eagles ahead 76-73 with a trey with 39 seconds left, and GPC never recovered.

Devarek Houston led Chattahoochee Tech with 19 points, followed by Asauhn Dixon-Tatum with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Tate had 14 points, including 9-for-10 on free throws.

Chattahoochee Tech plays at Gordon on Thursday and at home against Central Georgia Tech on Sunday as it fights for a place in the eight-team GCAA field. The Jaguars will host the eighth seed in a play-in game on March 6 and, with a win, move on to host the semifinals and final on March 9-10.

GPC finishes its regular season Saturday, hosting Waycross College at 7 p.m. A pregame ceremony will honor the Jaguar sophomores, and the game will be audio webcast, beginning at 6:50, with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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February 11, 2012

Jaguars clinch GCAA first-place finish

Lock-down defense enabled the Georgia Perimeter College men’s basketball team to lock up the regular season title of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

The Jaguars (22-6, 13-3) slogged out a 49-39 win Saturday at Albany Technical College in their final road gig. They lead by three games with two to go in regulation play in the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

The first encounter of the final home stretch is a home game with Chattahoochee Tech on Tuesday. Then Waycross College visits on Saturday.

The GPC coaches intend to approach both games as if there is something at stake. The goal is to build momentum entering the region playoffs.

They will look for improved offense, though the defense could not get much better. It held Albany to 27 percent from the field, including 22 percent on 3-point shots.

After Jamorris Gaines burned the Jaguars for 14 points in the first half—highlighted by a four-point play—they clamped down and held him to three during the second.

For the Jaguars, James Johnson was a force at both ends of the court, with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Shareif Adamu contributed 10 points and Caleb Hayes five assists.

GPC, which defeated Albany Tech by five points last month, gradually widened its two-point lead at intermission to a dozen with about six minutes to go. The Titans (14-14) could not get closer than eight down the stretch.

The Chatt Tech game Tuesday will begin at 7:30 and will be audio webcast with a link at www.gpc.edu. Saturday’s 7 p.m. game with Waycross also will be broadcast online, beginning at 6:50.

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February 9, 2012

Jaguars pad GCAA lead with 62-52 win at Middle Georgia

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars moved into the driver’s seat in the race for first place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Thursday with a 62-52 road victory over Middle Georgia College.

The Jaguars are 12-3 in the GCAA with three games remaining. With the victory in Cochran, they pushed second-place Middle Georgia to 8-5, 17-7 overall.

“We kept our poise down the stretch tonight, even when things weren’t going our way,” said head coach Alfred Barney. “When we needed a basket, we got a basket; when we needed a defensive stop, we got a stop.”

Lots of stops, in fact. The Jaguars held Middle Georgia without a basket for essentially the last 10 minutes of the game, allowing only a meaningless hoop in the final seconds.

Middle Georgia also played good defense, keeping the game close until the Jaguars pulled away near the end. Shareif Adamu and Muhammad Abdul-Aleem paced the Jaguars with 16 points apiece. Caleb Hayes added nine points and three assists.

Brentine Taylor scored 10 points to lead the Warriors, followed by Shane Heyward with nine. Middle edged the Jaguars on the glass 37-34.

But the Jags had the advantage from the floor, shooting 45 percent compared with Middle’s 37. And the Jaguars improved a statistic that has been a concern—they sank 15 of 19 attempts from the line, while the Warriors made eight of 18.

The team that finishes first in the GCAA regular season will get to host the semifinals of the tournament March 9-10 if it survives its play-in game on March 6. Given the balance of the league, that’s no lock.

“Even the two teams who won’t make the tournament would be tough,” Barney said. “The eighth seed could beat the one seed; the seventh seed could beat the No. 2. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day.”

The Jaguars next play Saturday at Albany Technical College at 4 p.m. The next home game is Tuesday against Chattahoochee Technical College, which will be audio webcast with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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February 7, 2012

Johnson nets 21 as Jaguars hold off Atlanta Metro 66-60

Led by James Johnson’s 21 points, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars maintained their lead in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association with a hard-fought 66-60 victory over Atlanta Metropolitan College Tuesday night at Decatur Campus.

After leading by as much as 13 points in the first half—and 39-32 at the intermission—Georgia Perimeter let the lead slip in the second half. The Red-Eyed Panthers closed the gap to 52-50 with 5:54 remaining in the game, and the teams battled down to the final seconds before it was decided.

“We’ve got to learn to close our games,” said GPC head coach Alfred Barney. “We have no sense of taking care of the ball down the stretch. When we were in our 16-game winning streak we always played better in the second half. Tonight we went four or five minutes without scoring.”

The victory sets the stage for a showdown at Middle Georgia College Thursday. The Jaguars are 20-6 overall and hold down first place with an 11-3 record in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. Middle Georgia is right behind them with an 8-4 league record.

Christopher Blunt followed Johnson in scoring with a sizzliing five-for-five night from 3-point range for 15 points. Muhammad Abdul-Aleem added 12 points for the Jaguars.

Christopher Hayes had a good night as floor general with seven assists and five steals. Shareif Adamu led all rebounders with nine boards and Abdul-Aleem pulled down eight.

For Atlanta Metro (11-14, 6-7) Chaed Weillian scored 15 points, Charles Shedrick 13 and Denarius Lockhart 10. The Panthers made only 22 of 59 attempts from the floor and made 12 of 23 from the foul line.

The cross-town rivals had battled to five overtimes in their past two meetings, a single overtime victory for the Jaguars in January and their classic four-overtime win last February. Tuesday, though Metro was ice cold from the floor and charity stripe, the Panthers still made it a nail-biter in the end.

Johnson hit five of six free throws in the closing minutes, which helped keep GPC in control. Leading by four in the final minute, Adamu stole the ball, Blunt served up a perfect alley-oop and Johnson slam-dunked it to give the Jags a seemingly comfortable 65-59 edge.

But Shedrick answered with a basket, Darius Minor sank a free throw, and the Panthers forced two turnovers in the closing 20 seconds. Yet they couldn’t overcome the Jaguar defense to score.

“We had four sophomores on the floor—they should have known better than to commit turnovers like that,” Barney said. “We’ve got to learn to protect the ball.”

Thursday’s game at Middle Georgia will be audio webcast at 7:25 p.m. To listen, find the link under “Game Webcasts” at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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February 4, 2012

Jaguars lose in closing minutes; retain first place in league

After leading nearly the entire way, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars lost their first home game in the conference Saturday 60-58 to South Georgia Tech on the Decatur Campus.

The Jaguars led 34-23 at halftime and were still up 53-47 with 5:30 to go in the game. South Georgia Tech never led until 1:49 remained, when B.J. Davis scored to put the visitors up 57-55.

Khiry White lobbed a pass to Tae Clowers for a crucial layup with 20 seconds remaining, putting the Jets ahead 59-55. A late 3-pointer by Muhammad Abdul-Aleem wasn’t enough for the Jaguars to recover.

GPC, ranked No. 18 in this week’s national poll, remains in first place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association with a 10-3 record, 19-6 overall. South Georgia Tech improves to 11-12, 4-7.

The Jaguars shot 44 percent to the Jets’ 37 percent and outrebounded them 39-31 but didn’t get a big scoring day from anybody. Brandon Jenkins and James Johnson had 11 points apiece and Shareif Adamu eight. Johnson was the leading rebounder with nine.

Davis led South Georgia Tech with 19 points, including three 3-pointers at the beginning of the second half. Phillip Flowers had 16 points and White 12. Clowers, who sat out the first half, finished with eight points, 10 under his average.

The Jaguars next play cross-town rival Atlanta Metropolitan College Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The game will audio broadcast online with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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January 31, 2012

First-place Jaguars stumble on the road, losing at Central Georgia Tech

Georgia Perimeter College coach Alfred Barney speaks often of “holding serve” by winning region games at home, knowing that stumbles on the road are inevitable.

The Jaguars, who are 5-0 in region matchups at home, hit one of those rough patches Tuesday night, losing 59-49 to Central Georgia Tech in Macon.

Nevertheless, the Jaguars remain in control of the race to finish atop the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association and host the region semifinals and final in early March. They are 10-2, and all their rivals have at least four losses.

