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May 21, 2011

Smith signs with USC-Upstate

Of the four sophomores who led Georgia Perimeter College to a 7th-place finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association, Tyra Smith might have been the most versatile. Though she usually came off the bench, it was often with the just the spark the team needed.

Tyra Smith signs to play at USC Upstate as her parents, Tyrone and Kimberly Smith, look on, along with GPC head coach James Waldon in the background.

She could lead the Jaguars in any statistical department on any given night, whether it was scoring (as it was against North Idaho in the NJCAA tournament), rebounds (as it was against Middle Georgia), assists (as it was against Albany Tech) or steals (as it was against Andrew College)

The 5-foot-10 guard from Berkmar High will take those all-around skills with her to the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg next season, after signing the paperwork in a quiet ceremony recently with her parents at their Lawrenceville home.

GPC coach James Waldon, who attended the ceremony, will miss Smith and the other three sophomores—Ry’van Buchanan (Mercer), Nicole Wells and Jasmine Jones (both Wichita State).

“Tyra was a coach on the floor for me,” Waldon said. “She was one of those rare players that I could turn loose with the ball in her hands and know that things would run smoothly. Upstate is getting a very smart and intelligent player. I am grateful for the job she did for us.”

Smith averaged 6.2 points, 4.4 assists and 3.3 rebounds, shooting 72 percent from the free-throw line and playing in all 37 games as the Jaguars went 31-6.

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May 11, 2011

Buchanan signs with Mercer University

May 11, 2011 Georgia Perimeter College forward Ry’van Buchanan on Wednesday signed the papers that will send her to Mercer University on a full basketball scholarship. By all accounts—and most importantly, hers—she will go to the four-year school in Macon a changed woman.

Flanked by her parents, Alisa Butler and James Chambliss, Ry’van Buchanan signs to attend Mercer University, backed by assistant coach Don Moore (top, left), head coach James Waldon and assistant coach Christina Shafer.

“I think getting hurt my senior year at Douglass High School—I came here with a chip on my shoulder,” she said, while a gathering of family, friends, coaches and teammates celebrated her move eating cake and pizza in a room at the Clarkston Campus.

“Georgia Perimeter gave me a chance to strengthen my skills, make history, form bonds and become a better person and athlete. If I had it to do over, I would do it again.”

She thanked GPC coach James Waldon, her teammates, her high school coach, Vernice Hill, and “Ms. Calloway,” her mentor since fourth grade, when a young Buchanan was growing up in a Lithonia housing project. All of them helped mold her and without them, she said, “I wouldn’t be Ry’van Buchanan.”

The 6-foot forward led GPC with 10.7 points and 7.9 rebounds a game this season as the Jaguars completed their transformation from a one-win team the year before she arrived to a team that finished seventh in the nation.

Her numbers dropped from the 13.2-point, 12.1-rebound average she sported in 2009-10, but the improvement in the talent surrounding her meant she didn’t have to carry as heavy a load and made the Jaguars a better overall team.

Waldon says trying to fill the void Buchanan, a two-time, second-team all-Region 17 selection, will leave is going to be tough.

“To find someone her equal in talent and strength and all the intangibles she brings, that’s got to be a heck of a player,” the GPC coach said. “There aren’t any on the radar right now, but I’m holding a spot for somebody like that. I haven’t signed anyone of her magnitude.”

Buchanan’s parents were by her side as she signed her papers. Both pointed to how much she has grown during her two years at Georgia Perimeter.

“She’s become a little more responsible,” her father, Arthur Chambliss, said. “She still needs a little more work, but she’s a whole lot more responsible.”

Said her mother, Alisa Butler: “I’ve seen her evolve from a young lady to a woman. She takes responsibilities for her own failures and triumphs and has learned to look at the glass not as half-empty but as half-full. She’s learned to trust in the Lord, that every test is a chance for a testimony. I’ve always told her, ‘It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there.’”

Buchanan is getting there, to Mercer, two years after silently playing on a torn meniscus took her from highly coveted prospect to an afterthought, one who doubted she had what it took to play Division I basketball.

“It humbled her,” Butler said. “She came from being out there to nobody calling. When we met Coach Waldon, the spirits were there. I felt like he could take my baby and bring her to where she needed to be.”

Buchanan’s impact at GPC has been more than statistical, especially for the teammates she leaves behind.

“With her being the captain, she told us what to do and what was expected of us,” said Brittany Logan, a 6-4 center who will be counted on to fill some of the void Buchanan’s departure creates. “Ry’van took us under her wing, to get us to the next level to get to nationals. She’s going to be greatly missed. She’s funny. We had good times, good camaraderie.”

Buchanan said Mercer was a better fit for her than Missisisppi, Oregon State, South Carolina State, Clayton State and Armstrong Atlantic State—among the schools Buchanan considered—because of the academic opportunities it offers her in business and marketing. It will best aid her in her quest to build a non-profit organization to benefit those who suffer from speech impediments. And it has the added advantage of being closer to home, though she first thought she would benefit more by moving farther away.

“I’ve been an underdog all my life,” Buchanan said. “But God gave me a second chance. I’m just thankful. It’s just a blessing.”

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April 26, 2011

Jones follows Wells to Wichita State

When Jasmine Jones was rooming with Nicole Wells during their freshman basketball season, she never imagined the two would share an address after they left Georgia Perimeter College.

Jasmine Jones signs, flanked by parents Stanley and Denise, while sister Jessica, back left, Slim Barns, brother Stanley Jr. and assistant coach Donald Moore Jr. look on.

With Jones signing a letter-of-intent Tuesday to attend Wichita State, the point guard might have a familiar roommate again, after all. Last week, Wells enlisted with the Shockers.

"She was an unnamed captain on the floor, really a leader," GPC assistant coach Donald Moore said of Jones as he watched her celebrate with family and friends Tuesday on the Clarkston campus. "If she hadn’t be there, we would have been in trouble."

The 5-foot-9 native of Douglasville helped guide the Lady Jaguars to a 31-6 record and seventh place in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament in Salina, Kan.

While the tourney gave Wichita State, located about 90 miles from Salina, an eyeful of Jones, she was no stranger to the university. Assistant coach Bridgette Gordon was at Georgia State when she scouted Jones at Alexander High School. Gordon tipped off GPC to Jones, according to Moore.

Moore said Jones made substantial strides with her shooting and decision-making as a Lady Jaguar, though she did not seize a starting role full-time until early in her sophomore season.

"She knew exactly what needed to be done," Moore said. "She showed us she needed to be on the floor."

Jones agreed that her on-court skills improved at GPC, but suggested the greatest leap came with her attitude. Like most incoming players, she expected to start immediately, but had to learn what it takes to earn a place in the lineup.

"I faced a little adversity at first," she said. "A lot of things didn’t go my way."

The team struggled in her freshman year, and she was among only four players -- including Wells -- who were back this past season. GPC went unbeaten in the Georgia Junior College Association.

"I was happy to share [the winning experience] with the whole team, but especially those other three," she said.

On a squad with minutes (and statistics) spread evenly among numerous players, Jones averaged 6.5 points, 3.6 assists and two steals per game.

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April 13, 2011

Wells signs scholarship to play for Wichita State

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars enjoyed their recent trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament in Salina, Kan., and soon one of them will become a Kansas resident, at least temporarily.

Watching Nicole Wells sign are, from left, Jerold, Sonya and Ebony Wells; coach James Waldon; and assistant coaches Donald Moore Jr. and Christina Shafer.

Two-year starter Nicole Wells from Harlem High School in Grovetown, Ga., has signed to continue her studies and basketball career at Wichita State University, an NCAA Division I school that competes in the Missouri Valley Conference.

“She has been rock solid for us for two years,” said GPC coach James Waldon as family and friends gathered Wednesday evening for a signing ceremony on GPC’s Clarkston campus. “We wouldn’t have had the success we’ve had without her.”

Waldon cited Wells’ work ethic, team leadership and attention to academics. She has made the dean’s list at GPC every semester.

As a freshman, Wells, who stands 6 feet 2, averaged 8.8 points and 7.2 rebounds, winning first team all-region honors in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. As a sophomore, she played fewer minutes because the team was much deeper, averaging 6.7 points and 6.l rebounds. GPC finished the season with a 31-6 record, 14-0 in the GCAA.

At the national tournament, Wells’ all-around play, which included a key blocked shot in the victory that produced a seventh-place finish, impressed Wichita State’s coaches. By NCAA rule, no representative from the Shockers could attend the ceremony.

Wells said the chance to display all her skills—rebounding, running the court, blocking shots and shooting, including the occasional 3-pointer—prompted her to choose GPC. Most of the other schools that recruited her out of high school viewed her strictly as a post player.

“I was grateful to get the opportunity to step back and show what I could do,” said Wells. “Plus, Coach Waldon is an excellent teacher.”

The Shockers, with one senior on their roster this season, were 17-15 under coach Jody Adams and earned an invitation to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament for the first time since 2000.

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March 19, 2011

Jaguars win 7th place in final national standings

The Jaguars are walking on Cloud 7 right now, the next best thing to Cloud 9. Georgia Perimeter College’s women’s basketball team overcame a first-half 20-point deficit to defeat Cloud County Community College (Kan.) 73-70 at the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament in Salina, Kan., Saturday.

Ashley Robinson led the Jaguars with 17 points.

The victory, GPC’s third in four games at nationals, earns the Jaguars a No. 7 ranking in the final NJCAA standings. They finish an outstanding season with a 31-6 record.

After overcoming a 20-point deficit and then settling into a seesaw battle, GPC was down 70-67 when heroics by Ashley Robinson—six points in the final minute—and Nicole Wells—a key blocked shot—pulled the Jaguars through.

“That’s the amazing thing about this team—so many players can step up,“ said head coach James Waldon. “They battled back. It was incredible. I never stopped believing.“

Cloud County (27-9) led 42-22 late in the first half, but the Jaguars went on an 11-point run in the last four minutes, closing it to nine points at the intermission.

Ry’van Buchanan was named to the All-Tournament Team.

With eight points at the halftime break, Robinson had a big hand in the first-half surge, as did Jasmine Jones with nine points and Tyra Smith with six. Jameesha Willis hit a 3-point bomb in the last minute to cut the score to 42-33.

GPC continued the run in the second half, stretching it to 16-0 and eventually 25-2. The Jags took their first lead of the game, 47-44, when Willis completed a one-on-one fast break with a layup and a free-throw.

The teams settled into a seesaw battle, with six lead changes and eight ties. Cloud Canyon got a boost from sharpshooting Satavia Taylor, who sank four 3-pointers in the second half.

Her last one, with 1:16 showing on the scoreboard, seemed a dagger, thrusting the Thunderbirds ahead 70-67 and throwing the local Kansas crowd into a frenzy.

With a minute remaining, Robinson put back a rebound for two. On the Thunderbirds’ next possession, Wells blocked a shot under the basket by six-one center Brittany Griswold, who had been a force throughout the game.

Robinson then scored on another rebound and, after Cloud County committed a turnover, she was intentionally fouled with nine seconds left. The six-foot freshman forward calmly sank a pair of free throws, which iced the game—Klara Wischer’s 3-pointer at the buzzer fell inches short of the rim.

Robinson paced the Jaguars with 17 points and nine rebounds. Willis followed with 12 points, Jones 11 and Ry’van Buchanan 10. Buchanan led all rebounders with 14, Brittany Logan snared 10 and Wells had six.

Wells and Jones registered three assists apiece and Smith, who finished with eight points, also had three assists.

For Cloud County, Griswold led with 15 points, while Taylor finished with 14 and Wischer had 12.

As was the custom throughout the season, the Jaguars’ nagging pressure defense was instrumental. Robinson and Buchanan each blocked a shot at crucial moments; Willis snatched four steals; GPC forced 27 turnovers by the Thunderbirds and held them to 13 offensive rebounds while grabbing 31 defensive boards.

Buchanan, a sophomore from Atlanta and Frederick Douglass High School, was selected to the All-Tournament team.

The Jaguars, the Region 17 and District J champions, finished the 16-team tournament among four teams at 3-1—the runner-up and third, fifth and seventh places. All others, except the undefeated champion, leave the event with two losses.

GPC opened the tourney with a disappointing 78-49 loss to eventual champion North Idaho College, which rolled over State Fair Community College (Mo.) and impressively handled undefeated, top-ranked Pensacola Junior College to enter Saturday evening’s final game.

