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February 25, 2010

Wells, Buchanan named to All-Region Team

Nicole Wells

Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association named Georgia Perimeter College standouts Nicole Wells and Ry’van Buchanan to the women’s basketball All-Region team last week.

Wells was selected to the region first team, while Buchanan made the second team. The region also is known as the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association.

Georgia Perimeter (15-15), lost to eventual region champion South Georgia Tech 59-43 in last week’s region semifinals in Americus, Ga. Buchanan was named to the All-Tournament team.

A 6-foot-2 freshman forward from Harlem High School in Augusta, Ga., Wells led GPC in free throw average with 80.5 percent and averaged 8.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

Ry'van Buchanan

Buchanan, a 6-foot freshman forward from Frederick Douglass High School in Atlanta, led the Jaguars with an outstanding double-double average—scoring (13.1 per game) and rebounds (12.1 per game).

Wells had an impressive run in numerous late-season conference games when Buchanan was sidelined with an injury. For example, she scored 18 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead GPC over Atlanta Metropolitan College and had 20 points and 12 boards in a victory over Andrew.

In a January loss to region runner-up Middle Georgia, Buchanan scored 23 points and snared 18 rebounds. She registered 22 rebounds in the region opener against Atlanta Metro.

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February 24, 2010

Jets shoot down GPC in semifinal

A late-season run of the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars ended Wednesday and ended their season.

Joreshica Martin gets past Zsoka Ruttner for two. Photo by Chris Whitaker/Americus Times-Recorder

The Jaguars (15-15), overpowered by conference regular season co-champs South Georgia Tech, fell in the NJCAA Region 17 semifinals 59-43 on the South Georgia Tech court in Americus, Ga.

With the victory the Jets (22-5) move to the championship game Thursday at 6 p.m. against Middle Georgia College. Middle Georgia (26-5) advanced with a 77-72 overtime victory over Darton College.

“I think the best two teams are playing for the championship,” said GPC head coach James Waldon. “We gave it everything we had, but it just wasn’t enough.”

South Georgia Tech’s collapsing defense was too much for the Jaguars, holding them to 14 points in the first half. The 6-foot-1 Ruttner twins, Reka and Zsoka, from Cedledberce, Hungary, especially clogged up the middle to stop Georgia Perimeter’s driving offense.

Meanwhile, Region 17 Player-of-the-year Deatric Smith and second-team All-Region Ophelia McMath scored 13 points apiece to lead the Jets’ attack.

GPC’s Tyra Smith and Jasmine Jones also scored 13 each, and Buchanan, a second-team All-Region selection, led all rebounders with 12.

The Jaguars suffered a ten-minute cold spell in the first half, scoring only four points while Tech posted 11 points and went into intermission with a 24-14 lead.

In the second half the Jaguars made a charge and drew within four, 37-33, with a basket by Joreshica Martin on an assist by Tyra Smith.

But the Jets regained the momentum and pulled away with a flurry of points by McMath, Dea Smith and a couple others.

“To hold them to 59 isn’t bad. We’ll just have to regroup for next year,” Waldon said.

Middle Georgia College and South Georgia Tech both had finished 11-1 in the conference to earn the co-champion title for the regular season. Thursday’s title game will be audio webcast live, beginning with a pregame presentation at 5:50.

The Web site link for the broadcast is posted at the GPC athletics home site—www.gpc.edu/athletic—and the women’s basketball Web site. It also can be accessed at nhsbn.com or the conference Web site, www.gjcaa.org.

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February 23, 2010

Jaguars rally to advance in region tourney

Tyra Smith scored 16 points and three other Jaguars scored in double figures as the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team defeated Albany Technical College Tuesday 64-54 in Americus, Ga.

The victory advances Georgia Perimeter to Wednesday’s semifinal in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 17 Tournament. The Jaguars (15-14) will face South Georgia Technical College (25-5) Wednesday at 8 p.m.

With upset in mind, Albany Tech (11-14), the sixth seed in the tournament, held back third-seeded GPC in the first half with strong work on the boards and a deliberate, steady attack. The Jaguars didn’t take a lead until 6:40 in the half, when Analise Voss tapped the ball out of a scramble to Quadralyn Saddler, who laid it in for a 13-12 edge.

After trailing at halftime 29-23, GPC matched the Titans basket-for-basket. With 8:47 remaining in the game, 6-foot-2 Nicole Wells canned a three-pointer from the point for a 47-46 edge, and the Jaguars never relinquished the lead.

Joining Smith in double figures were Wells (14), Ry’van Buchanan (12) and Jasmine Jones 11.

Quanesha Smith led the Titans with 13 points and Annquinnette Wilcher had 12. Buchanan matched Wilcher for the game honor in rebounds, as each grabbed seven.

Middle Georgia College (20-5) and South Georgia Tech both had finished 11-1 in the conference to earn the co-champion title for the regular season. Middle Georgia won a coin toss to gain a bye in the first round. The Warriors play Darton College at 6 p.m. Wednesday. No. 4 seed Darton advanced to the semis with a 67-58 win over fifth-seeded Atlanta Metropolitan College.

Losing the toss didn’t faze the Jets, who won 78-33 over seventh seed Andrew College (6-24) in Tuesday’s nightcap. South Georgia Tech defeated Georgia Perimeter twice during the regular season 83-62 and 72-45.

Wednesday’s games will be audio webcast live, beginning with a pregame presentation at 5:50. The Web site link for the broadcast is posted at the GPC athletics home site—www.gpc.edu/athletic—and the women’s basketball Web site. It also can be accessed at nhsbn.com or the conference Web site, www.gjcaa.org.

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February 20, 2010

Jaguars claim No. 3 seed in tourney

The Georgia Perimeter College women completed their late-season turnaround with a 62-53 victory over Andrew College on the Decatur Campus, claiming the No. 3 seed for the Region 17 tournament next week.

The victory left the Jaguars 14-14 for the regular season, 7-5 in the conference.

“After all the things we’ve been through and the people we’ve lost, I’ll take that,” said head coach James Waldon. “I feel like we have improved in some areas.”

After losing five straight, the Jaguars won five of their last six, playing extremely shorthanded at some points. The next stop is the conference tournament in Americus, where their first-round opponent Tuesday will be No. 6 seed Albany Tech.

The brightest spot against Andrew (6-24, 0-12) was the all-around play of Ry’Van Buchanan, who finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds.

“We need her to put numbers up,” said Waldon.

Tyra Smith added 12 points and Nichole Wells 11. Jasmine Jones had 10 rebounds to go with eight points and five assists.

The Jaguars trailed early but led 33-22 at halftime. At times they stepped up their perimeter defense and threatened to blow out the Lady Tigers, but that never happened.

“We’re young. The killer instinct isn’t there,” said Waldon.

Andrew’s Joy Hoskins, one of the top scorers in Region 17, led Andrew with 21 points.

Before the game, the Jaguars honored their sophomores, Quadralyn Saddler of Elberton (Elbert Co. H.S.) and Larisa Blakely of Austell (South Cobb H.S.).

The Region 17 tournament games will be broadcast live. To access the broadcasts, visit the athletics home page or the women's basketball site and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.” Or visit nhsbn.com and find the tournament link under “National Broadcasts.”