Plus, four of the Jaguars’ final six games are at home, starting Saturday against South Georgia Tech at 4 p.m. The game will be webcast. Go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and look under “game webcasts” for a link.

GPC (19-5 overall) led 25-13 early and 29-24 at halftime before everything unraveled against Central Georgia Tech, a team they beat by 22 points at home before Christmas.

“We just couldn’t score in the second half,” said Barney. “We scored only five points in the last 10 minutes. We just didn’t get tough.”

Shareif Adamu was the only Jaguar in double figures with 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Overall, the Jaguars shot 30 percent (19-for-63) and made just two 3-pointers on 16 attempts.

The leading scorers on the team, James Johnson and Muhammad Abdul-Aleem, were held to seven and eight points, respectively.

Johnson had eight rebounds and Adamu six as the Jaguars lost the battle of the boards, 44-37.

Abdul-Aleem and point guard Caleb Hayes had five assists apiece.

Tyler Kendrick had 23 points and 10 assists for Central Georgia Tech (4-8, 9-13), making four of his six 3-point attempts.

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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January 26, 2012

GPC bounces back to pad league lead

The Georgia Perimeter College men’s basketball team put the memory of a devastating loss behind it and launched a new win streak Thursday with a 64-58 victory at Waycross College.

The Jaguars had seen their 16-game run of success shattered last weekend with a 28-point thrashing at the hands of Gordon College, a team they had beaten earlier in the month. Waycross, second to GPC in the Region 17 standings, had a chance to close the gap.

But the Jaguars responded, breaking open a halftime tie to control the second half while improving to 18-4, including 10-1 in the Georgia College Athletic Association.

James Johnson carried the Jaguars with 25 points and eight rebounds, both team highs. He was the only GPC player to reach double figures in scoring.

The Swamp Foxes (13-5), who began the night second in the GCAA standings, got 12 points, five assists and four steals out of Darius Tookes from Lithonia.

Waycross forged a 29-17 lead, only to give it up by halftime, 32-32, thanks to a 15-0 run by the Jaguars that was capped by an NBA 3-pointer by Brandon Jenkins. The game was tight throughout, with seven lead changes. There were also five ties.

The Jaguars were efficient down the stretch, avoiding turnovers against Waycross’ pressure defense and not allowing the Swamp Foxes to draw closer than a three-point deficit.

GPC hits the road again next Tuesday for Macon to play Central Georgia Tech. The next home game is Feb. 4 versus South Georgia Tech, which will be audio webcast beginning at 3:55 with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

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January 21, 2012

Gordon hailstorm ends Jaguars’ 16-game run

Georgia Perimeter College went ice cold and Gordon College produced a hailstorm of field goals to defeat the league-leading Jaguars 75-47 Saturday in Barnesville.

The upset, coming shortly after a hailstorm ripped through Barnesville and left the town covered in white, ended Georgia Perimeter’s 16-game winning streak. GPC had not lost since Nov. 18.

The Jaguars slip to 18-4 overall, 9-1 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Associatioin, also known as Region 17 of the NJCAA. GPC remains in first place in the league, but the loss sets up a showdown for the Jags at Waycross College Thursday. The Swamp Foxes also have lost only one game in the GCAA.

Freshman forward George Wood drained a 3-point field goal in the first minute Saturday for a 3-2 lead, and that was about the only good news for the Jaguars. Gordon (13-5, 3-4) went on a 9-0 run to grab a 19-12 lead at the 10:13 mark in the first half. They took a 37-29 halftime lead with a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Ryan Fleming.

GPC couldn’t contain the Highlander guards, Fleming and Marquis Barnes, as Gordon scorched the net in the second half. The Highlanders sank 46 percent of their field goal attempts in the game.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars hit only 30.6 percent from the floor—making only eight of 30 in the second half—and shot a miserable 44.4 percent from the free throw line. Gordon dropped in 66.7 percent of its attempts from the charity stripe.

James Johnson and Muhammad Abdul-Aleem led Georgia Perimeter with 12 points apiece, and Christopher Blunt added nine.

Barnes finished with a game-high 19 points for the hosts and Fleming had 17. The duo accounted for seven 3-point baskets. Reigarvious Williams added 15 points.

The Highlanders outrebounded GPC 49-34.

After traveling to Waycross Jan. 26 and Central Georgia Tech Jan. 31, the Jaguars return home to host South Georgia Tech on Feb. 4. That game will be audio webcast beginning at 3:55. Visit www.gpc.edu/athletic to find the link under “Game Webcasts.”

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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January 19, 2012

Near-instant replay: Hayes’ 3-pointer beats Middle Georgia 67-64

For the second time in 10 days, a final-seconds play didn’t go quite as diagrammed. Again, the ball ended up in the hands of point guard Caleb Hayes.

And, again, he knocked down a game-winning trey. Hayes made his 3-pointer from about 25 feet out on the left side with 3.6 seconds remaining Thursday night, giving the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars a 67-64 victory over Middle Georgia on the Decatur Campus.

“He is confident enough to shoot the basketball,” said GPC coach Alfred Barney. “A lot of guys don’t want to take that shot.”

As was the case in Hayes’ game-winning shot at Atlanta Metro, the Jaguars wanted leading scorer James Johnson to take the final shot in a tied game. But Johnson was well covered, and Hayes stepped up, keeping GPC undefeated in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

The Jaguars’ 16th consecutive victory left them 9-0 in the region, 18-3 overall.

“The more you win, the more people get ready to play you,” said Barney. “They bring their A-game.”

As usual, the Jaguars brought their A-game defense. At the other end, they big nights from Muhammad Abdul-Aleem (20 points, 14 rebounds) and Johnson (14 points, 7 rebounds).

Hayes’ late trey gave him 11 points, and Shareif Adamu added 10 off the bench, along with 7 rebounds.

The Jaguars broke away from a halftime tie at 34 by holding Middle Georgia (12-5, 3-3) scoreless for almost the first five minutes of the second half. GPC still led by eight with two minutes remaining when Warriors coach Scott Moe decided to test the Jaguars at the free throw line.

They nearly flunked. After making only two of eight free throws, the Jaguars saw Middle Georgia creep within two with a 3-pointer by Javan Wells. The Warriors immediately got the ball back when George Wood tried to throw a baseball-type inbounds pass from the baseline and hit the ceiling.

Shane Heyward, whose previous two shots had been blocked by Adamu, tied the score at 64 with a basket with 26 seconds remaining, off an assist by Mike Wheeler. The Jaguars ran time off the clock before Hayes’ heroics.

Heyward led Middle Georgia with 13 points and 12 rebounds. The Jaguars held the Warriors to 36 percent shooting, but Barney was displeased they got 78 tries at the basket.

“It’s not the first shots that are beating us, it’s the second shots,” he said. “They had 19 offensive rebounds.”

The Jaguars next play Saturday at Gordon at 4 p.m. The game will be audio webcast. For a link, go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and check under “Game Webcasts.”

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January 17, 2012

Defense keeps Jaguars unbeaten in region

Albany Tech was on the ropes several times, but never stopped fighting. The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars never stopped counterpunching with their great defense and took away a 63-58 victory Tuesday night at Jaguar Arena on the Decatur Campus.

“It’s better to play bad and win than play good and lose,” GPC coach Alfred Barney said.

The Jaguars won their 15th straight game and moved to 8-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (Region 17 of the NJCAA). They are 17-3 overall and figure to move into the national top 20 when this week’s poll is released.

James Johnson, displaying a marvelous touch around the basket, led the Jaguars with 22 points and 14 rebounds. GPC’s other big scorer, Muhammad Abdul-Aleem, had 16 points to go with nine rebounds.

Playing off the bench, Shareif Adamu had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Point guard Caleb Hayes, one of the top assist men in the league, handed out five, and Brandon Jenkins snatched five steals.

The Jaguars jumped on Albany Tech 13-2 in the opening minutes, but it took a near-impossible fall-away 3-pointer by Abdul-Aleem at the halftime buzzer to keep the Jaguars ahead by seven, 30-23.

When it appeared GPC would land the knockout punch, Albany Tech rallied but never took the lead. The closest the Titans got was 57-55 on a three-point play by Terrance Noel with about 2 minutes left.

“We talked about it after the game,” said Barney. “This was a wake-up call. We’ve got to play better down the stretch.”

