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May 16, 2008

Four Jaguars sign with four-year schools

Four sophomores from the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team recently signed to play next season at four-year institutions.

Guard Leslie Phillips, the Most Valuable Player in the NJCAA Region 17 tournament, signed with Virginia State. Phillips also was named to the All-Region first team, finishing the season with an average of nine points per game and collecting 253 rebounds, 171 assists and 116 steals.

Brittany Cade, a 6-3 post player, signed with Virginia Commonwealth University. An All-Tournament and All-Region second team selection, Cade averaged 11 points per game and had 267 rebounds, 76 assists and 44 steals.

Forward Stephanie Solomon also signed with Virginia Commonwealth University. She finished with an average of five points per game and totaled 162 rebounds, 25 assists and 25 steals.

Another post, Renee Shackleford, signed with Culver-Stockton in Canton, Mo. (NAIA Division 1). She averaged four points per game and had 99 rebounds, 20 assists and 31 steals.


March 19, 2008

Trinity Valley ends GPC’s Cinderella run

Uncanny three-point shooting trumped rebound dominance Thursday as Trinity Valley (Tex.) Community College bumped the GPC women's basketball team out of the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament in Salinas, Kan., with a 68-64 victory.

The game closed out GPC’s magical season, one that began sluggishly but heated up to bring the Lady Jaguars the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association regular season and tournament titles and the District 10 crown. It marked the fourth consecutive year that coach James Waldon’s squad earned a berth in the national tournament. The Lady Jaguars finished 19-15.

They controlled the boards Thursday by a 57-38 margin. Brittany Cade hauled in 11 rebounds, and Leslie Phillips grabbed 10.

Cade scored 20 for GPC with five blocks, more evidence of the Lady Jaguars' ruling the paint. Nia Davis pitched in with 12 points and Phillips with 10.

But the Jaguars struggled to defend the winners’ long-range gunnery. The Lady Cardinals (26-6) made 11 of 21 on three-pointers, compared to only 12 two-point baskets.

Premier scorer Danika Hill, with 22 points, rang up four of seven from behind the arc. Ashley Walker scored all 15 of her points on treys, nailing five of seven.


March 18, 2008

No. 1 Central Arizona stings GPC

The Georgia Perimeter College women's basketball squad, seeded last in the 16-team National Junior College Athletic Association tournament, knew its first-round game presented a daunting challenge against No. 1 and unbeaten Central Arizona College.

But nobody expected the one-sided result Tuesday in Salinas, Kan. GPC was swamped 87-34, which emphatically ended a run in which the Lady Jaguars won 14 of 15 previous games.

“Right at the beginning, we missed easy opportunities, and that kind of set the tone,” said coach James Waldon, whose team has been ousted in the opening round three straight seasons by the school (32-0) from Coolidge, Ariz. “We could never recover from that.”

“You can’t come back on this team like you can on some of the teams in our league.”

No Lady Jaguar reached double figures in scoring. Stephanie Solomon, Nia Davis and Michelle Smith settled for eight points apiece.

“We couldn’t score,” Waldon said. “We turned the ball over. We got off to a slow start and got too far behind.”

The Lady Jaguars (19-15) get a day to recover before resuming play at 1 p.m. (EDT) Thursday in the losers’ bracket of the nationals. They will take on the loser of Wednesday’s game between two Texas teams, eight seed Trinity Valley Community College (26-5) or ninth seed Midland College (28-5).


March 12, 2008

GPC to face No. 1 team in nationals

Coach James Waldon voiced no complaints Wednesday upon learning that his Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team was seeded last in the 16-team National Junior College Athletic Association tournament field next week in Salinas, Kan.

After all, the Lady Jaguars enter with a 19-14 record, easily the weakest record of the bunch.

“I expected it,” he said.

GPC is matched against the obvious No. 1 seed, unbeaten Central Arizona College (31-0) in the opening round for the third consecutive season.

“They beat us by 40 two years ago and by only two last year,” Waldon said, explaining his optimism despite steep odds against the Lady Jaguars.

So, preparing for the familiar foe before the tip-off next Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) won’t be a mystery.

“They play kind of a bruising style,” Waldon said. “Very physical. They like to pound it inside.” He noted that the Vaqueras use several freshmen. “That might work to our advantage a little bit.”

Central Arizona ended the season ranked No. 1 in the National Junior College Athletic Association coaches poll, while Georgia Perimeter was unranked. Last year the Vaqueras made the championship game and finished runner-up. They won the national title in 2005 and finished third in 2006.