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

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February 15, 2010

Jaguars catch fire in OT

After 40 minutes of uninspired basketball, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars answered the bell in overtime Monday and beat Albany Technical College 59-49 on the Decatur Campus.

Ry’van Buchanan had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

“We didn’t play well, but we won it – and that’s always a positive,” said head coach James Waldon, whose team hopes to snag the third seed for the NJCAA Region 17 tournament next week in Americus.

The Jaguars are 6-5 in the league with a game left, Saturday at home against Andrew College. By winning, they hope to relegate Darton College to the fourth seed.

Tyra Smith led four Jaguars in double figures with 15 points, followed by Nicole Wells (13), Ry’van Buchanan (12) and Jasmine Jones (10).

Buchanan added 11 rebounds and Wells 10. Wells also blocked four shots.

GPC (13-14) bounced back a little more than 24 hours after losing at home 72-45 to South Georgia Tech, a power in Region 17. That game was postponed a day because of a snowstorm.

“That game yesterday had a lot to do with the way we played,” said Waldon. “We were still kind of down in the dumps. We thought we were better than [losing] by 27 points.”

Against Albany Tech (10-13, 1-9), the Jaguars roared to an 8-1 lead but were tied at 22 after a half. The score at the end of regulation was 44 apiece before GPC erupted for 15 points in the overtime.

Buchanan, who missed three games with an injury, is back to her regular minutes, logging 34 against the Titans. She is the go-to player on offense and one of the best rebounders in the league.

“This game gave everybody a chance to work a little bit with Ry’van,” said Waldon.

The game against Andrew is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, with the men’s game against the College of Coastal Georgia to follow.

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

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February 14, 2010

Winning streak ends at 3

The shorthanded Georgia Perimeter College women saw their winning streak end at three games Sunday with a 72-45 loss to South Georgia Tech on the Decatur Campus.

The hastily scheduled game was a makeup of a snowout the day before. With the region tournament bearing down, the teams needed to get the game in.

GPC is 5-5 in NJCAA Region 17 and hopes to finish in third place behind Middle Georgia (10-0) and South Georgia Tech (9-1). The Jaguars’ final two region games are at home against Albany Tech and Andrew, which are a combined 1-17 in the league.

Nicole Wells led GPC with 11 points and eight rebounds, adding two assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Jasmine Jones also had 11 points.

Ry’van Buchanan, who missed three games with an injury before returning last week, contributed eight points and 12 rebounds in 27 minutes.

Tyra Smith had seven points.

The Jaguars (12-14 overall) made 24 of 30 free throws but were doomed by poor shooting from the field. Wells, the top free throw shooter in Region 17, was 9-for-10 from the line. Jones was 6-for-8.

Deatric Smith led South Georgia Tech with 19 points, followed by Monique Willis with 15.

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

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February 10, 2010

Wells leads GPC to third straight win

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team is happy to be playing on the Decatur Campus Saturday for the first time in three weeks.

But as kind as the road has been lately to the Lady Jaguars, perhaps they shouldn’t be in such a hurry to return home.

GPC (12-13, 5-4) bounced Atlanta Metro College 61-54 Wednesday, wrapping up a four-game stretch in a visitor’s role with three consecutive wins. The Lady Jaguars swept their local rival, having defeated Atlanta Metro 53-49 earlier this season.

Nicole Wells continued her standout play with 18 points and 18 rebounds, her second double-double in three games. Jasmine Jones pitched in with 12 points and 14 rebounds, also her second double-double in three outings.

Analise Voss contributed eight rebounds and five steals, while Tyra Smith and Quadralyn Saddler each delivered six assists.

Ry’van Buchanan, inactive this month with a concussion, returned to add six points with five rebounds in limited action. Joreshica Martin, absent for two games to attend to a family matter, was back with 10 points and six rebounds.

Atlanta Metro (9-16, 3-6) got a monster game from Jayda Jones, with 22 points and 23 rebounds. But the home team could not get closer than a five-point deficit down the stretch.

Saturday’s game is against South Georgia Tech at 2 p.m. The game will be audio webcast, with a pre-game show at 1:50. To hear the broadcast, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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

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February 8, 2010

Jaguars again limp to victory with six players

Six bodies were sufficient again for the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team.

The Lady Jaguars, whose nine-woman roster was cut to the bone by one-third for the second straight outing, fought off Darton College on Monday in Albany 75-67.

Quadralyn Saddler had four breakaway layups.

GPC, improving to 11-13 overall and 4-4 in Region 17 play, endured without injured regulars Ry’van Buchanan and Larisa Blakeley. Joreshica Martin was off attending to a family matter.

The available half-dozen had each other’s backs, breaking out of a 23-23 tie and never relinquishing the lead (though Darton closed to within one). This, despite two Jaguars burdened by foul fouls during the final 10 minutes and Nicole Wells dragging a twisted ankle down the stretch.

Nicole Wells and Jasmine Jones nailed three-pointers in the waning minutes to keep Darton at bay.

Shaylia Jester was a virtual one-woman-band band for the Cavaliers (13-10, 3-4) with 31 points and 18 rebounds.

Darton defeated Georgia Perimeter 61-45 two weeks ago, when Buchanan received the concussion that has kept her out of the lineup.

In evening the schools’ season series, the GPC six-pack produced:

· 22 points, six rebounds and seven assists from Tyra Smith;

· 15 points, highlighted by four breakway layups, and seven rebounds by Quadralyn Saddler;

· 15 points from Jasmine Jones;

· 13 points and nine rebounds from Wells;

· 11 rebounds from 5-foot-7 Analise Voss;

· three points from Ashley Thompson.

The same six players defeated Andrew College 69-54 Saturday.

Martin is expected back when GPC concludes a four-game road swing Wednesday. This one involves little travel; the cross-town opponent is Atlanta Metro College at 5:30 p.m. The Jaguars beat Atlanta Metro 53-49 in January.

Saturday the Jaguars host South Georgia Technical College at 2 p.m. That game will be webcast on NHSBN.com. To access the broadcast, visit nhsbn.com or www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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

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February 6, 2010

Determined half-dozen drops double-doubles on Andrew

Down by 15 points on the road with only six players at its disposal, the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team was in dire straits Saturday in Cuthbert.

Then hot-shooting Andrew College (6-16, 0-7) cooled off, and the Jaguars started attacking the basket on offense. GPC, dealt 13-3 and 22-7 deficits, seized the lead 27-25 by halftime and rolled to a 69-54 victory.

The Jaguars (10-13, 3-4), already missing Ry’van Buchanan and Larisa Blakeley with injuries, lost another stalwart with Joreshica Martin absent after a death in the family.

They got double-doubles from three players: Nicole Wells (20 points, 12 rebounds), Tyra Smith (18 points, 17 rebounds) and Jasmine Jones (14 points, 10 rebounds). Smith also had eight assists and Jones rang up six steals.

The three others contributed as well. Ashley Thompson accounted for nine points, Analise Voss 10 rebounds and Quadralyn Saddler seven rebounds. GPC corralled 33 offensive rebounds.

The Jaguars relax on Super Bowl Sunday before leaving town again Monday to face Darton College in Albany. Wednesday they visit cross-town rival Atlanta Metro at 5:30 p.m.