Ultimately, GPC made big plays, including a blocked shot by Adamu on Noel and the two free throws by Johnson that wrapped up the game. A missed shot and an unforced turnover in the final minute were crucial for Albany Tech (10-9, 4-3).

The Jaguars held Jamorris Gaines to 15 points, five under his league-leading average. The three-point play represented the only points for Noel, who had averaged 27 in his three previous outings.

As usual, Barney had accolades for his defense. As for the offense: “We’re playing good defense, but we’re going two or three minutes at a time without scoring,” he said. “We’re not going to be able to do that down the line.”

Next up: Middle Georgia at home, Thursday at 7:30. The game will be webcast on iHigh.com. Go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and look under “Game Webcasts” for a link.

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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January 14, 2012

GPC posts 14th consecutive victory

James Johnson poured in 25 points to lead Georgia Perimeter College to an 85-75 victory over South Georgia Technical College Saturday in Americus.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem added 17 points, and Shareif Adamu netted 12 as the Jaguars extended their winning streak to 14 games. But it wasn’t accomplished without a valiant fight from the young Jets.

“Any time you come down here it’s a battle,” said GPC head coach Alfred Barney. “They had 18 offensive rebounds in the first half. They were scoring on second shots. They wanted it. But we stuck in there.”

The win keeps Georgia Perimeter (16-3, 7-0) undefeated in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association and at the top of the conference standings.

Caleb Hayes and Abdul-Aleem opened the game with two quick 3-point baskets, and the Jaguars never trailed. But their 41-31 lead at the intermission never seemed safe.

Freshman forward Kentavious Clowers kept South Georgia Tech (8-9, 1-4) in the game with his aggressive, physical brand of play. The Jets drew within four points early in the second half, 47-43.

But midway through the period, Christopher Blunt scored 10 points to give the Jaguars a cushion that lasted a short while. Then Khiry White and Phillip Flowers, the only two sophomores on coach Steven Wright’s roster, led a 15-4 run with brilliant drives and 3-point shooting.

“They started to hit off the screens, which we’d stopped in the first half,” Barney said.

With the margin whittled to five, 78-73, the Jaguars again rallied with Brandon Jenkins scoring four points going into the final minute and Johnson and Abdul-Aleem icing it with free throws.

Clowers led Tech with 23 points. White finished with 18, after being held by Jenkins to one point in the first half, and Flowers had 16.

Tuesday the Jaguars host Albany Technical College at 7:30 p.m., with the online audio broadcast beginning at 7:25. The broadcast link can be found at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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January 12, 2012

Abdul-Aleem, Adamu lead Jaguars past Gordon

Coming off a big overtime victory at Atlanta Metro, the Georgia Perimeter College coaching staff feared a letdown. Not to worry.

Instead of letting down, the Jaguars let loose with another torrent of withering defense Thursday night, beating Gordon 80-54 at Jaguar Arena on the Decatur Campus.

“We told them you have to win at home and steal some on the road,” said GPC coach Alfred Barney. “If you beat Metro and then come home and lose to Gordon, you’re right back with everybody else.”

The Jaguars’ 13th consecutive victory left them 15-3 overall, 6-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

For the third straight game, Muhammad Abdul-Aleem was the Jaguars’ leading scorer, with 23 points to go with seven rebounds. Shareif Adamu had a double-double off the bench (20 points, 11 rebounds). James Johnson also had a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds).

“Shareif played really well,” noted Barney.

Another pleasing thing to the coaches: The Jaguars logged 22 assists on their 33 field goals. Adamu led the way with five.

“I thought we shared the ball really well,” said Barney.

GPC led 43-30 at halftime but saw that lead whittled to seven in the second half before putting the game away with a 19-2 run.

Marquis Barnes and Michael Tankersley led Gordon (11-5, 1-4) with 14 points apiece. The Jaguars held the Highlanders’ leading scorer, Jarvis Williams, to nine, about half his average.

The Jaguars, sitting atop the GCAA standings, will have only a day to rest before meeting South Georgia Tech in Americus on Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be audio webcast, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

“They’ll be all fired up and waiting on us,” said Barney.

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January 10, 2012

Hayes’ buzzer shot lifts Jaguars over Atlanta Metro in overtime

The Jaguars are seeing improvement. Last year they had to play four overtimes to win at Atlanta Metropolitan College. This year they won on the Red-Eyed Panthers’ court with only one overtime.

Caleb Hayes sank the game-winner from the right sideline.

Freshman guard Caleb Hayes lofted a 3-point shot at the buzzer that gave Georgia Perimeter College a thrilling 65-62 overtime victory at Atlanta Metropolitan College Tuesday.

As a result GPC took sole possession of first place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association with a 5-0 record, 14-3 overall.

The game was eerily similar to the Jaguars’ 100-92 quadruple-overtime victory last season on Valentine’s Day.

Georgia Perimeter struggled offensively in this year’s seesaw mêlée, but its trademark defense held tight, giving the Jaguars time for the late game heroics that pulled it out.

“We’ll take it,” said GPC coach Alfred Barney. “We didn’t play well. We played hard, but we didn’t execute.”

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem arched in a pressured fall-away jumper to tie the game 55-55 at the end of regulation, and in the last minute of overtime he produced a 3-point play that gave GPC a 62-59 lead.

But Metro’s Timothy Martin canned a three-pointer to tie the score with 18 seconds remaining. That set the stage for Hayes’ heroics.

After a GPC timeout, the Jaguars got the ball to James Johnson, their top scorer. Double-teamed, he barely managed to avoid a tie-up, flipping the ball out to Hayes along the right sideline.

With a hand in his face, Hayes launched a high shot from just inside the out-of-bounds line. It settled into the net as the buzzer blared, and the Jaguars and fans flooded the court to celebrate.

Abdul-Aleem led all scorers in the defensive struggle with 15 points. Terrance Talton had 12 and Hayes 11.

Charles Shedrick paced Atlanta Metro (9-7, 4-1) with 12 points, including a couple of spectacular 3-point buckets. Martin added 11 points and Khambrel Hugley had 10.

Brandon Jenkins, Christopher Blunt and Hayes held Metro’s high-scoring Darius Minor to four points.

“Our defense played very well, but the offense—it was out of character,” Barney said. “One pass and a jump shot—no pass and a jump shot. We’ve got to keep sharing the ball. We’ve got to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

Shedrick opened the game with a long 3-point basket in the first 10 seconds of play, and Metro went on to grab an early 8-0 lead.

Midway through the half, GPC gained its first lead, 18-16 on a 3-pointer by Al’keem Roulhac. The lead changed hands 10 more times after that.

Thursday the Jaguars bring their 12-game winning streak to their home court against Gordon College. The game will be broadcast online with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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January 7, 2012

Abdul-Aleem, Johnson get double-doubles in 11th consecutive win

When the calendar turns to January in the Georgia Collegiate Basketball Association, there are no easy days at the office.

That was evident again Saturday as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars beat East Georgia 80-71 at Jaguar Arena on the Decatur Campus, two days after winning a tough road game at Chattahoochee Tech.

Now it’s on to Atlanta Metro on the road Tuesday night, at home Thursday night against vastly improved Gordon, then a tough Saturday road trip to Americus to play South Georgia Tech. And so it goes.

“You’ve got to hold serve at home and beat some people on the road, then hope they beat some other people,” said GPC coach Alfred Barney. “It’s going to be like that all year.”

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem led with 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Jaguars extended their winning streak to 11 games. James Johnson also had a double-double—18 points and 10 rebounds.

Brandon Jenkins (11) and Terrance Talton (10) also were double-figure scorers. Caleb Hayes had five assists.

The Jaguars—13-3, 4-0 in the GCAA—took a 39-29 halftime lead. When East Georgia (11-5, 2-2) whittled its deficit to three midway through the second half, GPC closed the deal with shutout defense for nearly five minutes.

Abdul-Aleem and Johnson led the 12-0 run, which also included a pair of foul shots by George Wood and key jumper by Al’Keem Roulhac. Johnson scored on a fast break for a 67-52 lead with 5:30 remaining.

“We’re playing pretty good defense down the stretch and making good decisions,” said Barney.

Tony Raymond led East Georgia with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Jordan Johnson’s 19 points included four 3-pointers. Thomas Fryar had 14 first-half points before sitting out the remainder of the game with an injury.