North Idaho (33-3) won that game over Trinity Valley Community College (Texas) 90-81 to claim the national title.

“I felt we found our groove in the second half of the North Idaho game,“ Waldon said, noting that North Idaho won that half by a 36-33 score. The Jags went on to beat Chattanooga State Community College 77-43 and Central Arizona College 66-59.

“We learned a lot out here,“ Waldon said. “There’s a lot to think about in regards to what we have to do next year.

OTHER SCORES SATURDAY: Grayson County College (Tex.) 77, Copiah-Lincoln Community College (Miss.) 68, Grayson wins fifth place; Pensacola Junior College 86, Northern Oklahoma College-Enid 63, Pensacola wins third place.

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March 18, 2011

Jaguars advance to Saturday battle for 7th place in nation

The Jaguars of Georgia Perimeter College got a little sweet revenge, made a little history and advanced to a Saturday game in Salina, Kan., even though it’s not the game they were aiming for.

Georgia Perimeter eliminated perennial national power Central Arizona College 66-59 Friday in the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament at Salina’s Bicentennial Center.

Kayla Carter gets a look in heavy traffic against Central Arizona.

Led by Ry’van Buchanan’s 15 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals, GPC (30-6) advances to the final in the consolation bracket Saturday at 2 p.m. EST, facing Cloud County Community College (Kan.). The game will determine seventh place in the final NJCAA national standings. The top six spots in the standings are determined in the winners bracket.

The historical achievement: this is the farthest advancement in the nationals that a team from Region 17 has attained in at least seven years—and probably much more.

The revenge: although the 12th-seeded Jaguars hoped to be playing in the final four Friday evening, they attained a small payback by knocking No. 8 seed Central Arizona (28-6) out of the tournament. The Vaqueras have considerable pedigree at the event—they won the national championship in 2009, 2005, 1998 and 1989; were runner-up in 2008 and 2007 and finished third in 2006.

“We’ve had to face them out here several times and they kept us from advancing,” said GPC coach James Waldon. “It feels good to beat a great basketball progam like that. It feels like we’ve joined the elite, but there’s another level for us to go, and that’s the ultimate goal.”

In 2008—in GPC’s last trip to nationals—Central Arizona rolled over the Jaguars 87-34.

Nicole Wells defends the Vaqueras’ Ashley Mitchell.

This time the Jags would have none of that, never trailing in the first half and grabbing an early 12-3 advantage. However, playing their third game in three days, they fell silent for three minutes as the Vaqueras cut the lead to 12-10.

Then Kayla Carter and Nicole Wells drained 3-point shots and GPC went on to lead by 12 points midway through the period.

But the Vaqueras chipped away at the lead, cutting it to one on a jumper by Sancheon White.

Buchanan helped steady the Jaguars with 10 points in the first half, and GPC took a slim 32-31 lead into the intermission.

White opened the second half with a 3-pointer, putting Central ahead for the first time.

For several minutes the game was a back-and-forth affair, with four ties, until Ashley Robinson canned a field goal with 14:25 on the clock, giving the Jags a 42-40 lead that they never lost. GPC held the opponent scoreless for five-and-a-half minutes while producing an 11-point run and a 51-40 advantage at the 8:27 mark.

Again the Vaqueras came back and drew within 59-55 on a 3-pointer by Katrina Ottesen with 1:23 remaining.

In the final-minute festivities at the charity stripe, the Jaguars moved out of the discomfort zone as Carter sank three of four free throws and Tyra Smith made two to finish eight-of-10 from the line. A key to the victory was the Jags’ foul shooting—they got 25 points from free throws, while Central got only 13.

Along with Buchanan’s 15 points, Smith and Carter also reached double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Nicole Wells contributed nine points, and Brittany Logan snared nine rebounds. Carter, playing with an illness, picked off four steals, while Jasmine Jones dished off seven assists.

For Central Arizona, Ashley Mitchell finished with 15 points, followed by White with 12 and Shanice Butler 10.

Saturday’s game with Cloud County will be video broadcast online at psblive.com. To watch the game, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.“ The broadcast begins at 2 p.m. EST.

Cloud County (27-8) defeated Casper College (Wyo.) 65-61 in Friday’s first game.

FRIDAY’S OTHER SCORES: Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) 59, State Fair C.C. (Mo.) 56; Trinity Valley C.C. (Texas) 86, Northern Oklahoma-Enid 73; North Idaho College 90, Pensacola Junior College (Fla.) 75. Saturday championship game: Trinity Valley vs. North Idaho at 8 p.m. For all scores, click here.

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March 18, 2011

Watch the Jaguars today at 3 p.m.

The Jaguars take on Central Arizona College in the NJCAA National tournament in Salina, Kansas. The winner goes to Saturday’s consolation bracket final to vie for a seventh place finish in the final national standings.

To watch today’s game, video streamed live by Panhandle Sports Broadcasting beginning at 3 p.m., click here and follow the link at nhsbn.com.

Note: if prior games go overtime, the tipoff may be later than as scheduled at 3 p.m., so the broadcast would not begin until minutes before the delayed game begins.

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March 17, 2011

Jaguars bounce back with 34-point win to advance in Kansas

TO WATCH FRIDAY’S GAME: GPC vs. Central Arizona College, video streamed live by Panhandle Sports Broadcasting beginning at 3 p.m., click here and follow the link at nhsbn.com. Note: the broadcast may be delayed by overtime games earlier in the day.

THURSDAY’S STORY: In an odd display of “Your turn, my turn,” Georgia Perimeter College defeated Chattanooga State Community College 77-43 Thursday to advance in the consolation bracket at the NJCAA national tournament in Salina, Kansas.

Jamesha Willis goes to the hoop.

Ry’van Buchanan scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Jamesha Willis scored 11 to lead a Georgia Perimeter attack that was hot and cold and hot again.

The 12th-seeded Jaguars, 29-6 on the season and 19-1 in their last 20 games, face Central Arizona College Friday at 3 p.m. EST in the second round of consolation bracket play.

Thirteenth seed Chattanooga State, paced by April Woodard’s 12 points, exits the tournament and finishes the season at 22-8.

Georgia Perimeter started out on fire with runs of 14-1 and 15-0 to take a monumental lead of 29-2 with little over seven minutes remaining in the first half. Chattanooga State was stymied by GPC’s sticky defense that piled up thefts and forced turnovers. The freezing-cold Tigers didn’t score a field goal until Tia Waller dropped one with seven minutes left on the clock.

“We started to find our rhythm in the second half of yesterday’s game [a loss to North Idaho College],” said GPC coach James Waldon. “I couldn’t believe we jumped out with a big lead like that.”

Then, suddenly, it was all Chatt State as the teams reversed roles. The Tigers picked up the pace and went on a 16-1 run, while the Jaguars turned the ball over with regularity and missed shot after shot.

Ashley Robinson looks for a teammate.

Scoring only four points in a stretch of eight minutes, GPC regained a spark with four late points by Willis and held on for 34-21 halftime lead.

“I figured they’d come back. But we kept our poise and put it away,” Waldon said.

The Jaguars roared out of the locker room in the second half and put up a 22-10 run. They finished with a 17-3 tear in the final six minutes, powered by Deanna Downer and Shekinah Alexander.

“D.D. [Downer] has one speed, and that’s all out. And Shekinah’s really playing well,” Waldon said. Alexander had eight points, three rebounds and three assists.

Nicole Wells was right behind Buchanan with seven rebounds; Ashley Robinson also contributed eight points and had six rebounds and Downer followed with six points. Everyone on the roster scored for GPC.

Friday’s GPC-Central Arizona game will be video broadcast online at psblive.com. To watch the game, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.” The broadcast begins at 3 p.m. EST.

Central Arizona (28-5) finished the regular season ranked 18th in the NJCAA poll, while GPC ended at No. 14. Seeded No. 8 in the tournament, Central Arizona lost in the first round to Copiah Lincoln Community College (Miss.) 78-68, and then defeated Malcolm X College Thursday in the consolation bracket 74-49.

WEDNESDAY’S OTHER SCORES: Cloud County (Kan.) 88, Wallace State-Hanceville (Ala.) 77; Grayson County (Texas) 83, Vincennes University (Ind.) 57; Pensacola Junior College (Fla.) 70, Copiah-Lincoln Community College (Miss.) 49; North Idaho State 66, State Fair Community College (Mo.) 38. For all scores, click here.

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March 16, 2011

North Idaho tames Jaguars at nationals

Georgia Perimeter College’s 18-game winning streak came to an end Wednesday as the Jaguars fell to North Idaho College 78-49 in the first round of the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament in Salina, Kansas.

Ry’van Buchanan takes a jumper against North Idaho College in Salina, Kansas.

Ice cold from the floor the entire game (25 percent), Georgia Perimeter (28-6) couldn’t stop the Cardinal’s muscular, methodical offense. North Idaho (29-3) jumped ahead 10-0 and never looked back, building a 42-16 lead at halftime.

Although the Jaguars dropped behind by as much as 39 points in the second half, the Cardinals only outscored GPC 36-33 in the final period.

“I’ll take the second half,” quipped GPC head coach James Waldon. “I think the jitters had a lot to do with it. If we’d made a few shots early and kept it respectable, it may have been a lot different.”

The Cardinals’ Camille Reynolds led all scorers with 18 points and Kama Griffits added 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists. North Idaho shot 42 percent from the field and sank 18 of 19 free throws.

Sophomore guard Tyra Smith led the Jaguars with eight points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Nicole Wells and Brittany Logan pulled down eight and seven rebounds, respectively. The Cardinals outrebounded GPC 50-43.

Waldon noted that North Idaho returned numerous freshmen from last year’s team that finished eighth in the nation.

Tyra Smith, wrestling the basketball from two Cardinals, led the Jaguars in scoring.

“I believe they’re a final four team. They’re very solid defensively; they can shoot; they play smart basketball,” he said.

GPC slips into the consolation bracket to determine its spot in the final national standings. Even if they win the consolation bracket, seventh place is the highest ranking possible for the Jaguars.

They next play on Thursday at 3 p.m., facing Chattanooga (Tenn.) State Community College, which lost 66-50 to State Fair Community College (Mo.) Wednesday. North Idaho advances in the winners’ bracket to play State Fair.

The GPC-Chatt State game will be video streamed online at psblive.com, with a link also at www.gpc.edu/athletic under “Game Webcasts.” The broadcast begins at 3 p.m. EST.

TUESDAY’S SCORES: Trinity Valley (Texas) 84, John A. Logan (Ill.) 55; Grayson (Texas) 65, Casper (Wyo.), 41; Vincennes University (Ind.) 91, Wallace State-Hanceville (Ala.) 66; Pensacola (Fla.) 80, Malcolm X (Ill.) 50 Northern Oklahoma-Enid 63, Cloud County (Kan.) 56; Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) 78, Central Arizona 68.

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March 10, 2011

Jaguar Journal: Women head for Kansas with No. 12 seed

The Georgia Perimeter College women have gained a small victory even before they deplane in Kansas City on their way west to the national tournament in Salina, Kan.

Even though Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association teams haven’t done well lately on the national stage, the Jaguars won enough respect to be seeded No. 12 in the 16-team tournament. That means a matchup against No. 5 Northern Idaho College.

Plus, the Jaguars’ first game won’t be until 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, the second day of the tournament. They’ll have an extra day to get acclimated to Kansas and Salina’s arena, the Bicentennial Center.

Seedings in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament are a chicken-and-egg proposition. Criteria include national ranking, overall record and the previous performance of a region’s teams. Last year, Region 17 representative South Georgia Technical College was seeded last and sentenced to play eventual champion Gulf Coast Community College in the first round. The Jets lost that game and the next game in the consolation bracket and exited the tournament.

This year, the Jaguars got a break when several upset winners made the field and the committee decided their national ranking (14th), overall record (28-5) and winning streak (18 games) merited the No. 12 seed. Even so, the committee appeared to favor several teams below GPC in the final national poll. For example, No. 11 seed Casper College of Wyoming wasn’t even ranked in the final poll.

But the politics are done, and the Jaguars can focus on the task at hand—getting by North Idaho (28-3), champion of Region 18 for the third season in a row.

GPC coach James Waldon has built a championship team on his principles of suffocating defense, production in the transition game and unselfish play. The Jaguars’ defense was unequaled in Region 17 in many a year, perhaps ever. Now Waldon is counting on it to produce at the national level, where opponents tend to make fewer mistakes and put more shooters on the court.