The next home game is Saturday, Feb. 13, against South Georgia Tech at 2 p.m.

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

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February 3, 2010

Seven Jaguars scare No. 24 Middle Georgia

If the Middle Georgia women’s basketball team remains unbeaten in Region 17 play, the Lady Warriors might look back at a pair of games with Georgia Perimeter College as their most trying tests.

GPC, with a seven-player roster thinned out by injuries, took Middle Georgia to the limit before running out of fuel—and nearly out of players—68-62 Wednesday in Cochran.

With Ry’van Buchanan (concussion) and Larisa Blakely (broken nose) back home, the Lady Jaguars (9-13, 2-4) hustled to a one-point halftime edge and led by as much as five. But the Lady Warriors moved in front with about 12 minutes remaining. The margin widened to nine, though GPC chopped it down until fouls doomed the visitors.

The Lady Jaguars finished the game with only five players after two fouled out. The reduced roster robbed them of implementing a full-court press.

Tyra Smith and Joreshica Martin shared GPC scoring honors with 14 points, while Quadralyn Sadler and Nicole Wells contributed 10 each. The most impressive statistic was 14 rebounds by 5-foot-9 guard Jasmine Jones.

Middle Georgia is ranked No. 24 in the National Junior College Athletic Association coaches poll.

GPC had no answer inside for the Warriors’ Shaniqua Goldwire, who amassed 23 rebounds, 11 on offense. Shuntell Tharpe had 17 points for Middle Georgia (15-4, 7-0), which outlasted the Lady Jaguars 66-64 on Jan. 20.

GPC continues a four-game road swing Saturday against Andrew College in Cuthbert.

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

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January 23, 2010

Jaguars cold, despite Martin’s hot hand

On a day they couldn’t build their inside game around Ry’van Buchanan, the Georgia Perimeter College women, with one exception, couldn’t get many outside shots to fall, either. The result was a 61-45 loss to Darton College at the GPC gym on the Decatur Campus.

Joreshica Martin

Buchanan, the Jaguars’ leading scorer and rebounder, missed 17 ½ minutes of the first half after drawing two quick fouls. Midway through the second half, she left the game for good after taking a smack on the nose trying for an offensive rebound.

“This shows how much we rely on her,” said GPC head coach James Waldon. “The offense was a little disoriented.

“On the bright side, we kept it respectable. The other players decided they could do things.”

Joreshica Martin came through with the best game of her career, scoring 23 points. She shot 4-for-5 from outside the three-point arc and 9-for-15 overall. The other Jaguars were 0-for-16 on three-pointers.

Nicole Wells had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Jaguars. Buchanan was held to four points and four rebounds.

“The leading factor about this game was not having Ry’van’s energy,” said Waldon. “She plays hard and really competes.”

GPC shot 29 percent from the field in falling to 9-12 overall and 2-3 in Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Darton (13-8, 3-2) got big-time production from two sophomores, 6-foot-1 Dominique Gilbert and Marah Wright, against the freshman-laden Jaguars.

Gilbert, who figures to sign with an NCAA Division I team, had 21 points and 14 rebounds, above her season averages. Wright contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds. Abril Smith had 11 points.

Darton led early, but the Jaguars forced seven consecutive turnovers at one point and pulled within 15-14. But GPC’s shots wouldn’t fall, and the Lady Cavaliers led 33-22 at halftime.

The second half was the same story as Darton pounded away inside with Gilbert and Shaylia Jester, who finished with nine points and nine rebounds.

Georgia Perimeter has time to rest before its rematch with Middle Georgia College on Feb. 3 in Cochran. Middle Georgia edged the Jags 66-64 in Decatur on Jan. 20.

The Jaguars’ next home game is Feb. 13 against South Georgia Technical College at 2 p.m.

To listen to an audio webcast of the Jaguars’ loss to Darton Saturday, look for the link on the GPC athletic home page: 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 20, 2010

Jaguars fail to deliver KO

The Georgia Perimeter College women dealt Middle Georgia solid body blows for more than a half but not a knockout punch, losing 66-64 at the GPC gym on the Decatur Campus.

Middle Georgia, which won the conference tournament and advanced to the nationals last season, moved to 12-4 and stayed undefeated in Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association at 4-0. The Jaguars, who went to the nationals in 2005-08, fell to 2-2 in the league, 9-11 overall.

Ry’van Buchanan led GPC with 23 points and 18 rebounds. Jasmine Jones had 13 points and Nichole Wells 10. Tyra Smith contributed six assists, Buchanan five.

Middle Georgia’s Shuntell Tharpe, one of the most dangerous three-point shooters in the league, was frustrated early by the Jaguars’ defense but finished with 21 points—12 of them on treys. Symone Wilkerson added 13 points for the Warriors, while Shaniqua Goldwire contributed 12, along with 15 rebounds.

With Buchanan in high gear (13 points in a 10-minute stretch) and their halfcourt offense in tune, the Jaguars led 34-24 at halftime. That lead melted in the second half after Middle Georgia made a defensive adjustment.

“We’re good against a zone, but we’ve got a lot of work to do against man-to-man,” said GPC head coach James Waldon. “It’s been an Achilles’ heel all season. But we were a little better against [man-to-man] defense today. I saw signs that were encouraging.”

The Jaguars looked done after falling behind by seven late in the game but made a run. After the Warriors missed a key free throw, the Jaguars actually had the ball with a couple of seconds left and a chance to tie or win. But a desperation heave came just after the buzzer.

Waldon is willing to cede first place to Middle Georgia, but only as a rental. The rematch comes quickly, Feb. 3 in Cochran.

“We know what we’ve got to do,” he said. “I still say we have a shot.”

In the meantime, the Jaguars play Darton College at home Saturday, Jan. 23, at 2 p.m.

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

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January 18, 2009

No. 10 Walters State tough for Jaguars

Deep, experienced Walters State Community College was too much for Georgia Perimeter College on Monday, winning the women’s basketball game 77-52 in Morristown, Tenn., to affirm its ranking in the NJCAA top 10.

The Lady Jets (14-2), who have won three straight since landing at No. 10 in last week’s ratings, moved into a double-digit lead late in the first half and accelerated to an untouchable advantage after intermission of the nonconference encounter.

Georgia Perimeter (9-10) has not enjoyed a lead in its last two games. The Lady Jaguars was unable to match Walters’ depth (13 players scored) and seasoning (several starters back from last year’s squad that finished fifth in the NJCAA tournament).

Jaguar freshman Ry’van Buchanan was the game’s high scorer with 19 points, but the visitors’ next leading scorer was Tyra Smith with nine. Buchanan’s 10 rebounds topped the Jaguars.

LaKrystle Goss paced balanced Walters with 16 points.

The Lady Jaguars return home and resume the rough stretch in their schedule with Region 17 action Wednesday against Middle Georgia College. Tip-off time is at 5:30 p.m. on the Decatur Campus.

Wednesday’s game will be audio webcast live by Tom Whitfield and Wade Marbaugh, beginning with a pregame presentation at 5:15. The Web site link for the broadcast will be posted at the GPC athletics home site—www.gpc.edu/athletic—and the women’s basketball Web site.