As they did in Swainsboro, the Jaguars did a good job denying Lamar Richardson the ball. The Bobcats’ ace long-range shooter was 2-for-13 from the field and finished with six points, on two treys.

“We always play our ‘no-touch’ defense on him, because if he gets going early, the others feed off him,” said Barney, who was pleased with the work done by Jenkins and others.

Tuesday’s visit to Atlanta Metro will be broadcast online with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic, beginning at 7:25. It will be a clash for first place—both teams are 4-0 in the GCAA (Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association). Last year the two teams battled to four overtimes at Atlanta Metro’s gymnasium, and GPC eventually won the marathon.

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January 5, 2012

Johnson’s big night sends Jaguars past Chattahoochee Tech

Georgia Perimeter College’s most consistent player on offense turned things up a notch Thursday night.

James Johnson, shown earlier in the season, dropped in 32 points, including two key 3-pointers. Photo/Stephanie Nice

James Johnson scored 32 points, about double his season average, as the Jaguars opened 2012 with their 10th straight win, defeating Chattahoochee Tech 86-75 at the Smyrna Community Center.

“He’s been consistent all year, but tonight he stepped it up,” said GPC coach Alfred Barney. “It’s time to step things up going into conference play.”

Every time Chattahoochee Tech made a run in the second half, Johnson turned up big. His follow shot near the basket ’ his 25th and 26th points ’ gave the Jaguars a 64-46 lead with 11:08 remaining. Late in the game, after the Golden Eagles crept back within seven, Johnson buried 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions.

The second trey was particularly notable, coming after Shareif Adamu saved an errant pass from going out of bounds.

Of course, Barney wasn’t too thrilled Chattahoochee Tech was able to mount a threat in the first place.

“We’ve got to finish out games better,” he said.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem added 13 points for the Jaguars (12-3, 3-0). Terrance Talton and Shareif Adamu had 12 apiece.

The Jaguars played once again without Musa Abdul-Aleem, Muhammad’s twin brother and the Freshman Player of the Year in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association last season. His season remains on hold as he recovers from a stress fracture in his left foot.

“Time to roll with what we’ve got,” said Barney, who had nine healthy players on Thursday night.

The Jaguars didn’t do much rolling early as they tried to work the ball inside and ran afoul of Chattahoochee Tech’s Ashaun Dixon-Tatum, the national leader in blocked shots. Ahead 36-34 at halftime, they decided “we weren’t going to be able to get to the basket against him,” said Barney.

Stepping away and shooting jumpers over the 6-foot-11 Dixon-Tatum worked better. It didn’t hurt that Johnson seemed to be everywhere on the court ’ shooting, passing, rebounding and, of course, playing the Jaguars’ brand of tough defense.

Point guard Sean Tate led Chattahoochee Tech (10-5, 1-4) with 18 points and, likely, a few bruises. Sixteen of the points came at the free throw line, where the Golden Eagles enjoyed a substantial advantage.

Darius Miller added 16 points and Brannon Hopkins 15 for Chattahoochee Tech, which has had its own problems with injuries.

The Jaguars next play at home Saturday at 4 p.m. against East Georgia College, a team they beat 77-63 in Swainsboro on the last day of November.

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December 28, 2011

Jaguar Journal: Jags enter 2012 with high expectations

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars enter the new year a very respectable 11-3, with a couple of notations.

Sophomore forward-post James Johnson leads the Jaguars in scoring with 14.7 points per game and averages 8 rebounds.

“We should be 13-1,” says head coach Alfred Barney. He”s referring to a pair of “what ifs.”

The first came in the second game of the season, when James Johnson”s short jump shot rolled off the rim at the buzzer, letting nationally ranked Northwest Florida State escape Jaguar Arena with an 80-79 victory. Northwest Florida remains undefeated and has ascended to the No. 2 ranking in the country.

The Jaguars” other hiccup came the next weekend, when GPC led Action Sports Academy by seven points with three minutes remaining and lost 65-63 after some shaky ballhandling in the backcourt.

“We”ve got to learn to take care of the ball down the stretch,” says Barney, who remains concerned about that aspect of the Jaguars” play.

But anything outside the region is about to become ancient history. The only thing that matters now is that the Jaguars are 2-0 in the region with 16 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association games left. The first comes Jan. 5 when GPC plays Chattahoochee Tech on the road.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem, a sophomore guard, averages 8.6 rebounds and 13.1 points per game.

When the Jaguars take the court at the Smyrna Civic Center, it is expected to be with Musa Abdul-Aleem, the GCAA Freshman of the Year in 2011. At 6 feet 5, he creates matchup problems at guard and can shoot 3-pointers from anywhere on the court with anybody in the league. Abdul-Aleem, who has signed to play in the Big East for the University of South Florida next season, missed the first two months of the season with a stress fracture in his left foot.

With his return, the Jaguars boast nearly an entire lineup of 3-point threats. Brandon Jenkins, long known as one of the best man-to-man defenders in the league, has added long-range shooting to his repertoire. Christopher Blunt has great range, and point guard Caleb Hayes has shown potential.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem, Musa”s twin brother, and James Johnson do most of their work inside but can step outside the arc when the situation demands. Johnson has become one of the most consistent scorers in the GCAA, and his 14.7 average ranks among the league leaders. Muhammad Abdul-Aleem, getting more minutes in the absence of his brother, has stepped up his offense from last season, averaging 13.1.

Abdul-Aleem also has become one of the better rebounders in the league, showing a knack for swooping inside even when he is guarding a man on the wing. His average on the boards is 8.6, with Johnson at 8.0.

The Jaguars have struggled occasionally on offense, but not with Barney”s first love—defense. Opponents have averaged 56.4 points, ranking the Jaguars second in the league behind defending champion Waycross, which has played a much softer early schedule.

After Chattahoochee Tech, the Jaguars play their first home game of 2012 on Jan. 7 at 4 p.m. against vastly improved East Georgia, a team they beat 77-63 in Swainsboro on Nov. 30.

On Jan. 10, the Jaguars travel to Atlanta Metro, 3-0 in the region heading to the new year. The Trailblazers (formerly Red Eyed Panthers) will be seeking revenge for the Jaguars” classic victory in their gym last season, 100-92 in four overtimes.

JAGUAR JOLTS: Stefan Kakuca, the Jaguars” tallest player at 6 feet 11, left the team after the first semester to attend to family matters in his native Serbia. … The Jaguars” other Serbian, 6-9 Luka Basta, will miss the rest of the season after knee surgery, a major setback for the team given his team play and basketball IQ. … Caleb Hayes is one of the top assist men in the league, averaging 5.2. … The game at Chattahoochee Tech will be video webcast by the Golden Eagles. Check www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts” for a link. … The 10 teams in the GCAA will fight for eight tournament spots. The four top seeds host first round games and the highest seed remaining hosts the semifinals and finals March 9-10, a week later than usual. The tournament champion gets a ticket to the nationals in Hutchinson, Kan. … The GCAA has produced four different champions the past four seasons—GPC, South Georgia Tech, Middle Georgia and Waycross—and it appears the league will be more balanced than ever in 2012.

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December 12, 2011

Jaguars take 9-game win streak into holiday break

Unfortunately for the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars, there will be no shots to block, passes to steal or fast breaks to finish for three-plus weeks.

The Jaguars (11-3) go to holiday break with a winning streak that became nine Monday night with an 82-63 victory over Middle Georgia Technical College on the Decatur Campus.

“I hate it that we have to go on break because we’re playing pretty well,” said Jaguars coach Alfred Barney. “Now we have to sit for three weeks and get rusty. But so do the other teams.”

Credit defense and rebounding (58-45) for much of Monday’s success. Brandon Jenkins and the Jaguar defense stifled Middle Georgia Tech’s 3-point man, Javarus Mallard, who came into the game averaging 23 points per game. He had eight points, all in the first half, four on one incredible play when he made a near-impossible trey from the right sideline and was fouled.

“We put our no-touch defense on him,” said Barney. “We wanted him not to touch the ball so he couldn’t score.” Jenkins handled that assignment exceedingly well, with relief help from Christopher Blunt.