As for his squad, which has won 14 of its past 15 games, Waldon said, “We’ve got the balance we need, maybe the best we’ve had here. We have good outside shooting, a pretty good inside game and a good bench.

“I can tell you this—they don’t intimidate me. I feel we can go toe-to-toe. I know it’s a long shot, but I feel good about our chances.”


March 7, 2008

GPC headed to fourth straight nationals

Less than two months ago, the only way it seemed that the GPC women’s basketball players would partake of the NJCAA tournament was as spectators. Or, in their dreams.

Well, wake up and pack the suitcases for an extended stay in Salina, Kan., site of the nationals March 18-22. The Lady Jaguars, mired in a 5-13 season in mid-January, qualified for the elite field with a 70-62 win Saturday at Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist College.

In winning for the 14th time in the last 15 outings, GPC (19-14) got 20 points from Nia Davis, 12 from Leslie Phillips and 10 from Lauri Coward for the district title. Phillips forged her usual all-around game, with 12 rebounds, seven assists and five steals.

The Pioneers nosed ahead 11-10 before GPC seized the upper hand and led for the duration. Frequent fouling by the home team late in the game backfired as the Lady Jaguars sank their free throws. They induced 23 turnovers, committing only 11, and outrebounded the hosts by 45-37.

The Lady Jaguars have won their three postseason games by 8, 7, and 8 points – not once being taken to the wire.

Familiarity with the home team came in handy. Two of those five rare victories before GPC came alive were at the expense of Spartanburg Methodist. The Lady Jaguars won their first game back in late November over the Pioneers 74-60 on the Decatur campus, then brought home from Spartanburg a 58-51 triumph in early December.

The third time was the most charming of all for the Lady Jaguars, extending their rags-to-riches season.


Feb. 28, 2008

Jaguars win fourth consecutive region title

The magical journey continues for the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team.

Once mired with a 5-13 record, the Lady Jaguars (18-14) backed up their regular season GJCAA title by winning the Region 17 tournament Thursday night with a 59-52 triumph over South Georgia Tech on the Jets’ home floor in Americus.

“We did what we had to do,” coach James Waldon said of the inartistic win that moved GPC into a district playoff game at the winner of the North Carolina/South Carolina region next Saturday. “We hit the buckets when we needed them to stem the tide.”

A close game for the first 10 minutes swung toward GPC, which led by five points at halftime. Waldon applied his trademark full-court press in the second half, and the lead widened to 14 until South Georgia chipped away during some careless moments by the Lady Jaguars.

Nia Davis topped the Lady Jaguars with 18 points, followed by Brittany Cade’s 15 and Leslie Phillips’ 14. Phillips and Cade had 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively, while Phillips chalked up five assists and five steals.

Her all-around brilliance earned Phillips the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award. Cade and Davis also were named to the all-tourney team.

Next for the Lady Jaguars: the District 10 championship on Saturday, March 8, at 2 p.m. at the home court of Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist. GPC defeated Spartanburg Methodist twice earlier in the season.

 The district champion will travel to Salina, Kan., for the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1 championship tournament March 18-22.


Feb. 27, 2008

Lady Jaguars advance to region final

It was no stop-the-presses news that the GPC women’s basketball team advanced to the Region 17 finals that will be played Thursday night. After all, the Lady Jaguars were regular season GJCAA champions.

But it was switch-the-press strategy that enabled GPC to rally from a four-point deficit against Dalton College on Wednesday night and win 82-74. The Lady Jaguars face South Georgia Tech on its home floor in Americus on Thursday for the conference title.

The Lady Jaguars, trailing 38-34 after a first half in which they pressed full-court for a brief period, opened the second half in a press. Neither team could get much of a lead, so coach James Waldon went to a different press.

Presto! GPC pulled ahead by double digits and withstood a mild Darton rally, which cut the lead to four late in the game.

Nia Davis scored 19 points with four assists, while Leslie Phillips had 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists. It was Phillips’ rebound basket while being hacked and her subsequent foul shot that finally disposed of the Cavaliers, one of only two GJCAA teams to beat the Lady Jaguars this season.

Brittany Cade achieved a double-double, with 16 points and 10 rebounds, along with four blocked shots.

The Lady Jaguars defeated South Georgia Tech twice this year. However, the home team also had been swept by Middle Georgia in the regular season, only to reverse the trend in the other semifinal game.


Feb. 25, 2008

Jaguars take momentum into postseason

Coach James Waldon was desperate. His GPC women’s basketball team team had opened the league (GJCAA) portion of its schedule with a desultory defeat at Darton College, which dropped the Lady Jaguars to 5-13.