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

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January 16, 2010

Jets drop GPC in region showdown

Georgia Perimeter College trailed from the get-go and, despite placing four scorers in double figures, fell to the South Georgia Tech women’s basketball team 83-62 Saturday in Americus. The game represented a face-off between undefeated contenders in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association (Region 17 of the NJCAA).

The Lady Jets (17-4, 3-0) stormed to an eight-point lead within the first four minutes and pulled ahead 47-25 at halftime. GPC outscored them by one point in the second half but never closed the gap.

With the loss the Lady Jaguars dropped to 9-9 and 2-1 in the region. They face a quick turn-around and another formidable opponent Monday, visiting Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tenn., ranked No. 10 in the NJCAA coaches’ poll.

South Georgia Tech shot well from the floor and the foul line. Deatric Smith, the latest GJCAA Player of the Week, had an outstanding overall game: 17 points, nine rebounds, five steals, three assists. Monique Willis missed just one of five field goal tries and two of 10 free throws.

Ry’van Buchanan paced GPC with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Jasmine Jones had 13 points, Nicole Wells 12 (on 5-for-7 shooting) and Quadralyn Sadler 10.

Walters State, 11-1 going into the weekend, features a scoring duo in Patrice Talley and LaKrystle Goss, averaging 13.4 and 12.8 points per game, respectively.

After Walters State, the rough ride continues for the Jaguars as they host Middle Georgia College Wednesday in another region showdown. The Warriors, 9-4, 1-0 entering the weekend, are ranked in the top 30 in the national poll. Tip-off time is 7 p.m.

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

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January 13, 2010

Jags move to 2-0 in conference

On a night that easily could have produced an ugly loss, the Georgia Perimeter College women were able to “dig deep,” as head coach James Waldon described it.

Ry’van Buchanan had 22 rebounds.

The resourceful Jaguars unearthed a treasure of a victory, 53-49 over cross-town rival Atlanta Metropolitan College at the GPC gym on the Decatur Campus. GPC moved to 2-0 in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association and 9-8 overall.

Like a murder mystery that introduces a red herring to the plot, this game produced a moment that looked most unfortunate for the Jaguars. Trapped 35 feet from the basket, a defender in her face and the shot clock all but expired, Panther guard Cassie Billingsley launched a line-drive prayer everyone assumed would hit the back wall.

Swish. A trey.

GPC fans fell silent, the Metro bench erupted in disbelief and the Jaguars found themselves down by seven with 8:48 remaining.

A dagger to the heart? No way. A final plot twist remained.

The Jaguars turned up their intensity on defense, forced three consecutive turnovers and eventually the offense hopped on for the ride. Metro produced a single point in a span of 10 possessions, and its lead evaporated.

A basket by Ry’van Buchanan off an offensive rebound pulled GPC within two with 6:25 remaining. A basket by Larisa Blakely put the Jaguars ahead for good with 4:06 remaining, and a driving layup by Tyra Smith made it 48-44 with 3:46 left.

Suffocating defense sealed the Jaguars’ victory over Metro (7-12, 1-2).

“It was a battle,” said Waldon. “Metro showed they have a lot of heart. But we showed our kids can dig deep. We clamped down on defense.”

Nicole Wells led the Jaguars with 13 points, while Buchanan had 12 and Smith nine. Buchanan was her usual dominating self on the boards, with 22 rebounds to go with two assists, two blocked shots and two steals. Wells also pulled down 12 rebounds.

Jayda Lloyd led the Panthers with 15 points and 17 rebounds. Lloyd’s twin sister, Jayla, had eight points and 10 rebounds. Summer Hurst scored 11 points for Metro, which led 32-23 at halftime.

Both teams could brag more about defense than shooting. The Panthers shot 29 percent, the Jaguars 25 percent.

Next up for the Jaguars are a pair of tough road games – Jan. 16 against South Georgia Technical College in Americus and two days later against Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tenn. South Georgia is a conference game, and Walters State is ranked No. 10 nationally

GPC’s next home game is Jan. 20 against Middle Georgia College at 5:30 p.m., with the schools’ men to follow at approximately 7:30.

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

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January 9, 2010

All that Jasmine: Jones leads GPC in region opener

Albany Technical College could not keep up with the Jones—Jasmine Jones, that is. The Georgia Perimeter College point guard had a brilliant all-around game in a 74-48 women’s basketball win Saturday night in Albany. The contest opened the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association schedule for both teams.

Jasmine Jones

Jones scored 22 points, mixing in three-point shots with drives to the basket. She had five rebounds, five steals and four assists as the Lady Jaguars pulled their record back to even at 8-8, 1-0 in the GJCAA (Region 17 of the NJCAA).

Albany stayed close to GPC for part of the first half, but the Lady Jaguars moved ahead 41-25 at intermission. They were never threatened in the second period.

Nicole Wells scored 12 points, a few off offensive rebounds. Tyra Smith tallied 11 points and Ry’van Buchanan 10.

Buchanan accounted for 12 rebounds, one more than Joreshica Martin.

Tierra Harrison paced the Titans with 16 as GPC’s full-court press held them under 50.

Wednesday the Jaguars attempt to move above .500 and remain undefeated in the conference as they host Atlanta Metro College at 5:30 p.m. It’s a double-header, as the men’s team will play Atlanta Metro’s men at 7:30 p.m.

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

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December 30, 2009

Jaguars again lose in final minutes

For the second straight day, the Lady Jaguars held a late lead and then watched it slip from their grasp, as Parkland College edged the Georgia Perimeter College women 68-62 Wednesday.

Tyra Smith had nine assists.

With 6:15 left to play, Georgia Perimeter went up on the visitors from Illinois 56-55 with a driving layup by freshman point guard Tyra Smith.

But the Cobras claimed victory with a three-point play by Heather Pruemer, three buckets in the paint by Rani Brandon and four free throws in the last 12 seconds by Tenia Singleton. Additionally, the Jaguars missed some golden opportunities in the closing minutes.

“Our execution down the stretch is not what it should be,” said GPC head coach James Waldon. “But it’s a growing process. We’ve done a good job cutting our turnovers in half in the three games this week.”

The Jaguars finished with 20 turnovers and pressured the opponents into 26 miscues. GPC committed a total of only 16 turnovers during Monday and Tuesday losses at the Southwest Tennessee Tournament in Memphis.

Nicole Wells led Georgia Perimeter (7-8) with 14 points and five rebounds, while Smith contributed 10 points and dished out nine assists. Joreshica Martin also reached double figures with 10 points.

R’van Buchanan, hampered by early foul trouble, missed her customary double-double and finished with a season-low five rebounds. GPC matched muscles with the scrappy Cobras as each team registered 37 total boards.

Hannah Ohl came off the bench to score 15 points, matching Brandon’s total, while Pruemer added 14 for Parkland (12-3).

Both teams showed grit despite long bus rides and games the previous evening. Parkland defeated Atlanta Metropolitan College Tuesday, and the Jaguars rolled into Atlanta from the Memphis tournament at 4:30 a.m.

Although the Cobras controlled the lead most of the first half, the Jaguars seized it three times, giving notice that they weren’t giving in to bus lag. After trailing 34-29 at the half, GPC regained the lead 44-42 at 12:40 in the second period on a jumper by Smith and stayed in front for five minutes.