Jenkins also had another good night on offense, 16 points with a couple of 3-pointers. James Johnson led GPC with 18 points to go with 11 rebounds. Muhammad Abdul-Aleem also produced a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Blunt and George Wood finished with 10 points apiece, giving the Jaguars balance and five men in double figures.

The Jaguars took a 45-32 halftime lead and easily held off Middle Georgia Tech (7-9), an NJCAA Division 3 team with splendid credentials. The Titans have beaten four Division 1 teams—East Georgia, Albany Tech, Chattahoochee Valley and Denmark Tech of South Carolina.

Backup guard Brandyn Little led the Titans with 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting (4-for-5 on treys). But his teammates had a far rougher time, and as a team the Titans shot 34 percent.

The Jaguars will return from their holiday break Jan. 5, visiting cross-town GCAA foe Chattahoochee Tech in Marietta. The first of 16 consecutive conference encounters, the game will be audio webcast, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.” The next home game is Jan. 7 against East Georgia College, which also will be broadcast online.

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December 9, 2011

Jaguars welcome Central Georgia Tech to Region 17 with a 68-46 win

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars moved to 2-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association on Friday night with a victory that produced big numbers everywhere but on the scoreboard.

After the teams combined for 44 fouls, 56 turnovers and too many players hitting the floor to count, the Jaguars left Jaguar Arena on the Decatur Campus with a few bruises and a well-earned 68-46 victory over Central Georgia Technical College, a new region opponent.

Brandon Jenkins led the Jaguars with 18 points, half of them on 3-pointers. Rod Booker, the most accurate shooter in the league, had 14 points on a 6-for-7 night. James Johnson added a double-double—12 points and 12 rebounds.

In the stretches where the Jaguars had problems at the offensive end, the defense carried the day, forcing 30 turnovers—20 in the first half—and holding Central Georgia Tech to 26 percent shooting.

The Jaguars moved to 10-3 overall going into their final game before the holidays. That will be Monday night at home against Middle Georgia Tech. The game will be webcast, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

GPC set the tone early Friday night by holding the Cougars to 10 consecutive scoreless possessions at the start of the game. But their 8-0 lead rapidly evaporated.

Two quick baskets by Johnson got the Jaguars going late in the half, and they outscored the Cougars 17-4 in the final 6 1/2 minutes for a 34-21 halftime lead.

When it appeared the Cougars (4-4, 0-3 in the GCAA) might get back in the game in the second half, the Jaguars cranked up their defense yet another notch and calmed things down with transition baskets from Terrance Talton and Booker.

In addition to Johnson’s 12 rebounds, Muhammad Abdul-Aleem and Booker contributed seven apiece as the Jaguars won the battle of the boards 49-39.

GPC’s relentless defense once again restricted a top point-producer. Tyler Kendrick, the league’s leading scorer with a 19.3 average, led the Cougars with 15 points.

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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December 7, 2011

Adamu leads scoring parade as Jaguars top 100

Sophomore forward Shareif Adamu scored 20 points, one of five Jaguars in double figures, as Georgia Perimeter College defeated West Georgia Technical College 105-65 Friday in Decatur.

Shareif Adamu made 9 of 12 field goal attempts in scoring 20 points for the Jaguars.

GPC (9-3) reached 100 points for the first time this season and extended its winning streak to seven games.

Jumping off to a 9-0 start and leading 49-22 at the half, the Jaguars had a hot hand. They shot 61 percent from the floor, much of it from fast breaks. Adamu made 9 of 12 field goal attempts.

Muhammed Abdul-Aleem contributed 18 points, 6 of 9 from the floor, while James Johnson hit 6 of 10 field goals and finished with 15 points.

Rounding out the double-digit quintet were Terrance Talton and Caleb Hayes with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Rod Booker contributed 9 and Brandon Jenkins and George Wood 8 each.

Hayes just missed a double-double with 9 assists. Wood pulled down 10 rebounds as GPC dominated the smaller Golden Knights on the boards 52-38.

Demontray McCormick paced West Georgia Tech (4-8) with 27 points, followed by Blair Austin with 14 and Victor Wynn with 11. Demario McMath had 9 rebounds.

Friday the Jaguar men and women host Central Georgia Tech, a new member of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. The women tip off at 5:30 p.m. and the men at 7:30. Both games will be audio webcast at www.gpc.edu/athletic with a link under “Game Webcasts.”

Monday GPC closes out the 2011 portion of its schedule with a visit by Middle Georgia Technical College at 7:30 p.m. That game also will be broadcast online. In January the Jaguars resume the GCAA schedule, beginning with a Jan. 5 cross-town trip to Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta.

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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December 3, 2011

GPC road rally brings 6th straight win

The third time was just as charming as the first two for the Georgia Perimeter College men’s basketball team, which downed Aiken Tech one last time this season.

In the third meeting between the teams within two weeks, GPC overcame a sluggish first half to upend the Knights 66-58 Saturday in Aiken, S.C. It was the sixth straight victory for the Jaguars (8-3), a streak that began Nov. 19 with a 13-point triumph over Aiken at their Decatur gym. Six days later, GPC handled the Knights (3-7) by eight at the Atlanta Metro College Thanksgiving Classic.

James Johnson was GPC’s standout Saturday, scoring 17 points, four more than Muhammed Abdul-Aleem. For Aiken, Kevon Jenkins had 12 and Deantre Johnson 10.

Because of a late change in venue to another campus, GPC did not arrive at the arena in South Carolina until a half-hour before tip-off. The visitors trailed 33-30 at halftime and fell behind by seven soon after the intermission. GPC stormed ahead, only to allow Aiken to tie it 55-55.

The Jaguars closed out the Knights with rugged defense and by hitting free throws down the stretch after misfiring earlier from the line. They finished 17 for 27.

The Jaguars return to their home court Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against West Georgia Technical College. Friday they host new Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association foe Central Georgia Tech at 7:30. That game will be audio broadcast online with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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November 30, 2011

Jenkins’ 23 points help GPC beat East Georgia

Brandon Jenkins, known primarily for his smothering defense, put together a career game Wednesday night in an unlikely place—the offensive end.

Brandon Jenkins made 7 3-point shots, 6 in the second half. Photo/Louie Favorite.

The sophomore guard drained seven 3-pointers, six in the second half as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars held off vastly improved East Georgia College 77-63 at the Bobcats’ arena in Swainsboro.

Jenkins, who came into the game averaging four points, finished with 23.

His patented defense didn’t suffer at all. He led GPC in steals with three and held East Georgia’s Lamar Richardson, one of the league’s established 3-point marksmen, to only 9 points, 7 below his average. The Bobcats had been averaging 96 points per game.

Freshman forward George Wood also turned in a good defensive performance, holding East’s Thomas Fryar to 12 points, below his 16-point average. James Johnson and Shareif Adamu also guarded Fryar at intervals.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem had a double-double—18 points and 15 rebounds. Johnson just missed with 16 points and 9 rebounds.

The Jaguars (7-3) ran their winning streak to five games going into a Saturday game at Aiken Technical College, a team they have beaten twice this season. Their next home game is Dec. 7 against West Georgia Technical College.

The victory over East Georgia, which finished 1-17 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association last season, started oddly. The Jaguars committed a couple of turnovers and quickly found themselves down 9-0 before coach Alfred Barney called a timeout. GPC then went on an 18-9 run to draw even at 18 and led 38-31 at halftime.

In the second half, backed by a boisterous home crowd, the Bobcats (5-2) appeared ready to seize the momentum several times, only to be stopped by Jenkins’ timely 3-pointers. He scored 20 of his points after halftime.

Jordan Johnson led East Georgia with 16 points. Tony Raymond and Thomas Fryar had 12 each. Fryar, one of the league’s top rebounders, along with Abdul-Aleem, finished with 10, but the Jaguars won the battle of the boards 51-43.

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November 26, 2011

Jaguars’ depleted roster wins 4th straight

The Georgia Perimeter College men’s basketball team enters the league portion of its agenda in fine form, if thin in numbers.

Rod Booker contributed to a team effort with 6-for-6 from the field and 6-of-8 from the foul line. Photo/Louie Favorite

The Jaguars won their fourth straight Saturday, 89-44 over Snead State Community College on the closing day of the Atlanta Metro College Thanksgiving Classic.

James Johnson collected 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Jaguars (6-3), while Rod Booker added 18 points.