When the Jaguars are on offense, opponents have trouble identifying the “go-to” player. That’s because there are plenty of “go-to” options: GPC goes 10 or 11 players deep and nobody has produced the gaudy stats normally associated with a national tournament. Today’s leading scorer might get just a bucket or two tomorrow.

Freshman Kayla Carter, first team all-region, is the leading scorer with a 10.9 average, followed by sophomore Ry’van Buchanan at 10.6. Buchanan was second team all-region for the second consecutive year.

The leading rebounder is 6-foot-4 freshman Brittany Logan at 9.4, followed by Buchanan at 7.8.

On defense, the Jaguars are likely to keep a fresh player on North Idaho’s Kama Griffitts, a 5-foot-11 sophomore guard averaging more than two 3-pointers a game. Her scoring average is 16.4. Inside, the Cardinals have 6-foot-2 Tugce Canitez, a native of Turkey who is averaging 15.2 points and 11 rebounds.

Both were stars of the Region 18 tournament, when North Idaho avenged two regular season losses to Salt Lake Community College, ranked No. 6 in the final poll. The Cardinals were 15th in the final poll.

Griffitts was named MVP of the tournament, while Canitez made the all-tournament team.

The Jaguars’ opener, and all national tournament games, will be video webcast by Panhandle Sports Broadcasting (www.psblive.com). A link will be available on www.gpc.edu/athletic under the “Game Webcasts” section.

JAGUAR JOLTS: The Jaguars have an experienced roster, but North Idaho trumps them. Almost all of the Cardinals played in the 2010 national tournament, when they played through to the final day and finished eighth. GPC is making its first national appearance since 2008. … Should the Jaguars win in the first round, their next game would be at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday against the winner of the game between State Fair Community College of Missouri and Chattanooga State Community College. … North Idaho coach Chris Carlson is in his seventh season. … The No. 1 seed in the tournament is Pensacola State College, which beat GPC 77-63 in Florida on Nov. 20. … The Jaguars have played one other team in the field, Wallace State Community College-Hanceville, losing 70-59 in Hanceville on Dec. 11.

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March 5, 2011

Jaguars win trip to national tournament

After a two-year interlude, the Jaguars are packing for Kansas, again.

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team rolled past Spartanburg Methodist College 99-48 Saturday on its home court to win the District J championship and punch a ticket to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament in Salina, Kansas.

Jasmine Jones drives into the paint.

Jumping out to a 10-0 lead and never slowing down, the Jaguars (28-5) deployed their trademark full-court press and unselfish, balanced scoring to earn GPC’s fifth trip to the nationals in seven years.

Five players posted double figures—Ry’van Buchanan with 14, Crystal Chaney, Brittany Logan and Jamesha Willis 12 each and Jasmine Jones 11.

“They’re just a special group. They’ve bought into what we’ve been preaching all along,” head coach James Waldon said of his team as its members cut down the nets at Jaguar Arena on GPC’s Decatur Campus.

“We have a 17-game winning streak. That’s remarkable. We just have to ride that momentum into nationals.”

The Jaguars enjoyed a comfortable 51-24 lead at the intermission and continued to go hard in the second half, seemingly wanting to keep the momentum rolling for the next stage.

Buchanan, Logan and Ashley Robinson finished with nine rebounds apiece as GPC dominated the Pioneers on the glass 56-35. Willis registered five assists and four steals, and the Jaguars’ pressure defense forced Spartanburg into 39 turnovers.

Brittany Logan is a force down under.

Teqa McNeal scored 14 points and Shaniqua Whitley 10 for Spartanburg Methodist (21-11). The Pioneers came to the district title game after winning Region 10, consisting of teams from the Carolinas, Virginia and West Virginia.

The NJCAA national tournament begins March 15 and runs five days through the championship round on March 19. Georgia Perimeter won the Region 17 and district tournaments to win trips to Kansas for four consecutive years from 2005 to 2008. The program suffered a bizarre 1-27 record in 2009, but began its return to prominence last season with a 15-15 campaign.

Four sophomores returned from last year’s freshman-laden squad and have been key contributors to this season’s championship run—Buchanan, Jones, Tyra Smith and Nicole Wells.

All games at the national tournament will be video broadcast online by Panhandle Sports Broadcasting, with links at psblive.com and www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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March 1, 2011

Jaguars’ Carter, Buchanan named All-Region; Waldon named coach of the year

The Georgia Perimeter women’s basketball team’s undefeated run through the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association schedule has paid off in recognition for its leaders.

Carter

Freshman guard Kayla Carter, twice named the conference Player of the Week, last week was named to the first team of the GCAA, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Sophomore forward Ry’van Buchanan was chosen for second team all-region honors for the second consecutive year and also was named region Player of the Week.

Jamesha Willis, a freshman guard, was named Most Valuable Player of the Region 17 tournament Saturday after the Jaguars won the championship, and Carter was named to the All-Tournament team.

James Waldon was named the region Coach of the Year, having led the team to a 27-5 record (so far this season) and completing a 14-0 rampage in the region. Carter, a 5-foot-7 guard from North Charleston, S.C., has led the balanced Jaguars attack with 11.3 points a game.

Buchanan

Buchanan, a 6-foot power forward from Atlanta’s Douglass High, has been a close second, averaging 10.3 points and 7.6 rebounds. Last season, Buchanan led the Jaguars with 13.2 points per game and 12.1 rebounds. She was seventh-highest rebounder in the nation.

Last summer Buchanan was selected to play in the National Junior College Athletic Association Women’s Basketball All-Star games at Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College, an event showcasing talent and attended by four-year college scouts. Teammate Nicole Wells also played in that event.

Carter ranks fifth in the region in field goal percentage at 47.7 percent, and Buchanan is seventh with 46.1. Shooting 80 percent from the free throw line, Carter is third in the region in that category.

Willis

Willis, also a 5-foot-7 guard, transferred to GPC for her sophomore year of eligibility. She’s from Orange Park, Fla., and last year averaged 11.6 points at College of Central Florida, where she was named to the All-Region 8 first team.

Third on the team in scoring with an 8.7 average, Willis ranks sixth in Region 17 in steals with 2.5 per game. Carter is eighth in that category with 2.2.

In his 13th season as Georgia Perimeter’s coach, Waldon has led the Jaguars to 232 wins and 160 losses going into Saturday’s 2 p.m. District J championship against Spartanburg Methodist College at GPC’s Decatur Campus. His teams won four consecutive conference championships, district titles and national tournament appearances from 2005 to 2008.

Waldon

Waldon also was named Region 17 Coach of the Year in 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2007. He has coached five All-Americans—Phebe Smith (2007), Brittany Baity (2006), Anikia Jaward (2005), Taliah Roberts (2003) and Tracey Turnbow (2001)—six all-tournament MVPs and numerous all-region players.

Ophelia McMath of South Georgia Tech, the region’s top scorer at 19.9 points a game, was named the GCAA’s Player of the Year, with Middle Georgia’s Zandra Green, Atlanta Metro’s Jayda Lloyd and Andrew College’s Jabreal Alford joining Carter and McMath on the GCAA first team All-Region squad.

Joining Buchanan on the region second team are Naima Garcia, South Georgia Tech; Ann Wilcher, Albany Tech; Dorine Minala, Darton College; and Vaneeshia Paulk, East Georgia College.

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February 27, 2011

Saturday: Jaguars and Spartanburg Methodist to square off for coveted trip to nationals

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team will host Spartanburg Methodist College on Saturday for the National Junior College Athletic Association District J championship.

The stakes: the winner advances to the NJCAA national tournament in Salina, Kan. Game time is 2 p.m. at Jaguar Arena on the Decatur Campus.

Spartanburg Methodist, located in Spartanburg, S.C., is champion of Region 10, which includes South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Currently, the region’s Division 1 league in women’s basketball includes only four colleges.

GPC, ranked No. 14 in the NJCAA Division 1 national poll, defeated the Pioneers 67-59 in Spartanburg on Feb. 4, the only meeting between the two teams this season.

However, Spartanburg played two games on the Jaguars’ home floor at the GPC Classic in November. The Pioneers lost to South Georgia Tech 71-50 and to Meridian Community College 89-80 in that eight-team invitational event.

From 2004 to 2008, Georgia Perimeter won the Region 17 and district titles and went to nationals four consecutive seasons. That streak also included a 40-game winning streak in the region (also known as the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association)

Saturday’s championship game will be audio broadcast online, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 1:50 p.m. To listen in, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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February 26, 2011

Jaguars return as Region 17 champions

Winning its 16th consecutive game, Georgia Perimeter College resurrected former glory years and defeated South Georgia Technical College 78-70 Saturday at Darton College in Albany to capture the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association championship.

Kayla Carter led 14th-ranked GPC with 19 points as the Jaguars improved to 27-5 and advanced to the District J championship game on March 5 against Spartanburg Methodist College. Spartanburg is the winner of Region 10 (the Carolinas) of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Saturday’s triumph marks the fifth time in seven years that Georgia Perimeter has won the GCAA (NJCAA Region 17) trophy. During a stretch of four straight titles from 2005 to 2008, the Jaguars won 40 consecutive conference games.

Despite a 21-point lead, the 2011 championship game didn’t come easy for GPC. Ophelia McMath, Region 17 Player of the Year, led South Georgia Tech with 25 points, 21 in a second half rally that threw a scare into the Jaguars.

“It was a powerful game,” said GPC head coach James Waldon. “We were up by 21 points and all of a sudden they made a mad dash. It was a hard-fought game and they wouldn’t quit.”

Shontae McCall scored nine points in the first nine minutes as the Jets took an early lead. Then 3-pointers by Carter and Tyra Smith powered GPC to a 22-16 edge, and in the last six minutes of the first half, the Jaguars took control of the game with a 21-5 run to lead 46-30 at the intermission.

But after expanding the lead to 21 points early in the second half, GPC went cold; McMath came on hot, and the Jets whittled the lead to four points with 1:17 remaining.

“It looked like she made up her mind that she was just going to take over. She was everywhere,” Waldon said of McMath, who played the last half of the season with a knee injury that will require surgery.

In the closing minute, a left-handed layup and two free throws by Jasmine Jones and three from the stripe by Carter doused the Jets’ rally and cemented the championship for the Jaguars.

Jamesha Willis scored 16 and gave out four assists for the Jags. Jones and Ashley Robinson had 13 points apiece, and Smith added nine. GPC sank six of 16 3-point attempts.

McCall finished with 15 points for the Jets before fouling out late in the game, a break for GPC as she also was a force with 11 rebounds. Naima Garcia contributed 10 points, and McMath led all rebounders with 16. The Jets outrebounded Georgia Perimeter 48-35.

In fact, South Georgia Tech topped the Jaguars in almost every statistical category except a critical one—the Jets committed 30 turnover to GPC’s 17, a tribute to the Jaguars’ trademark defense.

Willis was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, and Kayla Carter was named to the All-Tournament team.

Waldon noted that GPC played Friday’s semifinal and the title game without a key player off the bench, Tiya Johnson, whose grandmother passed away this week. “She could come in and explode on them,” he said. “But that shows the team we have, to win without her. I told them I’m really proud of them.”

Georgia Perimeter will host the District J championship game on March 5 with a tip-off time of 2 p.m.. The game will be audio broadcast online, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 1:50. To listen in, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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February 25, 2011

Jaguars and Jets to battle for title Saturday

Georgia Perimeter College rolled past Albany Technical College 89-56 in the semifinals of the Region 17 women’s basketball tournament Friday night at Darton College in Albany.

The victory sets up a showdown between the Jaguars (26-5) and South Georgia Technical College (29-3) in the championship game Saturday at 2 p.m. The Jets defeated tournament host Darton 67-57 in the other semifinal game.

Ry’van Buchanan scored 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead GPC. Ashley Robinson followed with 14 points and Jamesha Willis had 13. Brittany Logan grabbed 10 rebounds and Tyra Smith handed out six assists.

“We had a little stretch in the second half where our focus and shot selection was not so good,” said coach James Waldon. “But other than that it was similar to what we’ve been doing--playing good defense and scoring on the transition. We put up 89 points—that’s not too shabby.”

GPC’s defense was all over the place, forcing 28 turnovers by the Titans. Ann Wilcher led Albany Tech (19-12) with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Shayla Jester added nine points and 12 rebounds.