The three-point play by Pruemer at 6:06 gave Parkland a 58-56 edge that the Cobras never relinquished.

“It’s been a tough schedule, but it’s probably worth it for the conference schedule,” Waldon said. “If these games translate into growth, I think we’ve got a shot in the conference.”

Georgia Perimeter opens its Georgia Junior College Athletic Association schedule on January 9 at Albany Technical College and then hosts league rival Atlanta Metro on January 13 at 5:30 p.m.

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

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December 29, 2009

GPC rallies and then lets one get away

A see-saw ride ended Tuesday with Georgia Perimeter College on the descent in a 59-54 setback to Southwest Tennessee Community College at the winner’s holiday women’s basketball tournament in Memphis.

The Lady Jaguars (7-7) rallied after a horrid first half. Down 35-20, GPC took the lead nearly nine minutes into the second period during an incredible 24-1 run.

The visitors surged ahead 44-36 before Southwest regrouped. The Jaguars gave up the lead with five minutes left and never regained it.

Joreshica Martin ignited GPC with 15 points and six rebounds. Ashley Thompson pitched in with 12 points. Ry’van Buchanan reeled in 12 rebounds and Tyra Smith handed out seven assists.

The comeback was fueled by stalwart defense against Southwest standout Kiana James. She was held to no baskets and one free throw after a 16-point first half. James was unstoppable on the boards, however, pulling down 21 rebounds for the Saluqis.

It’s a no-rest-for-the-weary week for GPC, which returns late Tuesday night and will suit up for its third game in 48 hours on Wednesday. Parkland College (Ill.) visits the Decatur Campus gymnasium for a 2 p.m. tip-off.

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

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December 28, 2009

Jaguars can’t catch tough opponent

For the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team, the door kept getting closed at four.

The Lady Jaguars fell behind early, and then rallied frequently to within four points of Mineral Area (Mo.) Community College. Each time, Mineral Area scored the next basket right until the end of a 75-69 GPC defeat Monday on opening day of the Southwest Tennessee Tournament in Memphis.

Following a first half in which they scored only 22 points, the Jaguars shooters got hot—except at the foul line, where several misses kept them from catching up.

GPC’s zone defense clamped down on the Cardinals’ leading scorer, Shelli Liverpool, who scored four points, 10 below her average. But five teammates hit double figures.

Ry’van Buchanan had her usual well-rounded game for GPC with 16 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two assists. Larisa Blakely eclipsed Buchanan with 18 points to lead the Jaguars. Tyra Smith had 14 points and Quadralyn Saddler 11, while each had four assists.

Mineral Area (11-3) has received votes in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll, placing them among the top 32 teams in the nation.

GPC (7-6) completes its visit to Memphis with a Tuesday game against host Southwest Tennessee.

Wednesday the Jaguars will hardly be off the bus before hosting visitors from Illinois, the Parkland College Cobras. Parkland lost a close one to Mineral Area, 63-61, in November. Tip-off time is 2 p.m.

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

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December 18, 2009

Jaguars pounce early in win

The Georgia Perimeter College women jumped on Chattahoochee Valley Community College early and deftly avoided a patch of potential trouble in a 77-50 victory at the GPC gym on the Decatur campus.

Nicole Wells scored 16 and had 11 rebounds.

The Jaguars led by 12 early, by 15 later in the first half, by 10 at halftime. But with 10:57 remaining in the game, the Lady Pirates had crept within 47-40.

At that point, GPC turned up the defensive intensity, holding CVCC to four points over its next 19 possessions.

“It was good to get a win,” said GPC head coach James Waldon, whose squad heads into the Christmas holidays 7-5. “But we still have too many turnovers and still lose focus. I don’t know what’s going to cure that except just playing and getting some experience.”

The Jaguars are down to three nonconference games before Georgia Junior College Athletic Association play begins. The next two are in Memphis, Tenn., on Dec. 28 and 29, against Mineral Area College of Missouri and Southwest Tennessee Community College.

“We’re getting down to a core group that we hope can jell a little bit,” Waldon said.

Nicole Wells led the Jaguars with 16 points, followed by Ry’van Buchanan (14) and Ashley Thompson (13). All are freshmen.

Buchanan, who is gaining a reputation for her rebounding, led GPC with 19, including 14 in the second half. Wells had 11 and Erica Jackson, still another freshman, contributed 10.

After the Lady Pirates (5-8) pulled within seven points in the second half, Buchanan followed her own missed shot, was fouled and sank both free throws. Then a blocked shot by Buchanan led to a fast break and a free throw by Tyra Smith.

A jump shot by Smith put the lead back at 12.

Down the stretch, the teams continued to play aggressive defense, producing a final total of 40 fouls, 25 by CVCC, of Phenix City, Ala.

Shanequah Ferguson of Clarkston, Ga., had nine points and eight rebounds for the Lady Pirates, who committed 29 turnovers and shot 25 percent from the field.

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

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December 12, 2009

Jaguars fall to No. 1 Gulf Coast

Georgia Perimeter College women’s coach James Waldon doesn’t shy away from demanding nonconference schedules, feeling they toughen his teams for the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association season.

Gulf Coast Community College, ranked No. 1 in the country, dropped the Jaguars to 6-5 with a 74-48 victory at the GPC gym on the Decatur Campus.

“We don’t have enough experience to play at that high a level. There’s quite a bit of difference in experience and athleticism,” said Waldon. “Their coach [Roonie Scovel] always does a great job. Hopefully we learn from it.”

Freshman guard Tyra Smith led the Jaguars with 11 points, the only player in double figures. Nichole Wells had 13 rebounds, and Ry’van Buchanan had nine before fouling out with 7:31 remaining.

Jasmine Jones contributed six assists and five steals.

GPC, playing its second top-five opponent within 24 hours, hung tough for the first 10 1/2 minutes before turnovers started taking a toll — 22 in the first half, 36 for the game.

But the 26-point final margin represents a vast improvement for the Jaguars—in November they lost to Gulf Coast by 49 points, 98-49, at the Commodore’s Gulf Coast Classic in Panama City, Fla.

A 7-2 burst put the Commodores ahead 45-28 at halftime. Two quick layups by Angie Felton gave Gulf Coast a 21-point lead in the opening minute of the second half, enough to survive scoring only a single point in an 11-possession stretch late in the game.

Kyra Crosby of Atlanta (McEachern High School) led Gulf Coast (9-0) with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Andrea Smith had 16 points for the Commodores, of Panama City, Fla., and Felton had 14. Twelve of Smith’s points came on three-pointers.

The Jaguars have one game remaining before their Christmas break, Dec. 18 at home against Chattahoochee Valley Community College. They wrap up the nonconference portion of their schedule the last week of the month with three games, two at an event in Memphis, Tenn.

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

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December 11, 2009

Jaguars scare No. 5 Northwest Florida

“Every time I’ve been to GPC, it’s been a tough game.”

That was the reaction of Northwest Florida State College coach Bart Walker after his Lady Raiders held off a robust Georgia Perimeter College second-half rally to cling to a 70-60 win Friday at GPC’s Decatur Campus.

Northwest Florida (11-0) came into the game ranked fifth nationally in the NJCAA poll, and the Raiders started four experienced sophomores.