Relying on an eight-man roster severely reduced by injuries, GPC was in control from the get-go. The Jaguars led the visitors from Boaz, Ala., 43-20 at halftime

“We played very well as a team on both ends of the court,” said head coach Alfred Barney. “We pressured them on defense. We executed offensively. We shared the ball well.”

The Jaguars recorded 17 assists on their 35 baskets. Brandon Jenkins and Caleb Hayes handed out 5 apiece. Hayes and George Wood each snared three steals.

Booker hit all 6 of his shots from the field and sank 6 of 8 from the foul line. Muhammed Abdul-Aleem contributed 16 points and 13 rebounds. The other double-figure scorer was Terrance Talton with 10.

GPC hopes to have some of its idled players back for Wednesday’s game against East Georgia College in Swainsboro. It is the opener of the Jaguars’ Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association schedule. The game will be audio broadcast online with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

GPC’s next home game is Wed., Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. against West Georgia Technical College.

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November 25, 2011

Abdul-Aleem leads Jaguars with 24-point night

With Musa Abdul-Aleem sitting out the first two months of the season with a foot injury, Georgia Perimeter College fans thought they would miss the hyphenated name in news stories and social media reports. But his twin brother, Muhammad, is adding a new meaning to “Abdul-Aleem” in headlines.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem has a hot hand for the Jaguars. Photo/Louie Favorite

After posting 19 points and 16 rebounds Monday, Muhammad Abdul-Aleem pitched in 24 points Friday evening as the Jaguars downed Aiken Technical College 71-63 in the AMC Thanksgiving Classic at Atlanta Metro College. Fellow sophomore forward James Johnson also continued his exceptional scoring pace with 21 points.

But the win was a team effort according to GPC coach Alfred Barney. GPC was ahead by double figures most of the game, including 37-24 at halftime, primarily because of its stifling defense. Barney noted that Terrance Talton and Caleb Hayes contributed good performances off the bench.

GPC has taken the first two of an unusual three-game series with Aiken Tech. When another team pulled out of the invitational tournament, Aiken Tech became the replacement match for the Jaguars, even though GPC played the Knights at home six days earlier, winning 65-52. The teams continue to cross paths with the third confrontation next Saturday in Aiken, S.C.

So far, the head-to-head has helped define both teams’ seasons. With three consecutive victories, the Jaguars sport a winning record (5-3), while Aiken (3-4) is under .500, having dropped four straight.

Suiting up only nine players—five were sidelined—the Jaguars allowed Aiken to creep closer but not enough to threaten. Missed free throws down the stretch was another factor in the shrinking margin.

Deantre Johnson topped Aiken’s scorers with 18 points.

The Jaguars are back at Atlanta Metro on Saturday for a 5 p.m. game against Snead State Community College out of Boaz, Ala.

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November 21, 2011

Jaguars spread scoring around in 98-60 win

Five players scored in double figures as Georgia Perimeter College defeated Southern Crescent Technical College 98-60 Friday at Jaguar Arena on the Decatur Campus.

Talton

Abdul-Aleem

Sophomore forward Muhammad Abdul-Aleem posted a double-double, leading the Jaguars with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Terrance Talton netted 18 points, followed by James Johnson and Rod Booker with 17 each and Brandon Jenkins with 14.

Georgia Perimeter improved to 4-3 in the young season, while the Tigers fell to 0-7.

Stefan Kacuka scored on the first possession and the Jaguars jumped out to an 11-0 lead within the first three minutes and never looked back. They held a comfortable 55-22 halftime lead.

The Jaguars enjoyed a tremendous height advantage, and it showed on the boards and in the slam dunk category. GPC outrebounded the visitors 55-22.

Carl Burks led Southern Crescent with 15 points, and Rueben Hardy scored 12.

Next up for the Jaguars is a cross-town trip to Atlanta Metropolitan College for the AMC Thanksgiving Classic. They play a rematch with Aiken Technical College Friday at 5 p.m. GPC defeated the Knights a week ago 65-52. The Jags return to the Metro floor Saturday at 5 p.m., for a date with Snead State Community College of Boaz, Ala.

After two other road engagements, GPC’s next home game is Wed. Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. against West Georgia Technical College.

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November 19, 2011

Jaguars’ defense is key as Aiken Tech falls

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars rode their trademark style, pressure defense, to a workmanlike 65-52 victory over Aiken Technical College on Saturday in the finale of the GPC Thanksgiving Classic on the Decatur Campus.

Al’keem Roulhac, left, and Brandon Jenkins double-team as George Wood moves up. Photo/Stephanie Nice

James Johnson had 16 points and Rod Booker 13 for the Jaguars (3-3). Muhammad Abdul-Aleem had nine points to go with his 11 rebounds.

The Jaguars held Aiken Tech (3-3) to 18 points on 36 possessions in the first half.

“If we come out with intensity on defense, everything takes care of itself,” said GPC coach Alfred Barney, noting the exceptional play of Johnson and Al’Keem Roulhac, who had seven points.

The Jaguars extended their 31-18 halftime lead to 51-30 with nine minutes remaining. A few hiccups in the halfcourt offense helped the Knights sneak back within 10 points down the stretch.

“We’ve got to do a better job taking care of the basketball,” said Barney.

Lavaron Reason led Aiken Tech with 11 points, followed by Kenneth Funderburk with 10. Maurice Strong had 11 rebounds.

The Jaguars return to their home arena Monday night to face Southern Crescent Technical College of Griffin at 7 p.m. The game will be audio webcast, with a link available at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

SOUTH GEORGIA TECH 74, ACTION SPORTS ACADEMY 65: Kentavious Clowers made his presence known inside in Saturday’s early game of the GPC Thanksgiving Classic, leading South Georgia Tech with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Khiry White had 13 points and BJ Davis 12.

The Jets (3-2) were behind by a point with 11 1/2 minutes remaining before putting the game away with a 27-9 run, led by Clowers.

South Georgia Tech forced 32 turnovers. White led the defense with seven steals.

William Toletree had 16 points for Action Sports.

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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November 18, 2011

Action Sports Academy rallies past Jags in Thanksgiving Classic

T.J. Dunans led all scorers with 19 points as Action Sports Academy came from behind twice to beat Georgia Perimeter College 65-63 Friday evening in the GPC Thanksgiving Classic at the Decatur Campus.

Georgia Perimeter (2-3) held a seven point lead within the final three minutes but couldn’t hold on. The Jaguars had overcome a 33-23 halftime deficit before letting the game slip away.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem led GPC with 14 points, while James Johnson contributed 12 and Al’keem Roulhac had 10.

It appeared Georgia Perimeter was going to pull away midway through the first half. Trailing 6-4 after five minutes, Coach Alfred Barney sent in five reserves, who went on a 15-4 run in the next six minutes, spurred by Christopher Blunt’s two 3-pointers and two assists.

But Action Sports Academy stayed in the game with a 21-2 run of their own, featuring two slam dunks by Dunans.

Turnovers, expecially in the closing minutes, tell the tale of the game—GPC committed 26 to 22 for the visitors. The teams were virually even on the glass—Georgia Perimeter grabbed 39 rebounds to the Academy’s 40.

The Jaguars take the floor Saturday in the invitational finale, hosting Aiken Technical College at 4 p.m. That game will be audio webcast with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.” Action Academy plays South Georgia Technical College at 2 p.m.

SOUTH GEORGIA TECH 61, AIKEN TECH 48: South Georgia Technical College got balanced scoring to open the GPC Thanksgiving Classic, led by Kentavious Clowers with 13 points. Dante Gastin added 11 points and Phillip Flowers had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Jets (2-2) capitalized on a first-half 11-3 run to lead 35-25 at the intermission.

Maurice Strong was the only player for Aiken Tech (3-2) in double figures with 18. He also pulled down 10 rebounds.

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November 16, 2011

Jaguar Journal: Talented Jags to host Classic

As the second weekend of the season and the GPC Thanksgiving Classic approaches, the Georgia Perimeter Jaguars have already proved that coach Alfred Barney recruited a lot of talent in the off-season. Their 2-2 record belies the fact that brighter days are ahead.

First, the losses were to teams from the perpetually powerful Panhandle Conference of Florida. Last Friday night, the Jaguars lost 70-69 to No. 11-ranked Northwest Florida State College when a short jumper by James Johnson rolled off the rim with three seconds remaining.