At the urging of some players, Waldon had junked his trademark up-tempo style with a guard-heavy unit for a slower, half-court approach catering to a larger lineup. On defense, he was relying more than usual on a zone.

“After that game, I decided to go back with what we normally do,” he said. “I knew we were too talented to be struggling.”

Better late than never, the Lady Jaguars responded with a roar. They have won 11 of their last 12 games, along with the conference regular season title, and enter the Region 17 tournament in Americus this week as the No. 1 seed as well as a bye into the semifinals.

Their first task comes Wednesday on the South Georgia Tech campus at 5:30 p.m. against Tuesday’s winner between Darton and Truett-McConnell College. The championship game unfolds at 6 p.m. Thursday.

“It took the team a while to find its niche,” Waldon said. “I believe now we’re good enough to win our region.”

Waldon loaded up the pre-league schedule with two high-test tournaments in Florida and limped home 0-5, then failed to handle some mid-grade foes that GPC often beats.

“I thought it might have been too much for us, that schedule,” he said. Along with it came questioning “the capability of our own ballclub.”

He noted that an overtime loss on Dec. 28 to then-No. 4 Southwest Tennessee Community College “told me we were really capable.” But the Dalton debacle two weeks later sent the Lady Jaguars back in reverse.

“So I went back to what has worked for us in the past,” he said.

Complicating matters, at first, was the departure of three integral players. Two part-time starters went down and out for the season with leg injuries: guard Lindsay Stephenson in late December, post player Renee Shackleford in late January. Forward Chaz Jastes was declared academically ineligible at the holiday break.

The Lady Jaguars were down to eight players. But eight is enough – or has been so far.

“We incurred those losses, but we’re probably playing better now,” Waldon said.

Post players Lauri Coward and Sirena Cummings have helped fill the void beneath the basket. Forward Stephanie Solomon has pitched in on the front line, while Leslie Phillips, Nia Davis and Michelle Smith have been mainstays in the backcourt. Davis poured in 27 points in the regular-season finale.

Brittany Cade has been a stats-producing machine in the post. She also scored 27 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in one game. Still, Waldon believes she has only scratched the surface of her potential.

“If she wanted to, she could dominate every night,” Waldon said of the 6-foot-3 sophomore.

Phillips was named to the Region 17 All-Region first team, while Cade and Davis, a freshman, were named to the second team.

It took optimum team focus to rally from a 5-13 record to its current 16-14 entering the postseason. The Lady Jaguars exceeded .500 in the last week for the first time.

“Seems like we’ve been climbing all season,” Waldon said.

The mountain gets steeper, but Waldon has buried doubts about his thinned-out bunch. The average margin of victory in the last four games is 28 points.

He would not go so far as to say the Jaguars are peaking. “We’re getting close to it,” he said.

The peak, he hopes, is reached in the next few weeks.


Feb. 23, 2008

Jaguars snare regular-season title

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team isn’t just winning lately. The Lady Jaguars are rolling by opponents—at the right time.

In their final regular-season game, the Jaguars defeated Andrews College 85-56 Saturday in Cuthbert for their fourth straight win by at least 20 points, building momentum for the postseason.

More importantly, the outcome, coupled with South Georgia Tech’s loss to Middle Georgia College, assured the Lady Jaguars of first place in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association and the No. 1 seed in the conference’s Region  17 tournament this week. The reward is a first-round bye into the semifinals on Wednesday.

GPC (16-14, 10-2) had little trouble against Andrews, which lost to the Lady Jaguars by only 11 points in their first meeting. Nia Davis paved the way for GPC with 27 points, while Lauri Coward achieved a double-double in points and rebounds.

The Lady Jaguars have won four consecutive regular-season GJCAA titles and are shooting for their fourth consecutive Region 17 tournament championship.

The region tournament will begin Tuesday at South Georgia Tech in Americus with two first-round games, followed by the semifinals on Wednesday and the championship game on Thursday.


Feb. 21, 2008

Jaguars keep share of first place

Big is beautiful, usually, when it comes to basketball.

The GPC women’s team used their substantial size advantage to pound the ball inside for easy baskets in a 78-44 win Thursday night over Truett-McConnell College on the Decatur Campus. It closed out the home schedule with the most one-sided win of the season, a fitting farewell for the graduating sophomore players, who were honored with a “Sophomore Night” ceremony.

Post players Lauri Coward, a sophomore, and Sirena Cummings, a freshman, scored 18 and 15 points, respectively, on inside hoops. Brittany Cade, the usual top scorer, would have joined in more but was limited by a slight injury.