Playing with all freshmen, Georgia Perimeter (6-4) trailed throughout the first half, giving the visitors a 37-24 advantage at the break.

However, the Jaguars reeled off 11 unanswered points and took their first lead at 48-47 with 10:49 remaining in the game. That came on a Jasmine Jones steal and long pass up-court to Analise Voss, who laid it in.

Although the Raiders grabbed back the lead and cranked up their game like a No. 5 team should, they couldn’t shake the Jaguars until the final minutes.

“GPC always plays hard and never gives up,” Walker said. “I have the utmost respect for those players and that coaching staff.”

For the Jaguars, Ry’van Buchanan tallied 12 points and crashed the boards to lead all rebounders with 15. Three Jaguars scored 11 points each—Jasmine Jones, Tyra Smith and Analise Voss. Smith contributed six assists, and Erica Jackson snared eight rebounds.

Shamar Harris poured in 23 points for Northwest, followed by Vontrice Dennis with 16. The Raiders played without their top scorer, Josette Campbell, who is averaging 18.6 points per game.

Turnovers have plagued the young Jaguars this season, and Friday was no exception against Northwest’s three-quarter court press. GPC committed 32, but their own pressure counted toward 24 Raider mishaps.

“We’re still above .500, playing this tough schedule with all these freshmen,” said GPC head coach James Waldon. “This competition has helped us to mature. If we just learn to protect the ball, stop the turnovers, and hang in there, we’ll be all right.”

On deck for GPC is a formidable rematch with No. 1 Gulf Coast Community College Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Decatur gymnasium. Gulf Coast (8-0) defeated the Jaguars 98-49 in November on the Commodores’ home court.

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

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December 9, 2009

Jaguars win seesaw battle

For 36 minutes, Georgia Perimeter College and Spartanburg Methodist College traded the lead as if it were a hot potato.

Then the potato cooled, and the Lady Jaguars held onto it for a 53-47 women’s basketball victory Wednesday in Spartanburg, S.C.

GPC (6-3) plodded through the first half, scoring only 18 points — 12 by Ry’van Buchanan.

The pace picked up after intermission, and the Lady Jaguars finally moved ahead safely with about four minutes left. Ashley Thompson hit a pair of threes and two free throws down the stretch, while Nicole Wells sank four late foul shots to supplement her five assists.

Buchanan wound up with 20 points, the only Lady Jaguar in double figures. Larisa Blakely and Erica Jackson shared rebound honors with 10 each.

The Lady Pioneers (6-7), who began the night on a three-game win streak, had several chances to close the gap, but GPC’s defense held them at bay.

The Lady Jaguars return home for a daunting weekend with undefeated opponents. Friday at 6 p.m. they host Northwest Florida State, ranked No. 5 in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll with a 10-0 record.

It won’t get any easier for the Jaguars on Saturday as they play a rematch with No. 1 Gulf Coast Community College at 5 p.m. The Commodores (8-0) defeated Georgia Perimeter 98-49 in November at Panama City, Fla.

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

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December 2, 2009

Buchanan powers GPC past Gordon

Ry’van Buchanan put her stamp on the Georgia Perimeter college women’s basketball game Wednesday night, and the Lady Jaguars posted a victory over Gordon College 78-61 in Barnesville.

Ry’van Buchanan

Buchanan was especially forceful near the Georgia Perimeter basket, powering her way to 8-of-16 shooting from the field and 10 offensive rebounds. All told, she had 18 points and 19 rebounds, both exceeding her averages of 13.6 and 10.4.

Playing a former Georgia Junior College Athletic Association member that has dropped to the club level, GPC (5-3) assumed control early and maintained it. However, the Highlanders (1-8) kept the guests within their sights during this rematch of last month’s 13-point GPC win in Decatur. The widest margin Wednesday was 20 points as the Jaguars pressed from start to finish.

Jasmine Jones scored 11 points for GPC, primarily on drives to the basket. Her total was matched by Monique Carter, who provided her usual spark off the bench.

Georgia Perimeter gets a week between games. Next up is a visit to Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist College on Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m. In their season opener early in November, the Jaguars defeated Spartanburg 66-36.

The next home stand for GPC is Dec. 11-12, when the Jaguars host a pair of national contenders. They meet Northwest Florida State College, ranked No. 5 in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll, on Friday at 6 p.m. On Saturday they face No. 1 Gulf Coast Community College at 5 p.m.

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

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November 28, 2009

GPC Classic: Wiggins’ 36 lift Jaguars

Shakima Wiggins’ shooting range is well known to Georgia Perimeter College fans and those around Sandersville, Ga., where she starred at Washington County High School.

Shakima Wiggins netted 8 of 11 three-point attempts.

Enterprise-Ozark Community College of Alabama gave her a couple of early openings and quickly learned.

Wiggins, a freshman guard, went on to make eight of 11 three-point shots and finished with 36 points as the Jaguars beat the Lady Weevils 98-67, wrapping up two lengthy days of basketball at the GPC Thanksgiving Classic on the Decatur Campus. Wiggins also had five steals.

Freshman forward Ry’van Buchanan had a superior all-around game for the Jaguars with 22 points, 26 rebounds, five steals, three assists and a blocked shot. Fifteen of her rebounds came on the offensive end.

Jasmine Jones contributed nine assists and two steals for GPC, which led 53-37 at halftime.

“We played well in spurts,” said head coach James Waldon. “But there were too many moments where we sort of let up. They have to understand that they have to be out there pounding all the time.”

The Jaguars turned up the defensive pressure in the final six minutes of the first half, breaking away from a tie at 29 with a 24-8 run. Wiggins had 14 points in the spurt, including a couple of three-pointers.

After a halftime oddity—Enterprise-Ozark was assessed a technical foul for not returning from the locker room quickly enough—GPC put to rest any comeback hopes. After Nicole Wells made one of two free throws on the technical, Buchanan made two baskets before Wiggins produced a 60-37 lead with a jump shot with 18:13 remaining.

Zyekya Barton led Enterprise-Ozark with 19 points, while Tayler Byrd had 14. The Lady Weevils fell to 3-5 as they dressed only seven players and used only six because of disciplinary actions.

The Jaguars moved to 4-3 after splitting two in the Thanksgiving Classic as Waldon molds his team for conference play in January.

“As a team we’re growing,” said Waldon. “That’s why we play Tallahassee. That’s why we play Gulf Coast. It doesn’t look good in your record, but you hope it helps you.”

The Jaguars next play Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in Barnesville, Ga., against Gordon College. Their next home game is Dec. 11 versus Northwest Florida State College.

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

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November 28, 2009

GPC Classic: South Georgia Tech wins

Deatric Smith and Opheila McMath scored 22 points each and took command in the final two minutes as South Georgia Technical College came from behind for a 61-58 victory over Spartanburg Methodist College in the GPC Thanksgiving Classic on the Decatur Campus.

Smith made an important jump shot with 1:47 remaining and two free throws with 6.2 seconds left. The points gave South Georgia Tech (7-2) a three-point lead, and Spartanburg Methodist’s bid to tie clanged off the rim at the buzzer.