Undefeated in region play (14-0), Georgia Perimeter carries a 16-game winning streak into the title game and hasn’t lost since Dec. 21. The Jags are ranked 14th in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll. Defending region champion South Georgia Tech is ranked No. 20. GPC beat the Jets twice during the season 54-43 and 79-71.

Saturday’s championship game will be televised online on PSB Live. To watch the game, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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February 24, 2011

Jaguar Journal: A special team, a special basketball season

Georgia Perimeter College coach James Waldon knew early on he had assembled a special team. From the first practice, he laid the framework for unselfish play, defense and diligence. And that’s what the Jaguars take into the Region 17 semifinals Friday.

“I told them I would not let them settle for mediocrity,” he said. “It started with a vision. I had a vision for this team.” That vision was a berth in the national tournament in Salina, Kan., with a chance to cause a stir, something a Georgia team hasn’t done in years.

When segments of the Jaguars’ game sagged, Waldon pounced. “When I saw those little red flags, I hit them head on,” he said. “I kept reminding them they really haven’t accomplished anything yet.”

The 14-th ranked Jaguars have fulfilled Waldon’s vision so far with a 24-5 record, 14-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, also known as Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Now the region tournament is at hand for the Jags, starting with Wednesday’s 93-51 first-round victory over East Georgia College at Jaguar Arena.

The semifinals and final are Friday night and Saturday afternoon at Darton College in Albany. The Jaguars play Albany Technical College Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Four players returned from the 2010 team, which finished 15-15 and lost in the region semifinals. To that base (Nicole Wells, Ry’van Buchanan, Tyra Smith and Jasmine Jones), Waldon added a mix of sophomore transfers and talented freshmen, with an eye toward assembling a deeper roster capable of pressuring opponents on defense all game.

Early in the season, he tinkered with combinations while instilling his basic philosophy: It doesn’t matter who scores the points, and the easiest way to baskets is to steal the ball and start a fast break.

Along the way, things clicked. And the man-to-man defense developed into something else, People say they haven’t seen anything like it.

After starting the calendar year 10-5, the Jaguars came off a three-week layoff with a 54-43 home victory over their main region rival, South Georgia Tech, ranked 12th nationally at the time. The win started a 14-game streak that included another victory over the Jets, 79-71 in Americus. Barring a major upset in the semifinals, the same two teams will meet in the region final on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Jaguars’ modest scoring averages belie their big accomplishments. Freshman Kayla Carter has an 11-point average, followed by Buchanan at 10.5. Seven more players average more than six points a game. Players look at the scoreboard, not the boxscore.

Brittany Logan, a 6-foot-4 freshman, is one of best rebounders in the league, averaging 9.5.

“She established herself from the first game,” said Waldon.

Buchanan, a rugged 6-foot forward who was second team all-region last season, is at 7.8, followed by Wells at 6.0.

Wells, who was first team all-region in 2010, missed four games late in the season with a sore foot before returning for the season finale.

JAGUAR JOLTS: PSB Live will video stream Friday’s semifinals and Saturday’s championship game. To watch the broadcasts, visit www.psblive.com and click on the game link under the “Today’s Games.” … The other region tournament first-round matchups went as follows: Albany Tech 74, Middle Georgia College 60; Darton College 76, Andrew College 65; and South Georgia Tech 58, Atlanta Metropolitan College 35. … Darton College and South Georgia Tech open the semifinals Friday, tipping off at 5:30 p.m. … The Region 17 champion will host the Region 10 champ in a district game on March 5, with the winner advancing to the national tournament, which starts March 15. … At 28-3, South Georgia Tech is ranked No. 20 in the NJCAA poll released Wednesday. The Jets have lost to GPC twice and they fell to St. Petersburg College on Jan. 2.

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February 23, 2011

Jags win first round; head for semifinals in Albany

The postseason began with a bang Wednesday for the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team, which defeated East Georgia College 93-51 in round one of the Region 17 tournament of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

The Jaguars (25-5), knocking off their 15th straight foe, advance to the semifinals Friday night in Albany against Albany Tech, 74-60 winner of its opening-round game with Middle Georgia. The region championship game is Saturday afternoon.

Playing on their home floor, the Jaguars blew out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back. They employed a full-court press at times, as usual, but saw no need to crank it up close to the maximum. By halftime, it was 50-21.

On paper East Georgia, a newcomer to the Georgia Collegiate Athletics Association (NJCAA Region 17), seemed hardly a typical bottom seed in the eight-team field. Though having gone 3-11 in league play, they entered the tournament at 17-10 under first-year coach Brad Phillips. They had outscored opponents by an average of 12 points per game. However, GPC has had East Georgia’s number, having beaten the visitors from Swainsboro 77-59 and 70-47 in the regular season.

The Jaguars were one basket shy of placing five scorers in double figures. Tiya Johnson came off the bench to tally 14, and Ry’van Buchanan also had 14. Jamesha Willis added 12, Kayla Carter 10 and Crystal Chaney had eight as 11 GPC players made the scoring column. The Jaguars shot 48 percent from the field.

Jasmine Jones dished off seven assists; Deanna Downer had five and Tyra Smith and Shekinah Alexander had four apiece.

GPC’s most impressive statistic was nine turnovers, fewer than it normally records. In fact, the Jaguars amassed almost as many blocks (seven) as giveaways.

Buchanan hauled down eight rebounds as GPC controlled the boards 53-38.

Valese McAllister led East Georgia with 14 points and Vaneesha Paulk had 10.

In other first-round region games, South Georgia Tech defeated Atlanta Metropolitan College 58-35, while Darton College downed Andrew College 76-65. Darton and South Georgia Tech open the semifinal round at Darton Friday with a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.

The Jags defeated Albany Tech 87-56 and 70-50 during the season. Georgia Perimeter’s semifinal Friday with the Titans begins at 7:30 and will be video streamed on PSB Live. To watch the game, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

Saturday’s championship game will begin at 2 p.m. All three games Friday and Saturday will be video broadcast by PSB Live, with links at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

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February 20, 2011

Jaguars to face East Georgia in women’s tournament opener

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars, undefeated in Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association play and the top seed for the tournament, will face No. 8 seed East Georgia College in the first round.

The game will be Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Jaguar Arena on the Decatur Campus.

The four winners of first-round games advance to the region semifinals Friday at Darton Coliseum in Albany. The final will be Saturday at the same site, hosted by Darton College.

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February 19, 2011

Jags finish regular season undefeated in Region 17

Sophomores showed their stuff on “Sophomore Day” Saturday on their home court, and freshman Ashley Robinson did, too, as Georgia Perimeter College rolled by Andrew College 96-51, finishing the regular season with a perfect 14-0 record in its conference.

Robinson led all scorers with 20 points and sophomore guard Tyra Smith added 19 for the regular season champions of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. Fellow soph Ry’van Buchanan put in 11 points and snared 10 rebounds, and soph Jasmine Jones scored 11, also. Jones registered six assists and Smith picked off five steals.

The victory, Georgia Perimeter’s 14th straight, gives the Jaguars a 24-5 record to take into the GCAA tournament (Region 17 of the NJCAA). The league’s eight teams play a first round Wednesday and then travel to Darton College in Albany for the semifinals Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26.

GPC’s pressing defense proved too much for the Fighting Tigers, who committed 43 turnovers. Blair Savelli led Andrew with 11 points, and Angel Penn had 10.

The Jaguars get a rest until they host the eighth-place team Wednesday in the first round of the tournament. The game will be broadcast online, beginning ten minutes before the tipoff time, which won’t be known until after this weekend’s league coaches meeting. Fans can tune in to the broadcast by visiting www.gpc.edu/athletic and clicking on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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February 17, 2011

Willis leads Jaguars with 18 in victory over Darton College

Playing their third game in four nights, the deep and talented Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars still had plenty in the gas tank to beat Darton 73-52 on Thursday night at the Jaguar Arena on the Decatur Campus.

Jamesha Willis led Georgia Perimeter with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists. Crystal Chaney had 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Ry’van Buchanan contributed a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. GPC pulled down 23 offensive boards and outrebounded the guests 56-45. Tyra Smith also dished off four assists.

The Jaguars, ranked 16th in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll released Wednesday, won their 13th consecutive victory. It improved them to 23-5 overall, 13-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, also known as Region 17 of the NJCAA.

They will try to wrap up a perfect region season Saturday at home at 1 p.m. against Andrew College. The game will be broadcast online, with a link available under “Game Webcasts” at www.gpc.edu/athletic.

The Region 17 tournament starts Feb. 23. The Jaguars will play a first-round game at home against the last-place team in the region, with the semifinals and finals on Feb. 25 and 26 in Albany. Darton will be the host.

Georgia Perimeter played Wednesday and Thursday to make up two games postponed by Atlanta’s snow storm in January.

GPC led 34-22 at halftime and didn’t put Darton (16-13, 7-6) away until late in the game. The Lady Cavaliers were within 10 points midway through the second half.

Dorine Minala, a 6-foot-6 sophomore from Kenya who has come on strong in the last couple of weeks, led Darton with 14 points and 15 rebounds. The Lady Cavaliers were held to 25 percent shooting as GPC shot 38 percent.

The rugged contest produced 50 fouls and 79 free throws. GPC was 20-for-43 from the foul line, Darton 21-for-36. GPC again played without sophomore forward Nicole Wells, who is nursing a foot injury but is expected to return by tournament time.

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

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February 16, 2011

Jaguars clinch top seed for tournament

Ashley Robinson scored 16 points as the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team defeated Albany Technical College Wednesday, clinching the Region 17 regular season championship and No. 1 seed in next week’s tournament.

Top seed in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (Region 17 of the National Junior College Athletic Association) carries distinct benefits. For the first round of the eight-team region tournament on Feb. 23, Georgia Perimeter (22-5, 12-0) will host the eighth-place team. The semifinals will be held Feb. 25 and 26 at Darton College, and the Jaguars won’t face the second-place team and chief challenger, South Georgia Tech, until the championship game on Saturday, Feb. 26.

“If you look back at the history of the tournament, usually the team entering at No. 1 moves on out. I think the odds are in your favor,” said GPC coach James Waldon.

Wednesday’s game was a make-up of a game scheduled in early January that was snowed out.

Ry’van Buchanan added 12 points for the Jaguars, and Jasmine Jones had 11. GPC took a lead within the first two minutes and never lost the lead. But the Albany Tech (18-10, 6-6) drew within five before the Jags took a 35-26 lead at the half.

Shatera Fortner led the Titans with nine points. Ann Wilcher, Albany Tech’s top scorer, had only eight points, but she pulled down 14 boards to lead all rebounders.

GPC’s depth came into play in the second half as the Jaguars wore down the visitors, who dressed only eight players. With 4:30 remaining in the game, GPC held a 32-point advantage.

With their 12th straight victory, the Jaguars haven’t lost since they fell on Dec. 21 at Tallahassee Community College.

The Jaguars suit up again within 24 hours for another Region 17 make-up game from Atlanta’s January snow storm, hosting Darton College Thursday at 5:30 p.m. That game will be audio webcast, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:20 p.m.

Andrew College will visit Saturday for GPC’s final regular-season game. That game also will be broadcast online, beginning at 12:50 p.m. with the tip-off at 1 p.m.

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

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February 14, 2011

Carter gets 33 as Jags make it 11 in a row

Freshman forward Kayla Carter led her hot-shooting team with 33 points as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars downed cross-town rival Atlanta Metropolitan College 86-64 Monday at the Atlanta Metro gymnasium.

Ry’van Buchanan had 17 points and Britanny Logan added nine as the Jaguars shot 43 percent from the floor and made 23 of 30 free throws. Carter sank 10 of 12 from the stripe.

The win, Georgia Perimeter’s 11th straight, improves the squad to 21-5 on the season, 11-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (Region 17 of the NJCAA). With only three region games remaining in their region schedule, the Jaguars need only one more victory to clinch first place and top seed in next week’s tournament, because they’ve beaten second-place South Georgia Tech twice

GPC led the whole way Monday, but Atlanta Metro (11-12, 4-7) rallied after a 46-26 halftime deficit to cut the margin to 64-66. Then the Jaguars went on a rampage, scoring 15 points in the final 1:30.

“We tend to let up and the next thing you know they’re catching up,” said GPC coach James Waldon. “I like the way they closed it out, though. It shows what we have.”

Logan led the Jaguars on the boards with 12 rebounds, five on offense. Tyra Smith and Jasmine Jones each registered five assists.