Sophomore guard Leslie Phillips matched Coward’s total with 18, while freshman backcourt partner Nia Davis had 14.

The taller Lady Jaguars dominated the boards. Coward had 14 rebounds, Phillips 10 and Cummings nine.

The Lady Jaguars climbed above .500 overall for the first time all season at 15-14 while maintaining a share of first place in the Georgia Junior College Athletics Association at 9-2. Their regular season finale is Saturday afternoon against Andrew College in Cuthbert, the last tune-up before the conference and NJCAA Region 17 tournament this Tuesday through Thursday, Feb. 26-28, in Americus.


Feb. 18, 2008

Defense leads to Jaguar victory

The Georgia Perimeter College Lady Jaguars defeated Lawson for the third time this season, 72-52 Monday night in Birmingham. The victory was the closest of the three games and enabled GPC to even its record for the first time all season at 14-14.

The Lady Jaguars led by only seven at halftime but gradually extended the margin in the second period with an effective full-court press. They set a season high with nine blocked shots, four by sophomore post Brittany Cade.

Cade also had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, Nia Davis led the Jaguars in scoring with 15 points, and Leslie Phillips also chipped in 13. Stephanie Solomon added 10.

Georgia Perimeter, 8-2 in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association, continues its pursuit of the conference regular season title Thursday in its home finale against Truett-McConnell College on the Decatur Campus. GPC designates the night as “Sophomore Night,” the last regular-season home game for the graduating sophomore players.

The Lady Jaguars’ home basketball games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road in south DeKalb County.


Feb. 16, 2008

Turner, Cade pace GPC

At one point early in the first half, the Lady Jaguars had posted more turnovers than points. But the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team that left the floor at halftime Saturday afternoon bore little resemblance to the one that took the court in the second half.

The Jaguars, trailing Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College 22-19 at the break, overwhelmed the visitors during the final 20 minutes for a 67-39 win on the Decatur campus.

GPC assured itself of at least a share of the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association lead with an 8-2 league mark and moved within a game of .500 overall at 13-14.

Tanya Turner paced the Lady Jaguars with 17 points, but it was Brittany Cade’s overall contributions - 13 points, 15 rebounds and five assists - that stood out. Stephanie Solomon pitched in with 13 points. Leslie Phillips had seven assists to go with nine points and eight rebounds as every GPC player scored.

The Lady Jaguars head west to Birmingham, Ala., for a Monday night date with Lawson State. Then they host Truett-McConnell Thursday at 5:30 p.m. for their final home game.

The Jaguars’ home softball field is located at GPC’s Newton Campus, 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, Georgia, near the intersection of I-20 and Ga. 11 east of Covington.


Feb. 13, 2008

Jaguars drop into three-way tie

It’s gotten jam-packed at the top of the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association women’s basketball standings, but Georgia Perimeter College is delighted to be one of the crowd.

The Lady Jaguars eked out a 59-54 win Wednesday over Middle Georgia College in Cochran, resulting in a three-way deadlock for first place in the GJCAA standings. Both teams, along with South Georgia Tech, are 7-2 in conference play.

GPC (12-14, 7-2) owns a tie-breaker advantage, having gone 3-1 combined against the two schools.

The Jaguars led by one point at halftime, then moved ahead for keeps in the opening five minutes of the second half.

Freshman guard Nia Davis had a hand in more than half of the Jaguars’ points, scoring 17 and dealing eight assists. Stephanie Solomon tallied 14 and Brittany Cade 12. The two totaled eight and six rebounds, respectively.

Saturday at 2 p.m. GPC takes on Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College on the Decatur Campus. In January the Jaguars defeated ABAC in Tifton.

The Lady Jaguars’ home basketball games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road in south DeKalb County.


Feb. 9, 2008

Jets jettison GPC win streak

Outside, it was warm and sunny. Inside the Georgia Perimeter College gymnasium on the Decatur Campus, the Lady Jaguars were cold (shooting) and gloomy.

A six-game win streak screeched to a halt Saturday afternoon as GPC (11-14, 6-2) stumbled to South Georgia Tech 55-46. The outcome left the teams tied for second in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association.

Playing high-gear basketball of late, GPC was unable to crank up its offense. The Lady Jaguars missed three of every four field-goal attempts, including open layups.

Complicating matters were foul difficulties. The Lady Jaguars committed 23, nearly double the guests’ amount. Despite South Georgia Tech’s low points total, the Jets managed numerous uncontested baskets on baseline drives.