A key turnover in the waning seconds also hurt Spartanburg Methodist (3-6), which led 36-26 at halftime. Kendra Brown had 16 points and seven assists for the Pioneers.

Smith also contributed 14 rebounds for South Georgia Tech.

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November 28, 2009

GPC Classic: Walters State upset

A 47-game regular-season winning streak came to an end Saturday as Tallahassee Community College surprised Walters State Community College 66-65 in the GPC Classic at Georgia Perimeter College.

With the victory Tallahassee (7-2) extended its own winning streak to seven. Walters State came into the tournament ranked No. 5 in the NJCAA coaches poll.

Ashley White and Tyesha Robinson dropped in 20 points each for Tallahassee. White dished out nine assists and grabbed three steals.

A trio accounted for most of the scoring for Walters State (6-1). Patrice Talley netted 15 points, followed by Lakrystle Goss with 14 and Melanie Hemphill’s 13.

It was an even game all the way, with Tallahassee leading 30-28 at halftime.

The teams battled to a 32-32 draw on the boards, and had similar turnover counts—24 for Tallahassee and 22 for Walters State. Tallahassee’s Spring Roberson led all rebounders with eight.

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November 28, 2009

GPC Classic: Southwest Tennessee rolls

Southwest Tennessee jumped out to an early 20-point lead and held on to it for a 71-51 win over Atlanta Metropolitian College in Saturday’s first game of the GPC Classic at Georgia Perimeter College.

Kiana James paced Southwest (4-4) with 16 points. The Saluqis dominated the boards 65-46, as Keturah Martin registered a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Jermecce Johnson contributed 10 points to the winning effort, and Mariame Sylla pulled down 12 rebounds.

Cassie Billingsley and Jayda Lloyd led Atlanta Metro (3-6) with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Lloyd also had a double-double, snaring 11 rebounds. Candace Hollingsworth led the Panthers with 12 boards.

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November 27, 2009

GPC Classic: Tallahassee downs Jaguars

Tallahassee Community College overpowered the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team 72-46 in the Friday nightcap of the GPC Classic at the host’s Decatur Campus gymnasium.

Jasmine Jones

The Eagles’ Ashley White, a freshman guard, fired in 11 points in a four-minute stretch early in the first half to give the visitors a 13-5 lead that they pushed to 43-14 at intermission.

“I wasn’t displeased with our defense in the first half. We just couldn’t get any offense going,” said GPC head coach James Waldon.

The Jaguars missed point guard Tyra Smith, who was out of the state tending to her gravely ill grandmother. Jasmine Jones took over her spot and had six points and three assists.

“She’s our floor leader and understands what we have to do,” Waldon said. But it wasn’t bad since Jasmine had to handle it tonight. It gave her a chance to work the point.”

Porche Bentley paced the Eagles with 22 points and 13 rebounds. White ended with 15 points, and Tyesha Robinson had 14. GPC held sophomore guard Mansa El to five points. She came into the game averaging 16 points per game.

Though the Jaguars (3-3) had a cold night from the field, they applied a tight 2-3 zone after the intermission and stayed even the rest of the way. Ry’van Buchanan scored nine points and Nicole Wells added eight for Georgia Perimeter.

The Jaguars committed 21 turnovers to Tallahassee’s 15, but they were outrebounded 47-33.

Tallahassee (6-2) brought a five-game winning streak into the weekend. The Eagles have received votes in the NJCAA poll and are in the nation’s top 40.

Georgia Perimeter takes on Enterprise (Ala.) Ozark Community College Sat. at 6 p.m. in the invitational finale. The afternoon games: Atlanta Metro vs. Southwest Tennessee, 12 p.m.; Walters State Community College vs. Tallahassee, 2 p.m.; South Georgia Tech vs. Spartanburg Methodist, 4 p.m.

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

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November 27, 2009

GPC Classic: S.W. Tennessee nips Jets

Southwest Tennessee Community College edged South Georgia Technical College 60-59 in the third game of the women’s GPC Classic Friday at Georgia Perimeter College.

Two Southwest players posted double-doubles to pace the Saluqis. Keturah Martin scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Kiana James added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

South Deatric Smith pumped in 21 points to lead all scorers and had four assists and six steals.

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

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November 27, 2009

GPC Classic: No. 5 Walters State breezes

Undefeated Walters State Community College (Tenn.) rolled by Enterprise Ozark Community College (Ala.) 88-38 in the second game of the GPC Classic Friday at Georgia Perimeter College.

Jama Hammontree’s 16 points led Walters State, which is 6-0 and ranked No. 5 in the NJCAA coaches poll. The Senators have won 47 consecutive regular season games.

Also in double figures for the victors were LaKrystle Goss, 13 points, and Patrice Talley, 10. Kylie Smith pulled down 12 rebounds.

Latreshia Lymon led Entrerprise with 10 points.

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

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November 27, 2009

GPC Classic: Atlanta Metro wins opener

Atlanta Metropolitan College opened the GPC Classic women’s basketball invitational tournament with a 62-58 victory over Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist College Friday afternoon at Georgia Perimeter College.

Candace Hollingsworth and Cassie Billingsley led Atlanta Metro with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Hollingsworth registered a double-double with 14 rebounds.

Spartanburg guard Kendra Brown poured in 24 points, followed by Whitley Smith with 16.

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

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November 21, 2009

Jaguars recover from loss to upset Chipola

The Lady Jaguars are quick healers. Just 17 hours after a 49-point loss, the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team surprised No. 22 Chipola (Fla.) College 71-65 on Saturday afternoon.

The Gulf Coast Tournament game in Panama City, Fla., followed Friday night’s defeat to host Gulf Coast Community College, the nation’s top-ranked team.

The Lady Jaguars (3-2) survived 27 made free throws by Chipola (4-1) by sinking their own foul shots down the stretch. GPC forced 24 turnovers and reduced its own total to 17, half of the amount they committed Friday.

Ry’van Buchanan poured in 26 points and reeled in 11 rebounds. Tyra Smith dispensed 10 assists, and Krishawn Carter came off the bench to contribute 12 points and nine rebounds in only 17 minutes.

GPC’s defensive standout was guard Jasmine Jones, who also pitched in with nine points.

The Lady Jaguars hope to ride their momentum into next weekend for the GPC Classic. They will play at 6 p.m. Friday against Tallahassee Community College and Enterprise-Ozark Community College 24 hours later.

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

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November 20, 2009

Jaguars fall in Panama City

The inexperienced Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team ran headlong into the No. 1-ranked squad in the country and lost 98-49 to Gulf Coast Community College on the first day of the Gulf Coast Classic in Panama City, Fla.

The Lady Jaguars (2-2) meet Chipola College on Nov. 21 at noon before returning home to host their own Thanksgiving Classic at the GPC gym on the Decatur Campus.

Freshman guard Tyra Smith led GPC with 14 points, including 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

One of the Lady Jaguars’ sprinkling of sophomores, forward Krishawn Carter, had a productive night in limited playing time, producing eight points, five rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal.

Pounding the offensive boards, Gulf Coast (5-0) took a 41-21 halftime lead. Andrea Smith led Gulf Coast with 19 points.

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

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November 11, 2009

Jaguars’ second half rally falls short

Joreshica Martin came off the bench to score 16 points, and the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball nearly remained undefeated.