Jayda Lloyd paced Atlanta Metro with 21 points and 17 rebounds. Shaneese Heard had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Olivia Lee scored 11 points.The Red-Eyed Panthers also sank 23 free throws, out of 36 attempts.

Wednesday and Thursday the Jaguars make up two snowed-out games—Wednesday Albany Tech comes to town and Thursday it’s Darton College. Both games will be broadcast online, beginning at 5:50 p.m. and 5:20, respectively. Tune in by visiting www.gpc.edu/athletic and clicking on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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February 12, 2011

Jaguars win showdown for top seed

In the most recent National Junior College Athletic Association coaches poll, the South Georgia Technical College women’s basketball team is ranked 11th in the nation, while Georgia Perimeter College is No. 24, even though the Jaguars beat SGT in January.

Sometimes pollsters tend to look at records rather than reality. South Georgia Tech boasted a 24-2 record, while the Jaguars were 19-5 going into Saturday’s NJCAA Region 17 showdown in Americus.

So, the Jaguars entered the SGT gym, “The Hangar,” with intentions of setting the record and the reality straight. They didn’t disappoint.

Kayla Carter pumped in 24 points, leading five players in double figures as Georgia Perimeter defeated the Jets 79-71 in the key Region 17 showdown.

The win gives the Jaguars (20-5, 10-0 Region 17) excellent odds on winning the region’s regular season championship and top seed in the tournament Feb. 23, 25 and 26. Even if the Jaguars—boasting a 10-game winning streak—unexpectedly lost two of their final four league games against weaker opponents, they would win the tie breaker for top seed over SGT because of the two wins over the Jets.

“I like where we are at this point in the season. If we could learn to be tough for 40 minutes, we’d really be hard to beat,” said GPC coach James Waldon.

Behind Carter’s 24 points, Georgia Perimeter continued its trademark balanced scoring. Brittany Logan put in 12 for the Jaguars, followed by Ry’van Buchanan with 11 and Jasmine Jones and Tiya Johnson with 10 apiece.

Ophelia McMath, top scorer in the region, led SGT with 22 points, despite playing with an injured knee. Shontae McCall added 19.

The Jets jumped to a 9-0 lead and stretched it to 13-5 before GPC’s Johnson scored eight points in a four-minute span to put the Jags ahead 18-17.

Georgia Perimeter went on to a 40-33 halftime lead and never again trailed, though the Jets rallied within one point twice in the second half. But a 12-point run led by Carter, Jones and Buchanan iced the game.

The Jaguars have a busy week ahead, playing at Atlanta Metropolitan College on Monday and hosting Albany Technical College, Darton College and Andrew College on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

All four games will be audio broadcast online. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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February 9, 2011

Jaguars roll to ninth consecutive win

Ry’van Buchanan 12 points, Jamesha Willis 11, Tyra Smith 10, Crystal Chaney 10, Brittany Logan 8, Kayla Carter 7, Tyra Johnson 7, Shekinah Alexander 6, Ashley Robinson 6. It doesn’t get any better than that for a coach that values balance.

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team once again relied on exceptionally balanced scoring in an 82-52 victory over Middle Georgia College Wednesday at Jaguar Arena in Decatur.

“I think the more balanced we are, the harder it is to defend us,” said coach James Waldon. “I love it."

With their ninth straight victory, the Jaguars (19-5, 9-0 GCAA) have not been defeated since a loss at Tallahassee Community College on Dec. 21. Wednesday, GPC broke into the top 25 of the National Junior College Athletic Association coaches poll at No. 24.

The win sets up a showdown at South Georgia Tech in Americus on Saturday. The Jets, ranked No. 11 in the NJCAA poll, are in second place, a game behind GPC with an 8-1 record in the GCAA standings (NJCAA Region 17).

A bucket by Buchanan with an assist by Willis put the Jaguars ahead 2-0 on their first possession and they never looked back. An intimidation, a steal and a sky hook by Logan and a three-pointer by Willis put them up 9-1 and they went on to 44-24 halftime lead.

Zandra Green led Middle Georgia (12-10, 3-7) with 14 points, six under her average, thanks to the punishing Jaguar defense. When the Jags played man-to-man, Jasmine Jones and Alexander guarded Green, a sophomore guard who is second highest scorer in the GCAA. Smith and Johnson held her down when the Jags were in a zone.

“I like what I saw energy-wise, the intensity,” Waldon said. “The morale of the team is where it needs to be.”

Willis was a force on both ends of the court, posting eight assists, forcing turnovers and grabbing two steals. Johnson led the team with five steals. Smith led on the rebounds with six rebounds, though the Warriors led in that category 40-37.

The South Georgia Tech game will be audio webcast, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 1:50 and the tip-off at 2 p.m.

The Jaguars’ next home game will be Feb. 16 against Albany Technical College. That game also will be webcast, beginning at 5:50 p.m.

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February 4, 2011

Jags hang on to win 8th consecutive victory

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team is headed back to its own gym after emerging unscathed from a three-game road swing Friday.

Coach James Waldon is uncertain if that is a good thing.

“We play a little better on the road sometimes,” he said Friday on the way back from South Carolina, where the Jaguars bumped off Spartanburg Methodist College 67-59.

GPC (18-5) stepped out of its region for consecutive win No. 8. Wednesday’s 5:30 p.m. game on the Decatur Campus against Middle Georgia College will mark the Jaguars’ first home gig in 16 days.

Waldon’s team was focused early on but let a comfortable lead get away. The Pioneers, down 28-25 at halftime, nosed ahead by a basket early in the second half.

GPC got a second wind and blew ahead by 15 points, only to let Spartanburg close for a respectable margin at the end.

Waldon observed that the team is on the ascent as he has learned how best to deploy his personnel.

“We’re doing it at the right time,” he said, aware that the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA Region 17) tournament begins on Feb. 23.

Balanced scoring, a staple of this deep team, was the offensive story again Friday. Kayla Carter had 13 points, Ry’van Buchanan 12 and Nicole Wells 10.

The Jaguars rebounded ferociously, Buchanan leading the way with 14. Brittany Logan had 11 and Ashley Robinson eight.

Wednesday’s game with Middle Georgia will be broadcast online, beginning with the Jaguar Journal pregame show at 5:20. Tune in by visiting www.gpc.edu/athletic and clicking on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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February 1, 2011

GPC repeats feat in Albany with same formula

Back-to-back trips to Albany resulted in two eerily similar games for the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team.

Two slow starts, two fantastic finishes—and two wins.

The Jaguars broke open a close game at halftime Tuesday and raced away from Darton College 77-47.

Three days earlier in the same city, GPC was tied at halftime before blistering Albany Tech 87-56.

The twin wins extended the Jaguars’ victory streak to seven and kept them unbeaten at 8-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletics Association. Overall, they are 17-5.

Four Jaguars scored in double figures, with Tyra Smith and Ashley Robinson pacing the visitors with 14 points apiece. Kayla Carter and Nicole Wells rounded out the balanced attack with 12 each.

Wells pulled down 18 rebounds and led the defensive charge, while Ry’van Buchanan claimed 12 rebounds.

GPC doubled up Darton 50-25 in the second half by switching defenses and clamping down. The Cavaliers (13-9, 4-1) wound up with 30 turnovers and 22 percent shooting.

Darton stayed in contention until about 12 minutes remained, at which time the visitors began drawing away.

GPC has another road game Friday, but not in Albany. The Jaguars cross state lines into South Carolina to face Spartanburg Methodist College.

Their travels end temporarily with a home game next Wednesday against Middle Georgia College. That game will be audio webcast, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:20 p.m. and the tip-off at 5:30. Fans can listen by visiting www.gpc.edu/athletic and clicking on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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January 29, 2011

Jaguars swipe sixth straight win in second half

A tale of two distinct halves had a happy ending Saturday afternoon for the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team in Albany.

Tied at intermission, the Jaguars carved out their most dominant half of the season, dismantling Albany Tech 87-56 with a barrage of forced turnovers and steals.

Leading the theft brigade was Jamesha Willis with six steals and Kayla Carter with four. They scored 12 and 18, respectively.

Two teammates compiled impressive double-doubles on points and rebounds. Ry’van Buchanan pumped in 20 points and had 10 rebounds, while Brittany Logan registered 17 and 17.

The Jaguars (16-5 overall, 7-0 Georgia Collegiate Athletics Association) opened the game with their usual full-court press, but Albany handled it in forging a 41-41 tie at the half. The Titans (12-8, 3-4) corralled 13 offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes, many of them long boomerangs off their three-point shots against the GPC zone.

Georgia Perimeter tweaked its press for the second half, and the result was turnovers and transition baskets galore. The visitors amassed 20 steals, accounting for most of Albany Tech’s 29 turnovers. All but seven of the turnovers were converted into points at the other end.

GPC’s punishing defense permitted the Titans to score only 15 points in the second half, three of them on a desperation heave at the final buzzer.

Accurate foul shooting (19-for-24) also helped as the Jaguars notched their sixth straight win.

GPC returns to Albany on Tuesday, when a game with Darton College awaits. It is the second of three straight games on the road, with the next home game (against Middle Georgia College) not until Feb. 9.

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January 24, 2011

Jaguars extend win streak to five

Ashley Robinson collected 15 points and eight rebounds as the Georgia Perimeter College women continued their balanced attack and added some improved shooting from the field to beat East Georgia College 70-47 Monday at Jaguar Arena in Decatur.

Posting their fifth straight victory, the Jaguars (15-5, 6-0 GCAA) went on a 9-0 run midway in the first period, begun by back-to-back three-point goals by Shekinah Alexander and Kayla Carter. East Georgia (16-6, 3-5) never caught the hosts, though the Bobcats stayed within 10 or 15 points until the final minutes. The Jaguars also defeated East Georgia early in December in Swainsboro 77-59.

“It was a good team effort, though we bogged down early in the second half,” said GPC head coach James Waldon. “But we’re shooting with confidence. I think that confidence is going up.”

Brittany Logan followed Robinson with 10 points for the Jaguars, six at the end of the game on assists by Ry’van Buchanan. Kayla Carter added nine and Buchanan 8. Jasmine Jones scored her seven all in the first half, which ended with GPC on top 32-21. Along with Buchanan, Robinson had three assists, as did Jones and Carter.

Meanwhile, the Jaguar defense forced 22 turnovers, actually a credit to the Bobcats because GPC has regularly forced more than that most of the season. Freshman guard Vaneeshia Paulk poured in 20 points to lead East Georgia, which had troubles from the field against the Georgia Perimeter defense, making only 13 of 58 attempts.

GPC, remaining on top of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA Region 17), travels to Albany Technical College Saturday for another conference match-up. The Jaguars’ next home game will be Feb. 9 against Middle Georgia College.

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January 22, 2011

Carter leads four in double figures as Jaguars win on the road

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team got a well-rounded team effort on the offensive end of the court and a stalwart individual defensive performance at the opposite end as the Jaguars downed Andrew College 86-70 Saturday afternoon in Cuthbert.

Kayla Carter topped the Jaguars’ typically balanced scoring ledger with 16 points, followed by 15 from Tiya Johnson, 11 from Tyra Smith and 10 from Ry’van Buchanan.

Jasmine Jones held hot-shooting Jebreal Alford to five points in the second half as GPC broke open a tight game. Alford erupted for 18 in the first half, and Jones drew the assignment during intermission to slow down the freshman from Decatur High. Much of Alford’s damage came at the foul line, where she was 8 for 14.

Jones also contributed nine rebounds, second to 11 by Brittany Logan. Carter was a whirlwind, with seven steals and five assists, while Johnson had seven rebounds and three assists.

GPC nearly let a sizable lead in the opening half get away. The Tigers (7-12) pulled even on a few occasions, but the visitors did draw in front by two at the break.

The Jaguars (14-5 overall, 5-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association) methodically moved safely ahead in the second half for their fourth straight win.

They can extend the streak at 5:30 p.m. Monday against East Georgia College on GPC’s Decatur campus. The game will be broadcast online, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:20. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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January 19, 2010

GPC wins symmetrical game with Atlanta Metro

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars produced a bookends effect to hold off a tenacious Atlanta Metropolitan College team 67-41 in conference action Wednesday at GPC’s Decatur Campus.

Applying their patented pressure defense, the Jaguars jumped off to a 14-2 lead, led 29-10 with seven minutes remaining in the first half, but fell victim to a 22-12 run by the Red-Eyed Panthers.