Chris Blunt, passing, Shareif Adamu, left, and the Jaguars will host the GPC Thanksgiving Classic this weekend.

The next day, Chipola College won 65-55, completing a sweep for Florida in the Florida-Georgia Shootout, as both Florida teams also defeated Atlanta Metropolitan College.

Second, the Jaguars are playing without two starters. Musa Abdul-Aleem, the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Freshman of the Year last season, is out with a stress fracture in his foot. But he is expected back for the region season. Luka Basta is also out with a knee problem that is being evaluated.

So the Jaguars will have a new look come the conference season, which begins in earnest in January.

In the meantime, others have stepped up. Playing some in Abdul-Aleem’s big guard spot, sophomore Christopher Blunt has proved a dangerous 3-point threat. Two transfers, James Johnson and Shareif Adamu have been tough inside.

Johnson was the leading scorer last season at Highland Community College in Freeport, Ill. Adamu played at Alabama State in NCAA Division 1.

In fact, Adamu played in the NCAA tournament as Alabama State lost to Texas-San Antonio in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio.

The Jaguars will be back on the court Friday night at 7 p.m. against Action Sports Academy in the nightcap of the GPC Thanksgiving Classic. South Georgia Technical College plays Aiken Technical College at 5.

On Saturday, the teams swap opponents, with South Georgia Tech playing Action Sports Academy at 2 and GPC meeting Aiken Tech at 4.

WOMEN’S UPDATE: Brittany Logan was player of the week in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association after scoring 35 points and grabbing 23 rebounds in two games in Marianna, Fla., last weekend.

Logan, who stands 6 feet 4, shot 62 percent from the field. Her teammate on the front line, fellow sophomore Ashley Robinson, also had two strong games, but the Jaguars lost both times, 63-57 to No. 13 Gulf Coast State College and 77-66 to Indian River State College.

The Jaguars started the season ranked No. 16 but dropped out of the latest National Junior College Athletic Association poll released Wednesday. Gulf Coast vaulted all the way to No. 2 behind Trinity Valley Community College of Texas.

The Jaguars will have chances soon to move back into the poll. They next play the Friday after Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. against Jefferson College of Hillsboro, Mo. Their opponent on Saturday at 6 will be Walters State Community College of Morristown, Tenn. Both teams are currently ranked, Jefferson at No. 18 and Walters State at No. 12.

The GPC Classic, a favorite with recruiters from four-year schools because of the strength of the field, has eight teams and action from noon until 8 or so.

The remainder of the schedule: Friday at noon, Roane State of Tennessee vs. South Georgia Tech; 2 p.m., Meridian Community College of Mississippi vs. Walters State; 4 p.m., Wallace State-Hanceville vs. Southwest Tennessee. Saturday at noon, Southwest Tennessee vs. Meridian; 2 p.m., Jefferson vs. Roane State; 4 p.m., South Georgia Tech vs. Wallace State-Hanceville.

JAGUAR JOLTS: Video webcasts—via iHigh.com—of the Florida-Georgia Shootout were a success, generating hundreds of Web visitors for each of the four games. … The Jaguar men and women each play two region games before Christmas, at East Georgia on Nov. 30 and at home against Central Georgia Technical College on Dec. 9. … A note about the 0-2 start by the Jaguar women: They lost two at an early Florida event last season and three more nonregion road games before Christmas. Then they ran the table all the way to the national tournament, finishing seventh in the 16-team extravaganza. ... Saturday’s game will be audio broadcast online with a link at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.”

The GPC Thanksgiving Classic and next weekend’s GPC Classic will be played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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November 14, 2011

Jaguars bounce back with an 84-50 victory

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars produced the kind of balanced scoring coach Alfred Barney likes on Monday night in an 84-50 victory over Oxford College of Emory University on the Decatur Campus.

Seven players had eight points or better as the Jaguars (2-2) pounded the ball inside against the smaller Eagles and also produced more than their share of transition hoops and 3-pointers.

James Johnson and Rod Booker led the way with 14 points each, followed by Terrance Talton with 11, George Wood with 10, Christopher Blunt with 9, and Shareif Adamu and Stefan Kakuca with 8 apiece. Blunt, the Jaguars’ best long-range shooter with Musa Abdul-Aleem out with a foot injury, got all his points on 3-pointers.

GPC also played without starter Luka Basta, whose knee injury is being evaluated. Kakuca, a fellow Serbian, took his place in the starting lineup.

The Jaguars held Emory Oxford (3-2) to 25 percent shooting and outrebounded the Eagles 58-41. Adamu had 14 rebounds, Talton 9 and Kakuca and Booker 8 each. Caleb Hayes dished off 6 assists, and Blunt had 5.

GPC put the game away early, roaring to a 50-26 lead at the half. It was welcome medicine after two losses over the weekend in the Florida-Georgia Shootout.

Zachary Carlson led Oxford with 9 points, and Evan Dunwoodie had 8. The Jaguars are off until Friday, when they face Action Sports Academy at 7 p.m. in the GPC Thanksgiving Classic. The opener, at 5, matches South Georgia Technical College against Aiken Technical College.

On Saturday, the two Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association teams swap opponents, with South Georgia Tech taking on Action Sports at 2 and the Jaguars meeting Aiken Tech at 4. The GPC-Aiken game will be audio webcast. Go to www.gpc.edu/athletic and look under “Game Webcasts” for a link.

The GPC Thanksgiving Classic will be played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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November 12, 2011

Chipola gives Florida a Shootout sweep

Chipola College gave Florida a sweep in the Florida-Georgia Shootout with a 65-55 win over Georgia Perimeter College Saturday evening at GPC’s Decatur Campus.

Chipola (4-0) and Northwest Florida State College each defeated GPC and Atlanta Metropolitan in the two-day invitational, and the Floridians convincingly dominated Saturday’s action. The Indians controlled the Georgia Perimeter game from the early minutes, leading 38-23 at halftime.

GPC (1-2) cobbled together a 7-0 run after the intermission, but Chipola regained a 10-point lead and kept it in that range until the closing minutes when the Jaguars closed the gap to 60-55. The teams exchanged several turnovers, and then Georgia Perimeter was forced to foul to stop the clock. The visitors then gradually built the lead back to 10.

Trantell Knight finished with 16 points for Chipola and Joseph Uchebo followed with 11. For the Jaguars James Johnson tallied 12 points and Caleb Hayes had 10 points and five assists. On the glass, Uchebo led all rebounders with 10 as the Indians held the advantage in that category 40-32.

The Jaguars get a day’s rest and then return to their home court Monday for a date with Oxford College of Emory University. The tip-off will be at 7 p.m., and the game will be audio broadcast online beginning at 6:50. Visit www.gpc.edu and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE 73, ATLANTA METRO 46

The Raiders demonstrated why they are ranked nationally as they sailed by Atlanta Metropolitan College in Saturday’s matinee at the Florida-Georgia Shootout.

Trency Jackson scored 22 points and Shawn Jackson added 15 to lead Northwest Florida. The duo powered the Raiders to a 38-18 halftime lead that Atlanta Metro couldn’t overcome. Midway through the second half the winners led by 30 points.

The Raiders, ranked No. 11 in the National Junior College Athletic Association preseason poll, improved to 4-0.

Darius Minor led Atlanta Metro (1-4) with 21 points and five assists. Charles Shedrick had 12 points.

Monday’s game between the Jaguars and Oxford will be played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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November 11 2011

GPC edged by No. 11 Raiders in Florida-Georgia Shootout

The Georgia Perimeter College men’s basketball team had a final shot to beat 11th-ranked Northwest Florida State College, but the ball didn’t fall for the Jaguars.

James Johnson, 25, and Shareif Adamu, left, led GPC with 14 points each.

James Johnson’s agonizingly missed shot rimmed the basket with three seconds left, preserving Northwest Florida’s 70-69 victory over GPC in the Florida-Georgia Shootout Friday at the Decatur Campus.

Despite the loss on a Homecoming night, head coach Alfred Barney appeared to be satified with his squad’s performance.

“I’m extremely pleased with the team,” he said. “They did what we asked. We moved the ball; we took good shots; we rebounded. We gave a great effort.”