Joreshica Martin

But the Jaguars couldn’t hold on to a second-half lead, losing to a strong Central Florida Community College team 82-75 Wednesday at GPC’s Decatur Campus.

Turnovers told the story as the Lady Jaguars committed 29 in suffering their first loss of the season, while Central Florida had only 16 miscues.

“We had our chances,” said Jaguar head coach James Waldon. “But we made some turnovers at crucial times. I attribute it to youth.”

The Jaguars (2-1) took an early lead with a break, sharp shooting and solid defense. Then they began missing shots off the break, and the Patriots took control midway through the half.

In the second half, Martin, a freshman guard, ripped off 10 points in less than three-minutes to give the hosts a 64-62 lead. A long three-pointer by Shakima Wiggins put the Jaguars up 69-64.

Central Florida (3-0) then clamped down, forcing key turnovers with a wicked midcourt triple-team trap and fouling out Wiggins.

The Patriots’ quick guards, Jamesha Willis and Markeshia Grant, did most of the damage, finishing with 19 and 15 points, respectively. Olivia Nino added 16, along with 10 rebounds.

Behind Martin’s 16, Raven Washington contributed 10 points for GPC, while Wiggins and Tyra Smith each had nine.

With every player grabbing at least one rebound, the Jaguars had an edge on the boards 50-47. Ry’van Buchanan pulled down nine rebounds and Larissa Blakely had eight.

Quadralyn Saddler dished off eight assists for the Jaguars.

Waldon expressed satisfaction that his players never gave up. “It’s something to build on,” he said.

The Jaguars get a rest until traveling to Panama City, Fla., to play Gulf Coast Community College Nov. 20 and Chipola College the following day in the Gulf Coast Tourney. Chipola is ranked No. 3 and Gulf Coast No. 7 in the NJCAA national poll.

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

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November 7, 2009

Lady Jaguars move to 2-0

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team made its opening weekend a double-dip success by beating Gordon College 56-43 at the GPC gym on the Decatur Campus, where less than 24 hours before they won their opener by 30 points.

Even this early, a theme is emerging — suffocating defense. The Lady Jaguars forced 24 turnovers and held the Highlanders to 25 percent shooting as head coach James Waldon used his young roster in various combinations.

Freshman forward Ry’van Buchanan led GPC with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Larisa Blakely, one of the Lady Jaguars’ handful of sophomores, had 11 points and seven rebounds. Raven-Symone Washington contributed eight points and 10 rebounds.

GPC led 24-20 at halftime and never faced a serious threat in the final 20 minutes.

The Lady Jaguars’ next game is against Central Florida Community College on Nov. 11 at 5:30 p.m. on the Decatur Campus.

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

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November 6, 2009

Jaguars breeze in opener

The young Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team made a strong opening statement with its defense, defeating Spartanburg Methodist College 66-36 at the GPC gym on the Decatur Campus.

The Lady Jaguars, with only a sprinkling of sophomores on their current roster, forced 32 turnovers and held the Pioneers (1-2) to 21 percent shooting. GPC scored 18 points off turnovers and at one point in the second half forced miscues on five consecutive possessions.

After a ragged start, the Jaguars took control with a 20-3 run in an 11-minute span of the first half. They led 28-12 at halftime and wrapped up the game with a 23-6 run covering the majority of the second half.

Coach James Waldon, who has led the Jaguars to first-place regular-season and tournament finishes in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association in four of the past five seasons, said defense “will probably have to carry us until the offense kicks in.”

Ry’van Buchanan, a freshman forward, led GPC with 12 points. Freshman guard Analise Voss added 11. Sophomore post player Larisa Blakely contributed a double-double, 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Georgia Perimeter, despite impressive flashes with fast breaks off turnovers, shot 33 percent from the field, pounding the boards enough to produce 11 second-chance points.

“You can tell we’re a bunch of freshmen. When they learn the way we want them to play, they’re probably going to be pretty good,” said Waldon, who is beginning his 12th season at GPC.

Two sophomores—Kendra Brown (15 points) and Schatavia Gray (12)—accounted for almost all of Spartanburg Methodist’s offense. Gray added 13 rebounds.

Because of the margin, Waldon was able to rest his starters, handy because the Jaguars open with back-to-back games. The Nov. 7 game against Gordon College starts at 2 p.m. at the GPC gym.

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

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November 5, 2009

Jaguars open with new look

In a build-from-the-ground rebuilding year, the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team opens the season this weekend at its home gym on the Decatur Campus with an entirely made-over cast, aside from one player.

Ry’van Buchanan

Last season’s one-win campaign was sudden and shocking, because GPC had won four consecutive conference regular season titles and post-season tournaments. The Lady Jaguars had gone to the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament four straight years.

“Last year it was just a bad mix, chemistry-wise,” head coach James Waldon says. As a result, he has a brand new team hitting the floor for Friday’s opening game.

The exception is returning post player Larisa Blakely (South Cobb High). The coach expects solid production from her this season

“Larisa didn’t fall into a lot of the negativity last year,” Waldon said. “I needed to give her another opportunity.”

Indicative of the talent upgrade this year, Blakely is likely to come off the bench, Waldon said. He pointed to three freshmen whose starting roles seem all but certain—

Forward Ry’van Buchanan (Douglass High). Waldon: “An all-purpose player. Real versatile.”

Tyra Smith

Point guard Tyra Smith (Berkmar High). Waldon: “Lots of court savvy. She’s a coach on the floor.”

Guard Shakima Wiggins (Washington County High). Waldon: “High-scoring, with unbelievable three-point range.”

The incoming group would have been even stronger had one promising signee not graduated from what GPC later determined was an unaccredited high school, rendering her ineligible. “That was a huge hit,” Waldon admitted. “She was a major -college prospect.”

In addition, one of only two other sophomores ran into grade problems and is sidelined.

The other, guard Quadralyn Saddler of Elbert County High, transferred from Lawson State in Birmingham and is a candidate to start.

Waldon encountered similar 11th-hour defections a year ago with two players who would have stood out, and a third, Kristian Williams, was in a serious auto accident that kept her shelved until January.

“It’s hard to recoup from those kinds of losses. So many factors contributed to last year’s performance,” Waldon said, noting that superior depth makes it less painful in coping with roster reductions this time around.

The up-tempo style that Waldon prefers should be in place this season. “I have the players to play that pace now,” he said.

The coach intended to soften his historically challenging pre-league schedule, packed with powerful Florida schools. Ultimately, he said, “My pride wouldn’t let me do it.”

Nor did he wish to risk relationships built over the years with opposing coaches. “We played some of them when they were down,” he said.

So the Jaguars may face some tough sledding through December. They’ll play Chipola College, ranked No. 3 in the NJCAA preseason poll, on Nov. 21 and No. 7 Gulf Coast Community College the night before.

In December they’ll face Gulf Coast again the day after playing No. 22 Northwest Florida State College.

Once they delve into the Region 17 (Georgia Junior College Athletic Association) portion of the schedule, Waldon expects them to contend with three others in the six-team league: No. 24 Middle Georgia College, South Georgia Tech and Darton College.

“We’re right there with them,” Waldon said, then quickly added, “as long things stay the way they are.”

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

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