After Atlanta Metro drew within nine points early in the second half, GPC dominated the last eight minutes of the game 23-11, making the final score more lopsided than the contest was.

“Sometimes I think playing at home can be a distraction because of family and friends,” said GPC coach James Waldon, after watching his squad win Monday 98-72 at Middle Georgia College and then get sloppy in the middle of Wednesday’s game.

“Players can be immature at this age and focus on the wrong things. I’m trying to get them to be professional at all times.”

With the victory, GPC improved to 13-5 overall, 4-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. Atlanta Metro slipped to 10-6, 2-2.

Sophomore guard Jamesha Willis led GPC’s balanced attack with 13 points. Fellow sophomore Tyra Smith added 10, and a trio scored seven each—Kayla Carter, Jasmine Jones and Tiya Johnson.

Smith also contributed seven rebounds and five assists. Brittany Logan pulled down seven boards and Jones had four assists. GPC’s defense forced 28 turnovers by Atlanta Metro.

Jayda Lloyd registered a big double-double for the Panthers, 15 points and 15 rebounds. The sophomore forward, an all-region selection last season, also gathered four steals.

Saturday, the Jaguars travel to Andrew College for another region matchup. Their next home game is Monday against East Georgia College. That game will be broadcast online, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:20 and the tip-off at 5:30. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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January 17, 2011

Jaguars move to 3-0 in region with win at Middle Georgia

Ashley Robinson scored 20 points to lead five players in double figures as Georgia Perimeter College beat Middle Georgia College 98-72 Monday in Cochran.

The Jaguars stayed undefeated in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, improving to 3-0, 12-5 overall.

Ry’van Buchanan had 18 points; Tyra Smith scored 17 and Nicole Wells and Kayla Carter added 10 apiece for the Jaguars.

GPC led from the start but never could pull away from the scrappy Warriors (9-5, 0-4) and fell into a 50-50 tie with 14 minutes remaining in the game. Then the Jaguars put the game away with an 18-2 run within four minutes.

Zandra Green led the Warriors with 30 points, 23 in the second half.

Buchanan had 11 rebounds and Wells 10 as the Jaguars beat Middle on the glass 65-41 and forced 32 turnovers.

Next up for GPC is a 5:30 p.m. home game with crosstown rival Atlanta Metropolitan College. To hear the audio broadcast visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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January 15, 2010

Jaguars’ defense stifles No. 12 South Georgia Tech

Sometimes the best offense is a good defense.

The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars returned from a three-week layoff with an ice-cold offense but a spectacular defense to upset 12th ranked South Georgia Tech 54-43 in women’s basketball Saturday at GPC’s Decatur Campus.

The Jaguars, 11-5 overall and 2-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Conference, made only 21 of 66 shots from the field—zero-for-14 from beyond the 3-point line—but bullied the Jets throughout the game with their usual full-court press and gluey defense.

“The layoff and cancellations really hurt us. We had to come back and play a contender out of the gate,” said GPC head coach James Waldon. “But that was good for us to not play good offense and still win.”

After a long holiday break, GPC had three games postponed in the past week by North Georgia’s icy weather. South Georgia Tech, enjoying slightly warmer climes already has played four games in January.

The Jets (16-1, 3-0) came into Saturday’s game ranked 12th in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll and with sights set on the GCAA championship, also known as Region 17 of the NJCAA.

However, their up-tempo, visionary offense, and GPC’s as well, resulted in an abundance of turnovers—35 by Tech, 25 by the Jaguars. Waldon rotated his 12 players frequently to keep the pressing defense fresh, clearly the deciding factor in the game.

Kayla Carter paced Georgia Perimeter’s balanced scoring with 10 points, and she led the Jaguars in rebounds with nine and in steals with four, as the Jaguars gathered 20 steals. Tyra Smith added nine points and three assists, and Brittany Logan pulled down eight rebounds.

With 8:40 remaining in the low-scoring first half, a Smith steal and long pass led to an easy layup by Jamesha Willis to break a 9-9 tie. Georgia Perimeter never relinquished the lead, expanding it to 28-20 at halftime and 44-29 midway through the final half on a baseline jumper by Ry’van Buchanan.

Tech’s Ophelia McMath led all scorers with 23 points, rebounders with 14 and thieves with six steals—all despite playing with an injured knee. Naima Garcia scored 10 points, while Shontae McCall contributed 11 rebounds as the Jets beat GPC on the boards 55-44.

Monday GPC travels to Middle Georgia College for a 5:30 tipoff with another formidable region opponent. The game will be broadcast online, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:20. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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December 21, 2010

No. 13 Tallahassee settles score with Jaguars in defensive battle

Georgia Perimeter College, which had handed nationally ranked Tallahassee Community College one of its two women’s basketball losses, could not repeat the deed on Tuesday.

The Jaguars’ stout defense kept them in contention, but they could not score frequently enough in a 59-53 defeat in Tallahassee, Fla.

“Our defense was phenomenal,” assistant coach Donald Moore said. “We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket.” The Jaguars held Tallahassee to 31.3 percent from the floor but could only hit 35.1 percent themselves.

GPC (10-5), which downed the Eagles at the GPC Classic 74-62 on Nov. 27 when they were ranked eighth in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll, failed to repeat, but they didn’t fall without a struggle.

The Jaguars scored the first six points and led for most of the first half, which ended in a 26-26 tie, thanks to a 3-pointer by Tiya Johnson seconds before the buzzer.

Soon after the intermission, No. 13 Tallahassee (11-2) stormed ahead with 15 unanswered points over a seven-minute span to seize a 43-29 lead. A 13-0 run by GPC ending with a goal by Deanna Downer cut the margin to three with 4:37 to go, but the Jaguars got no closer.

After Tallahassee scored five, a 3-pointer by Kamiya Burwell iced the game. She finished with 12 points to pace the Eagles as they played their first home game in more than six weeks.

Ry’van Buchanan was the sole Jaguar to eclipse double figures in scoring. She tallied 10 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, and Brittany Logan also had 12 boards. Jasmine Jones was well on her way to double digits before fouling out at the five-minute mark with nine points. Downer also tallied nine.

The Jaguars will come out of the long holiday break on a two-game slide. They open the new year on Jan. 8 at Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tenn.

Two days later they begin the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association schedule in earnest with a 1-0 conference record, after a victory in December at East Georgia College. They host Albany Technical College on Jan. 10, the first of eight straight GCAA games.

The Albany Tech game will be broadcast online, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:20 and the tip-off at 5:30. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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December 18, 2010

Roane zone chills GPC spree

Frigid shooting proved fatal for the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team in a 66-58 loss to Roane State Community College on Saturday afternoon in Harriman, Tenn.

The Jaguars never led and trailed through most of the game by margins larger than the final eight-point difference. They struggled to solve the Raiderettes’ zone defense, which it played nearly the entire game.

“We couldn’t get in a rhythm,” GPC coach James Waldon said. “We couldn’t get shots to fall.”

GPC (10-4) began the day with seven wins in its last eight games. Roane (10-3) also was on a roll. The only defeat lately for either team was at the hands of Wallace State.

The Jaguars were short-handed as reserve Shekinah Alexander and offensive threat Kayla Carter stayed home to catch up on schoolwork.

Nicole Wells topped GPC with 12 points, despite sitting for much of the first half after committing two fouls. Tyra Smith added 10 points to accompany her seven assists.

The Jaguars had no answer for Roane’s Tasha Phillips, who poured in 23 points.

GPC completes its pre-holiday schedule Tuesday afternoon at Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College. Tallahassee is once-beaten and ranked No. 13 in the National Junior College Athletic Association. The Eagles’ lone loss came at the hands of Georgia Perimeter, 74-62, at the GPC Classic on Nov. 27.

After the Tallahassee trip, the Jaguars take a long holiday break. They return to action on Jan. 8 at Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tenn.

They return to their home court on Jan. 10 for a Region 17 match-up with Albany Technical College at 5:30 p.m. To listen to the online broadcast, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:20, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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December 16, 2010

Everyone scores behind Buchanan’s double-double

Ry’van Buchanan and Kayla Carter led a balanced scoring attack as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars won convincingly for the second consecutive night, rolling by Lawson State Community College 75-47 Thursday at their Decatur gymnasium.

Ry’van Buchanan had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Every player on the roster scored for GPC, also for the second consecutive game. Buchanan led the parade with 15 and Carter had 12. Ashley Robinson added nine.

Georgia Perimeter defeated Brevard Community College 100-49 Wednesday night, with every player scoring at least four points.

The Jaguars (10-3) jumped to a 34-17 halftime lead and stretched the margin to 30 in the second half. Throughout the game, Lawson State (4-9) struggled with GPC’s full court press and sticky defense, committing 30 turnovers. The Jaguars snatched 15 steals, many for baskets.

“Our defense did what it’s supposed to do,” said coach James Waldon. “I wish we could have shot a little better, but that’s offense, sometimes. I liked the buckets on the transition game.”

The Jaguars, who have won seven of their last eight games, hit 30 percent from the field, 31 of a whopping 92 attempts. They made only three of 21 3-point tries.

Buchanan, who averaged double-double points and rebounds as an all-conference player last season, posted one Thursday with 10 rebounds. The Jaguars dominated the boards 69-43.

Fellow sophomores Tyra Smith and Jasmine Jones gathered three steals apiece, and Smith registered seven of GPC’s 23 assists.

Kayla Carter scored 12 points.

Lawson State’s Monique King also had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. No other Cougar scored in double figures, but Destiny Rentas grabbed five steals.

Next up for the Jaguars is a north-south road trip, at Roane State in Harriman, Tennessee, on Saturday and in Florida on Tuesday, Dec. 21, for a rematch with Tallahassee Community College, ranked No. 13 in the NJCAA poll. GPC defeated Tallahassee 74-62 on Nov. 27.

The Jaguars then will rest until Jan. 10, when they host region foe Albany Technical College at 5:30 p.m. That game will be broadcast online, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:20. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.“

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

 

 

 

 

 

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December 15, 2010

Hard-driving Jaguars break 100

Georgia Perimeter College celebrated its return home from a three-game road trip by overwhelming Brevard Community College 100-49 Wednesday night in women’s basketball at the Decatur Campus.

The Jaguars (9-3) raced out to a 29-7 lead and never let up against the guests from central Florida. They hit the century mark with more than a minute to spare.

Coach James Waldon said he liked the Jaguars’ level of play, but noted that the team committed too many fouls for comfort.

“We played hard; I liked the way we scored in the transition; and we played good defense,” he said. “But we’ve got to find a way to stop putting people on the line.”

Waldon spread out the minutes evenly among his 12 players who dressed out, a blessing because of back-to-back games on the schedule. Lawson State (Ala.) Community College visits Thursday for a 5:30 p.m. game, also on the Decatur Campus.

The dozen Jaguars all produced between four and 14 points, with reserve Deanna Downer’s 14 earning top scoring honors. Kayla Carter, also a reserve, tallied 12, as did starter Brittany Logan, all within the shadow of the basket. Tiya Johnson generated 11 points.

Shekinah Alexander, the only scoreless Jaguar at halftime, rang up nine points after intermission.

GPC never called off its full-court press, which kept the game up-tempo throughout. Brevard (3-12) attacked nonstop on offense, electing not to slow the pace, thus playing into GPC’s hands.

Latoya Foster scored 13 points and Analicia Ferguson 11 for Brevard, a member of the NJCAA’s extra-tough Region 8. That conference is home to five of the top 18 nationally ranked teams, including No. 1 Pensacola State, No. 4 Gulf Coast Community College and No. 13 Tallahassee Community College, which GPC defeated in November.

Thursday’s game with Lawson State—74-49 victims to GPC three weeks ago in Birmingham—will be broadcast online. To listen, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:20, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.“

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

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December 11, 2010

Wallace State ends Jaguars’ win streak

Georgia Perimeter College found itself starved for points against Wallace State Community College’s stifling defense and had its five-game win streak snapped in a 70-59 defeat Saturday in women’s basketball at Hanceville, Ala.

The Jaguars (8-3) trailed 20-15 when the home team strung together 12 straight points. Wallace led 38-19 at intermission, and Georgia Perimeter was unable to substantially close the gap in the second half.

Forced to foul at the end, the Jaguars sent Wallace to the line 32 times, where the Lions made 24.

Larry Slater, coach of Wallace State (7-3), described his team’s defensive showing as possibly the best in his 22 years on the job. GPC shot 32 percent.