Freshman guard Chris Jones led the Raiders (3-0) with 24 points, including five of nine from three-point range. Rod Rucker was the only other Raider in double figures with 11.

Johnson and Shareif Adamu led Georgia Perimeter (1-1) with 14 points apiece. Johnson also had 11 rebounds as the Jaguars beat Northwest 55-40 on the boards. Muhammad Abdul-Aleem contributed 11 points and nine rebounds.

After a 36-36 halftime draw, Northwest Florida built a 10-point lead but had to cling to hold back the Jaguars as Johnson got hot down the stretch. GPC outscored the Raiders 19-10 in the final eight minutes.

With a tip-in by Luka Basta and a basket by Chris Blunt—who posted nine assists—the Jags tied it at 65-65.

Rucker answered with a field goal; Adamu tied it at 67-67; Jones drained a three and Abdul-Aleem hit two pressure-packed free throws to make it 70-69.

With 15 seconds remaining, Abdul-Aleem inbounded to Chris Blunt, and GPC worked it to Johnson on the left baseline. Under heavy pressure he powered a shot under the basket, but the ball rolled around the rim and out.

“We got it to Johnson, and it just rolled out. You can’t do anything about that,” Barney said.

The Jaguars lost Basta in the closing minutes with a knee injury, and Adamu also limped off the court. It was not immediately known how serious the injuries are.

CHIPOLA COLLEGE 67, ATLANTA METROPOLITAN COLLEGE 61

Joseph Uchebo, a freshman from Nigeria, scored 13 points and Aishon White added 12 as Chipola downed Atlanta Metropolitan College 67-61 in the opener of the Florida-Georgia Shootout.

Chipola (3-0) got balanced scoring as three players followed with nine points each—Mo Lee, Tevin Baskin and Tantrell Knight.

Atlanta Metro (1-3) took an early 13-6 lead behind Charles Shedrick’s 10 points, but the Indians answered with an 11-0 run. The teams then battled to a 24-24 tie at halftime.

The Panthers came out after the intermission with five unanswered points, but two steals in a short stretch by Knight led to four points and a 35-34 edge that the Indians never relinquished. But Chipola couldn’t put the Panthers away until the end, with the icing coming from two free throws by Lee in the final minute.

Shedrick and Darius Minor paced Metro with 15 points each. The Red-Eyed Panthers sank 15 of 20 foul shots, which helped overcome their rebounding deficit of 34-29.

Saturday Atlanta Metro plays Northwest Florida at 2 p.m., and Chipola and Georgia Perimeter clash at 4 p.m. The games will be video webcast and also audio webcast. To watch or listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the game link under “Game Webcasts.”

The Florida-Georgia Shootout is being played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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November 8, 2011

Jaguars open with teamwork and a win

Guard Christopher Blunt scored 17 points, including five 3-pointers in six tries, as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars won their season opener 69-55 Tuesday night over Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, Ala.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem and James Johnson had 11 points each for the Jaguars, who play their home opener on the Decatur Campus on Friday at 7 p.m. against No. 11-ranked Northwest Florida State College.

That game is the nightcap of the Florida-Georgia Shootout. Atlanta Metropolitan College and Chipola College play at 5. On Saturday, Atlanta Metro plays Northwest Florida at 2, while GPC plays Chipola at 4.

With last year’s region Freshman of the Year, Musa Abdul-Aleem, out with a foot injury, the Jaguars got solid contributions from their whole roster against Southern Union.

“We played well as a team. We needed that,” said GPC coach Alfred Barney. “We had great ball movement; we shared the ball well; we played good defense down the stretch. Everybody contributed something positive.”

Freshman Caleb Hayes from North Atlanta High School made his debut at point guard and played almost 33 minutes, most on the team. He finished with nine points and nine assists.

Muhammad Abdul-Aleem had seven rebounds as GPC outrebounded Southern Union 35-31. Rod Booker, from Norcross High School, blocked three shots in his debut. GPC led 33-32 at halftime before putting the game away in the second half.

Jaron Davis led Southern Union (2-1) with 18 points, followed by Sharif Hudson with 17.

The Jaguars’ home games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur Ga. 30034.

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November 7, 2011

Jaguars enter season with key injury; set to host Florida-Georgia shootout

Two consecutive losses in the league semifinals. Before that, a loss in the final.

When Georgia Perimeter College head coach Alfred Barney talks about “restoring order” in the state, he’s talking about a return to the decade-plus when the Jaguars dominated and made seven trips to the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament.

“I feel like this is a turning point for us,” said Barney, who is entering his 16th season at the GPC helm. “We need to win the regular season and the tournament.”

It all begins anew Tuesday with an away game in Alabama and this weekend as Georgia Perimeter celebrates Homecoming with the Florida-Georgia Shootout. That invitational features three prestigious visitors—cross-town rival Atlanta Metropolitan and perennial powers Chipola and Northwest Florida State.

The Jaguars have five solid returnees from last season’s 21-12 team, but the key talent likely won’t be on the court until January. Musa Abdul-Aleem, the returning Freshman Player of the Year in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, is recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot and is out six to eight weeks.

In the meantime, that means more minutes for other guards and forwards, including returnees Brandon Jenkins, Christopher Blunt and Muhammad Abdul-Aleem, Musa’s twin brother.

“We’ll be trying different things” during the nonregion schedule, Barney said. “The time is there for everybody. If you’re not producing, we’ve got somebody behind you.”

The goal is to nurture depth, a strength of this team.

“We expect to play 10, maybe 11, people on a given night,” Barney said. That means different lineups for different situations, some tailored for quickness, others for height.

The tallest Jaguars are both Serbians. Six-foot-9 Luka Basta, a sophomore holdover, has been joined by another native of Belgrade, 6-11 Stefan Kakuca. Four other players stand 6-6 or taller, meaning the Jaguars can look any rival in the eye.

That said, the Jaguars will rely on defense, running the court and forcing the tempo, long the formula of Barney-coached teams.

When he returns, the key will be Musa Abdul-Aleem, who at 6-5 creates matchup problems when he plays in the backcourt. Abdul-Aleem led the Jaguars in three-pointers last season and finished with a 14.7 average, shooting 46 percent.

The numbers don’t tell his ability to take over entire games—a 25-point first half against Middle Georgia College as an example.

“When he hits two or three 3-pointers in a row, that can put some separation in there” on the scoreboard, said Barney, noting Abdul-Aleem’s ability to create shots. There’s a downside to that, of course.

“You have to live by it,” said Barney. “His bad shots are better than a lot of players’ good shots.”

Not that Abdul-Aleem is the only outside threat. Blunt hit 35 percent of his 3-pointers, many from NBA range. Jenkins can also shoot from the outside, as can transfer James Johnson, who averaged 14.2 points last season for Highland Community College of Freeport, Ill.

At point guard, the Jaguars are counting on Caleb Hayes, a freshman from North Atlanta High School. “He’s really stepped up,” said Barney.

Two other signees also seem primed to step into key roles. Rod Booker (Norcross H.S.), at 6-8, “is playing well at the post,” Barney said. George Wood (Druid Hills H.S.), at 6-6, can help at big guard or small forward.

The Jaguars also have freshman Al’Keem Roulhac of Chipley, Fla., who’ll get a chance to show he can make the transition from high school to college, as well as sophomore transfers Terrance Talton (Atlanta Adventist H.S.) and Shareif Adamu (Stone Mountain H.S.).

“We’ve got a great bunch of kids,” said Barney. “At this point, it’s a matter of whether they understand what it takes to win at this level.”

The tests start early. After Tuesday’s season opener at Southern Union State Community College in Alabama, the Jaguars begin their home schedule on Friday against Northwest Florida at 7 p.m. in the Florida-Georgia Shootout. On Saturday they face Chipola at 4 p.m. Both games will feature Homecoming festivities.

Northwest Florida is ranked No. 11 nationally in the NJCAA preseason poll. Chipola is a perennial JUCO power. A win over either would get national attention.

Down the road, the Jaguars face 18 regular season games in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, which serves as Region 17 of the NJCAA.

The conference has produced four different tournament winners in the past four years—GPC, South Georgia Tech, Middle Georgia and Waycross. Year by year, the region has become more balanced, making the Jaguars’ mission even tougher. Barney is undaunted.

“I feel good about this team,” he said.

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