The Jaguars placed only two scorers in double figures—Tiya Johnson with 14 and Brittany Logan with 12. Logan corralled 12 rebounds while Johnson accounted for five assists and three steals.

Bailee Robinson paced Wallace with 20, most of her total resulting from 4-for-7 from three-point distance. Well-traveled after three straight road games, GPC returns home for back-to-back appearances. They play host to Brevard (Fla.) Community College at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and Lawson State Community College (Ala.) at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Both games will be broadcast online, beginning with the pregame show at 5:20. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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December 9, 2010

Wells, Robinson and bench drive GPC’s win in conference opener

Sophomore forward Nicole Wells pumped in 19 points and Ashley Robinson, a freshman forward, had 17 as the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars posted a 77-59 victory over East Georgia College in Swainsboro on Thursday evening. It was the Jaguars’ opening game in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (Region 17 of the NJCAA).

The Jaguars led 31-29 at halftime before putting the game away with a 46-point second half, recording their fifth straight victory.

“I’d like to see us get out of the gate sooner,” said GPC head coach James Waldon. “I was pleased with the way people started to step up in the second half. I think we’ll find a core that will be consistent.”

After leading 31-29 at the intermission, Georgia Perimeter (8-2, 1-0 Region 17) opened the second half with an 11-0 run powered by players off the bench.

Robinson, playing in her second game after knee surgery, was among the reserves, as was freshman guard-forward Kayla Carter, who recorded seven assists. Waldon noted other contributions by reserves—Crystal Chaney grabbed seven rebounds; Deanna Downer scored nine points and Tyra Smith dished off assists at critical moments.

GPC held the Bobcats (9-3, 1-2) to 29 percent shooting and forced 26 turnovers. The Jaguars outrebounded East Georgia 57-40. Robinson had nine boards and Wells eight.

Seandre Lee led East Georgia with 19 points, while Vaneesha Paulk and Shaniece Sheffield added 11 and 10, respectively.

Next, Georgia Perimeter travels to Wallace State-Hanceville for a nonconference game Saturday at 2 p.m., Central Time.

The next home game, which will be broadcast online, will be Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 5:30. To listen to the broadcast, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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December 4, 2010

Repeat: Jaguars stop another unbeaten team

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team began a three-game road swing in fine style, kayoing unbeaten Chattahoochee Valley Community College 82-63 Saturday in Phenix City, Ala.

It was the second consecutive game in which the Jaguars (7-2) beat an undefeated team. A week earlier, Georgia Perimeter upended eighth-ranked Tallahassee Community College at the GPC Classic. Chatt Valley came into Saturday’s game with a 7-0 record.

Balanced scoring, a staple this season for the winners, ruled the day. Jasmine Jones scored 14 points, Nicole Wells 13, Ry’van Buchanan 12 and Tiya Johnson 10 as the visitors shot 44 percent from the field and 80 percent from the foul stripe.

Jones and Johnson generated the most points, thanks to six and five assists, respectively. Jones was a dynamo on defense, too, with four steals.

The Jaguars welcomed back forward Ashley Robinson, who sat out the first eight games while recovering from knee surgery. Robinson showed little trace of rust with eight points and nine rebounds.

GPC last trailed the Pirates 13-12. The advantage, 10 at halftime, was narrowed to three in the second half before the Jaguars moved comfortably ahead.

Shan Basley led the home team with 19 points.

GPC continues its travels Thursday with a game against new conference opponent East Georgia College in Swainboro. That contest, the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association opener for GPC, will be audio webcast beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:20 p.m. To tune in, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

The next home date is Dec. 15 against Brevard (Fla.) Community College, followed by a visit by Lawson State Community College (Ala.) on Dec. 16. Those games also will be broadcast online.

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November 27, 2010

GPC Classic: Jaguars knock off undefeated, 8th-ranked Tallahassee 74-62

The Georgia Perimeter College defense stole the show Saturday in the GPC Classic at the Decatur Campus gymnasium as the Jaguars upset No. 8 ranked Tallahassee Community College 74-62.

Kayla Carter led the Jaguars with 17 points, including two crucial 3-pointers in the second half. Jamesha Willis and Nicole Wells contributed 10 points apiece.
Georgia Perimeter (6-2) held Tallahassee (5-1) to 29 percent shooting.

“We’re good at playing defense when we want to,” GPC head coach James Waldon said. “They have shooters all over the place, and we defended them well.”
The Jaguars outrebounded the taller Eagles 48-42 with Brittany Logan snagging 10 and Wells and Carter getting nine each. Ry’van Buchanan had seven rebounds to go with her nine points.

GPC led 33-25 at halftime and never lost the lead in the second half, despite several runs by the Eagles.
One of Carter’s three-pointers gave the Jags their first 10-point lead of the game, 43-33, and it came after sophomore guard Jasmine Jones put in a layup and immediately stole the ball for another layup.

But Tallahassee came back to draw within three, 51-48, on a 3-pointer by Ashley White, who led the Eagles with 18 points. GPC answered with a basket by Telise Green, assisted by Willis, and Carter’s second 3-pointer of the half. The Jaguars went up 59-50 on another steal by Jones with 4:38 on the clock.

The Jaguars get a week’s rest before traveling to Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City, Ala., for a 2 p.m. game next Saturday.
The next home game is with Brevard Community College on December 15 at 5:30 p.m. The game will be audio webcast, beginning with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:20 p.m. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the “Game Webcasts.”

SOUTH GEORGIA TECH 71, SPARTANBURG METHODIST 50
Sophomore forward Ophelia McMath had 29 points and 20 rebounds to lead South Georgia Technical College over Spartanburg Methodist College 71-50. The Jets, 9-0 and ranked 11th in the NJCAA coaches poll, held a 33-18 lead at halftime and then scored 38 in the second half to skate home. Shontae McCall scored 13 for the winners and had nine rebounds and seven steals. Spartanburg Methodist (2-6) was led by Aisha Mitchell’s 15 points and eight rebounds.

WALLACE STATE 70, SOUTHWEST TENNESSEE 62

Wallace State Community College of Hanceville, Ala., scored 45 points in the second half to overpower Southwest Tennessee Community College 70-62. Bailee Robinson led the Lions (2-4) with 19 points, five assists and four steals. Brooklyn Warren added five steals and Natalie Kelley snared 11 rebounds. For the Saluqis (0-6), Shantel Crout recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

MERIDIAN 65, WALTERS STATE 60
Norianna Haynes scored 21 points as Meridian Community College outlasted Walters State Community College 65-60. Meridian (6-3), which led 31-30 at the half, got 14 points from Chasity Kearney and 10 rebounds from Shana Lampton. Ashley Thurman and April McCann each scored 12 points for Walters State (4-3).

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November 26, 2010

GPC Classic: Jaguars pull away with 16-3 run; Tallahassee, South Georgia Tech and Meridian record wins

Kayla Carter scored 21 points and Jamesha Willis had 15 to lead the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team to a 68-59 victory over Southwest Tennessee Community College Friday at the GPC Classic in Decatur.

After leading the entire game, the Jaguars (5-2) fell behind by four points with 4:30 left. They outscored Southwest 16-3 to get the win.

“There’s not many games that we win and I’m disappointed,” GPC coach James Waldon said, “but tonight is one of those.”

Southwest (0-5) trailed 42-30 at the 16-minute mark of the second half, but the Saluqis went on a 26-10 run to take a 56-52 lead.

Then a 3-pointer by Carter started the game-ending 16-3 run.

Brittany Logan pulled down 18 rebounds as GPC beat the Saluqis 68-44 on the boards, including 36 offensive rebounds. Ry’van Buchanan added 12 rebounds.

GPC forced 31 turnovers, led by Willis, who had nine steals.

Courtnie Gregory led the Saluqis with 21 points.

Saturday, the Jaguars take on Tallahassee Community College at 6 p.m. in the invitational finale. To listen to the online broadcast, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

TALLAHASSEE 70, WALLACE STATE 47

Ranked No. 8 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1 women’s basketball poll, Tallahassee Community College downed Wallace State-Hanceville 70-47 in the first round of the GPC Classic. Four players scored in double figures for Tallahassee, led by Keri Thomas with 15 and Alexis Grant with 13. The Eagles improved to 5-0 on the season. Natalie Kelley and Kendra Jones tallied nine points apiece for Wallace State, which dropped to 1-4.

MERIDIAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE 89, SPARTANBURG METHODIST COLLEGE 80

In the opening game of the GPC Classic, Chasity Kearney scored 25 points to lead Meridian Community College over Spartanburg Methodist College 89-80. Ashia Mitchell led Spartanburg with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Meridian improves to 5-3, while Spartanburg falls to 2-5.

SOUTH GEORGIA TECH 55, WALTERS STATE 33

Ophelia McMath scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as South Georgia Technical College Jets defeated breezed by Walters State Community College 55-33. The Jets, ranked No. 11 in the NJCAA poll, improved to 8-0. Walters State, led by Portia Durrett’s 14 points, dropped to 4-2.

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November 23, 2010

Jaguars use balanced attack to get back on track

Showing no trace of fatigue, Georgia Perimeter College jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back in a 74-49 women’s basketball win over Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, Ala.

The Jaguars (4-2) returned to the campus late Sunday night from Panama City, Fla., where they fell to the No. 3 and No. 1 teams in the National Junior College Athletics Association rankings.

Mid-day Tuesday, they were back on a bus bound for Birmingham for their third game in four days, all outside their home state.

Wasting little time, Georgia Perimeter bolted in front 6-0 and continued to separate itself from Lawson, primarily with 52 percent shooting from the floor. The outcome was decided by halftime.

The Cougars relied on long shots, which enabled their offense to get two-dozen rebounds, But GPC still wound up with more overall rebounds, 16 of them by Brittany Logan. Tiya Johnson had 10 to go along with 11 points.

Jamesha Willis paced the balanced scoring attack with 12. Jasmine Jones and Kayla Carter scored 10 apiece. Carter’s well-rounded game included seven rebounds and seven assists.

The Jaguars are home to stay for awhile. Their GPC Classic, an eight-team invitational this weekend, features a 6 p.m. matchup Friday on the Decatur campus against Southwest Tennessee Community College.

They are back on the court 24 hours later to confront Tallahassee Community College.

Both games will be broadcast online, with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:50 p.m. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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November 21, 2010

Jaguars throw scare into reigning champs

Georgia Perimeter College concluded one of the most challenging weekends in its women’s basketball history Sunday with a respectable 78-66 loss to Gulf Coast Community College at the winner’s shootout event in Panama City, Fla.

GPC (3-2) led the Commodores, defending National Junior College Athletics Association champions who began the week ranked No. 1, by four points in the second half but could not hang on.

Twenty hours earlier, the Jaguars stumbled 77-63 to Pensacola State College, ranked third in the NJCAA. Pensacola could move higher in the rankings this week after Gulf Coast fell Saturday.

Jamesha Willis, who topped the Jaguars with 20 points, sparked her team with six steals, converting four into baskets.

The Commodores (4-1) took control on their three-point shooting, especially by Breanna Lewis. They hit 12-for-25. Kyra Crosby scored 19 points, below her average.

Subpar free throw shooting hurt the visitors. They were 8-for-15, one day after missing seven of 11.

GPC remained in contention for most of the game with 46 percent shooting, 25 forced turnovers and the rebounding upper hand (45-37).

Kayla Carter had 15 points and matched teammate Telise Greene with eight rebounds.

The Jaguars’ exhausting stretch of games continues Tuesday at Lawson (Ala.) State Community College. The good news, perhaps: Lawson is unranked.

Their next home appearance is Friday at 6 p.m. in the fourth game of the opening session of the eight-team GPC Classic against Southwest Tennessee Community College. Saturday the Jaguars play Tallahassee Community College at 6 p.m. Both games will be broadcast online, starting with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:50.

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November 20, 2010

GPC falls to No. 3 Pensacola

Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team dropped a battle of unbeatens Saturday, bowing to Pensacola (Fla.) State College 77-63 at the Gulf Coast Women’s Basketball Shootout in Panama City.

Pensacola (7-0), ranked third in the National Junior College Athletics Association poll, stormed ahead by 20 in the first half, only to see the Jaguars trim the deficit to nine points at the intermission.

But GPC (3-1) went nearly five minutes in the second half without scoring, then was unable to close the gap partly because of a disparity in foul shooting.

Pensacola launched 31 free throws, hitting 18, while the Lady Jaguars were 4-for-11.

Pensacola also dominated the boards, with a 48-32 advantage in rebounds. However, the Lady Jaguars kept the winners well below its season scoring average.

GPC got 13 points apiece by Jamesha Willis and Jasmine Jones, Ry’van Buchanan was the leading rebounder with seven to go along with 11 points and three blocks.

The Lady Jaguars complete their weekend in Florida with a Sunday afternoon game against the tournament host, Gulf Coast Community College.

Next weekend GPC hosts the annual GPC Classic, a colossal invitational featuring seven visiting teams. Friday, the Jaguars play Southwest Tennessee Community College, and Saturday they meet Tallahassee Community College. Both games will tip off at 6 p.m., and both will be broadcast online, with the pregame Jaguar Journal at 5:50.

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

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November 13, 2010

Johnson powers GPC to victory in Mississippi

On the season’s first road trip, the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team continued its winning ways, outlasting Meridian (Miss.) Community College 80-75 Saturday afternoon.

It was not a double-digit victory, as the Jaguars (3-0) achieved twice at home to launch the season. The Eagles (2-2) provided stiff opposition, even leading inside the closing five minutes.

With the outcome in the balance, Georgia Perimeter point guard Tiya Johnson took charge. The 5-foot-6 dynamo hustled for seven rebounds and four steals to go along with 20 points.

“She really turned it on,” assistant coach Christina Shafer said. “She pretty much took over the game.”

All but one GPC player scored, but Johnson was the only Jaguar in double figures.

Brittany Logan, who tallied eight points, fetched 13 rebounds to give the Jaguars a 49-41 advantage on the boards. Jamesha Willis (nine points, nine rebounds) was denied a double-double by fouling out early.

The visitors had to cope with a lopsided foul situation. The Jaguars were whistled for 30, nearly twice Meridian’s total of 16. The deficit was overcome partly by 46 percent shooting from the field, but fouls kept GPC from pulling ahead by more than 10 points.

The Jaguars head due south next weekend to Panama City, Fla., for the Gulf Coast Women’s Basketball Shootout. They get started Saturday night against Pensacola (Fla.) State College, and then take on the host Gulf Coast Community College on Sunday afternoon. Their next home games are Nov. 26 and 27 when they host the eight-team GPC Classic, playing Southwest Tennessee and Tallahassee community colleges.

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November 11, 2010

Jaguars win first game played in ‘extreme make-over’ gym

With eye-catching renovations completed on their home court, the Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars’ process of molding outstanding talent into a cohesive unit continued Thursday night with a workmanlike 75-60 victory over Roxbury Community College at the Decatur Campus.

Now the stakes go up for the 2-0 Jaguars with a tough bus trip for a Saturday afternoon game against Meridian Community College in Mississippi. The next weekend, they face Pensacola State College and Gulf Coast Community College at Gulf Coast’s event in Panama City, Fla. Gulf Coast, the defending national champion, was ranked No. 1 nationally in the preseason, while Pensacola was 14th.

“We’re not hitting on all cylinders yet,” said GPC coach James Waldon, who used 11 players against Roxbury and got points from all. “We’ve got players trying to figure out what they can and can’t do for us.”

As is their style, the Jaguars handled Roxbury, an NJCAA Division 3 team from Boston, with in-your-face defense, forcing 25 turnovers.

“The effort was there,” Waldon said of the Jaguars, who led by nine at halftime and were never threatened in the second half.

Ry’van Buchanan, who was all-region last season, had another big game—21 points, matching her jersey number and her total in the season-opening victory over Roane State of Tennessee. She also had six rebounds, three assists, three blocked shots and three steals.

Transfer Jamesha Willis added 12 points and five rebounds, a couple of the spectacular variety as she sailed into the offensive boards, came away from the ball and drew fouls.

Returning sophomore Tyra Smith had 10 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Brittany Logan, a signee who stands a shot-altering 6 feet 4, contributed 10 rebounds and six points despite early foul trouble.

Jesika Holmes had 16 points for Roxbury, which made fewer than half of its free throws (12 of 25). The Tigers (3-1) flew in three hours before the game for a four-day weekend in Atlanta that also includes visits to Chattahoochee Tech and Atlanta Metro.

As sparkling as the Jaguars’ defense was at times, the star of the night was the renovated GPC gym on the Decatur Campus. Better lighting, a new court, a new sound system and stadium seating prompted a universal review on opening night—“dazzling.”

GPC’s opening games, men and women, were played last week at the college’s original gymnasium at the Clarkston Campus. Thursday’s game was the first to be played on the shiny new hardwood.

The next home games for the women will be the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving in the GPC Classic. On Nov. 26, GPC hosts Southwest Tennessee Community College, and the following evening the Jaguars take on Tallahassee Community College. Both games start at 6 p.m., and both will be audio webcast, beginning at 5:50. To listen to the broadcasts, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under “Game Webcasts.”

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

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November 2, 2010

Buchanan’s 21 points help Jags roll in opener

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team overcame a sluggish start and ripped through Roane State Community College’s full-court press to win its opener 84-59 Tuesday.

The game was played on GPC’s Clarkston Campus while renovations at its normal home gym in Decatur are being completed.

The Lady Jaguars dominated smaller Roane on the boards, outrebounding the visitors from Harriman, Tenn., 65-38. GPC took 30 rebounds on offense.

Ry’van Buchanan reeled in 13 rebounds to complement her 21 points. The 6-foor-4 Brittany Logan had her her way beneath the basket with 14 points and 11 rebounds, nine of them offensive.

Jamesha Willis tallied 10 points as all but one of the dozen Lady Jaguars scored. Point guard Tiya Johnson contributed to the balance with eight assists.

Defensively, GPC snatched 16 steals, accounting for nearly half of the Lady Raiders’ 34 turnovers.

Tasha Phillips scored 18 points to lead Roane State.

GPC jumped ahead 8-2, only to relinquish the lead as Roane tied it 13-13. The guests’ rally awakened the Lady Jaguars, who built a 20-point halftime lead. The spread ranged from 15 to 25 throughout the second half.

The Lady Jaguars, 15-15 last season, are afforded a week to prepare for their next game, Nov. 11 against Roxbury (Mass.) Community College. It will be staged on the Decatur Campus if the gym is ready.

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November 1, 2010

Basketball openers at Clarkston Campus; Decatur gym under construction

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball season opener on Tuesday, Nov. 2, and the men’s opener on Thursday, Nov. 4, will be held at the old gym at GPC’s Clarkston Campus.

The floor at the Jaguars’ home court on the Decatur Campus is being resurfaced for the new season and is not quite ready.

Tuesday, the Lady Jaguars host Roane State Community College (Tenn.) at 5:30 p.m. in the gymnasium, building G. GPC’s Clarkston Campus is located at 555 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, Ga, 30021.

Thursday’s men’s opener with Middle Georgia Tech—also at the Clarkston gym—will begin with a tip-off time of 7 p.m.

Fans can easily get to the gym by taking Memorial Drive east of I-285 to the light at DeKalb Tech Drive. Turn left and go past the DeKalb Tech parking lots. Turn left at the stop sign, where the drive bends to the right. Building G is at the far end of the parking lot.

Both games will be audio webcast. To listen, visit www.gpc.edu/athletic and click on the link under "Game Webcasts."

The GPC men’s and women’s season-opening basketball games will be played in the building G gymnasium at GPC’s Clarkston Campus, 555 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, Ga, 30021.

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November 1, 2010

This edition of Lady Jaguars is tall, deep, fresh and experienced

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team goes into the season with four holdovers, a large contingent of new faces and major ambitions.

“If things go according to form, this will be a team that can make some noise in Kansas,” said coach James Waldon, referring to the NJCAA tournament in Salina, Kan.

Waldon should know what it takes. The Jaguars went to the nationals four straight times from 2005 to 2008. They stumbled badly in 2009 and came back to finish last season 15-15, losing in the tournament semifinals of Region 17 of the NJCAA, also known as the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association.

The major difference between this season and last is Waldon’s well-stocked bench. At one point last season, he took five players to Albany and beat Darton in a key region game. A memorable night, to be sure, but not a formula for long-term success.

This season’s story starts with the four returnees—all-region selections Ry’van Buchanan and Nicole Wells up front and guards Jasmine Jones and Tyra Smith.

Buchanan led the team with an exceptional double-double average last season—she averaged 13.2 points per game and 12.1 rebounds. She was a great rebounder, particularly on the offensive end.

Wells came on strong late in the season and finished with averages of 8.8 and 7.2.

Jones and Smith are proven scorers and ball handlers, plus they have a year of experience in Waldon’s system

“The four returnees have helped everyone understand what we want,” said Waldon, who is entering his 13th season at GPC.

On the flip side, the newcomers have provided energy and elevated everybody’s game. This is a team capable of scoring inside or outside, in the halfcourt offense and or in transition.

“We’re so deep, and our team speed is phenomenal,” Waldon said.

A freshman who will be pushing for playing time early is guard Kayla Carter from North Charleston High School in South Carolina. She was a scoring force in high school.

“She can do a lot of things,” Waldon said. ’She’s very creative with the ball.”

At times, Carter will be paired with Tiya Johnson, a sophomore transfer from Denmark Technical College in South Carolina, where she was an all-Region 10 selection. “A big-time scorer,” Waldon said.

Another guard who has excelled in scrimmages is Deanna Downer, a freshman from Elbert County H.S.

Inside, Waldon can call on 6-foot-4 freshman signee Brittany Logan from J.L. Mann Academy, 6-foot-1 Crystal Chaney, a transfer from Florida A&M, and 6-foot-2 Telise Green, a transfer from Alabama Southern Community College.

The talent goes even deeper. Jamesha Willis is a sophomore transfer from Central Florida Community College, where she averaged 11.6 points and proved adroit at shooting 3-pointers. “She’s a real asset,” Waldon said. “She can score in the open court.”

The Jaguars open their season Tuesday, Nov. 2, against Roane State at the old gym at Clarkston Campus. The Region 17 slate begins Dec. 9 with a match against region newcomer East Georgia in Swainsboro.

Waldon expects his team to jell quickly. “My expectations for this group are unusually high,” he said.

JAGUAR JOLTS: The roster of 14 players includes eight sophomores. Last year’s opening roster had just three sophomores. … This year’s conference schedule is 16 games because two additions—East Georgia and Chattahoochee Tech—bring Region 17 to nine teams. … The region champ will be crowned in Albany on Feb. 26. … Christina Shafer and Donald Moore Jr. return as assistant coaches. … The floor at the Jaguars’ home court on the Decatur Campus has been resurfaced for the new season and is not quite ready. So, opening night will be played at the college’s original gymnasium (building G) on the Clarkston Campus.

The Lady Jaguars’ opening home basketball game will be played in the gymnasium, building G, at GPC’s Clarkston Campus, 555 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, Ga, 30021.

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June 7, 2010

Wells and Buchanan selected for national All-Star game

Ry’van Buchanan

Georgia Perimeter College basketball standouts Ry’van Buchanan and Nicole Wells have been selected to play in the National Junior College Athletic Association Women’s Basketball All-Star games July 10 and 11 at Pensacola Junior College.

The event at Pensacola’s Lou Ross Center features four teams playing four games and highlights the top two-year college players in the country.

“Ry’van and Nicole will play in two games, one each day. It’s a good showcase—a lot of four-year schools will see these players,” said GPC head coach James Waldon.

“When you think about the number of upcoming sophomore players across the country, it’s a great honor to be chosen to play in this event,” he added.

Buchanan finished the 2009-2010 season as the No. 7 rebounder in the nation. She averaged 12.1 boards per game, led the Jaguars in scoring with a 13.2 average and averaged one blocked shot per game.

Nicole Wells

A 6-foot forward from Frederick Douglass High School in Atlanta, Buchanan was named to the NJCAA Region 17 all-tournament team and was a second-team all-region selection.

Wells, a 6-2 forward from Harlem High School in Augusta, made the All-Region 17 first team. She averaged 8.9 points per game and was GPC’s No. 2 rebounder with 7.2 per game.

As freshmen, Wells and Buchanan were significant contributors to the Jaguars’ late-season run that ended in the region semifinals in Americus, Ga., with a loss to eventual champion South Georgia Tech. GPC finished with a 15-15 record.

Georgia Perimeter will return four of its starting five for the 2010-2011 season. Along with Wells and Buchanan, also coming back will be starting guards Tyra Smith and Jasmine Jones.

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