Sophomore post Brittany Cade led Georgia Perimeter with 16 points and 11 rebounds. But no other Lady Jaguar reached double figures in scoring, the closest being Michelle Smith at nine. Leslie Phillips corralled 11 rebounds to go with eight points.

GPC travels to Cochran on Wednesday to confront Middle Georgia College, a victim of the Jaguars in January. Then on Saturday at 2 p.m. GPC hosts Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, another team the Jaguars defeated last month.

The Lady Jaguars’ home basketball games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road in south DeKalb County.


Feb. 7, 2008

Cade named Co-Player of the Week

The Georgia Junior College Athletic Association named Jaguars sophomore post Brittany Cade GJCAA Co-Player of the Week, along with Andrea Day of Truett-McConnell.

For the week last week, in victories against Truett-McConnell and Darton College, Cade scored 41 points, grabbed 26 rebounds, blocked seven shots, dished off six assists and shot 65 percent from the floor.

She scored 14 points and snared 11 rebounds against Darton College and turned in a stellar performance in the Truett-McConnell game with 27 points, 15 rebounds, two assists and 4 blocked shots.

GPC stands alone in first place in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association.

The Jaguars play at home Saturday at 2 p.m., hosting South Georgia Tech College in the Decatur Campus gym.

The Lady Jaguars’ home basketball games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road in south DeKalb County.


Feb. 2, 2008

Davis, Jaguars even score with Darton

When the GPC women’s basketball team fell to Darton College in mid-January, the Lady Jaguars plummeted to a season-low eight games under .500.

Now they are only two wins from break-even, having won their sixth straight conference game Saturday afternoon 74-65 on the Decatur campus—against Darton. Georgia Perimeter is tied with Middle Georgia College for first place in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association.

The Lady Jaguars (11-13, 6-1), buoyed by Michelle Smith’s three-pointer near the first-half buzzer that expanded the lead to seven points, stayed in front throughout the second half. Darton made some threats but never got closer than a six-point deficit.

The Lady Jaguars, who once constantly struggled on offense, shot 42 percent. They induced 26 turnovers with a full-court press, about half of which were converted into baskets.

Nia Davis was the mega-point producer, scoring 22 to go along with six assists and four steals. Brittany Cade rang up 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Smith and Tanya Turner contributed 10 points each.

GPC’s determined march in the conference and to a level won-loss record resumes next Saturday afternoon at home against South Georgia Tech College.

The Lady Jaguars’ home basketball games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road in south DeKalb County.


Jan. 31, 2008

GPC wins fifth straight

A women’s basketball season that once had detoured down a dark, bumpy alley is now cruising along a super-highway.

GPC won its fifth straight game Thursday night, 76-61 over Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, and each win has been by a double-digit margin.

Sophomore post Brittany Cade turned in a stellar performance with 27 points, 15 rebounds, two assists and 4 blocks.

The Lady Jaguars, who opened the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association portion of their schedule with a loss, are 5-1 and in strong contention for a league title. This, after entering conference play at 5-12 overall.

Now GPC stands 10-13 in all games, with a chance to move closer to the break-even mark on Saturday afternoon in a home game against Darton College. It was Darton who dealt the Lady Jaguars their lone conference defeat.


Jan. 27, 2008

Jaguars improve to 4-1 in GJCAA

They began the game with eight players and finished with seven. Short in numbers, the GPC Lady Jaguars basketball team nevertheless outlasted Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College 66-53 on Saturday in Tifton.

The Lady Jaguars, who began the calendar year 4-12, have improved by leaps and bounds to 9-13. And they are in contention for the GJCAA title, at 4-1 in league play.

However, they may have to adjust to the absence of post player layer layer layer layer layer layer layer layer layer layer layer Renee Shackleford, who injured her right knee seven minutes into the game.
The recently promoted starter could be shelved for the rest of the season, according to coach James Waldon. A diagnosis is expected on Monday.

Point guard Nia Davis did not make the trip because of another commitment, leaving the Lady Jaguars short-handed. Still, GPC led by 10 points at halftime and controlled tempo for the balance of the game.

The one drawback was 31 turnovers committed, but the Lady Jaguars forced the same number and converted several for easy baskets, which contributed to their nearly 48 percent shooting from the floor.

Leslie Phillips and Tanya Turner divvied up scoring honors with 16 points each. Phillips had the slight edge over her teammate in steals (8 to 6) and assists (6 to 5). Michelle Smith tallied 15.

Davis is due back for GPC’s next game, Thursday at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., which should help the Lady Jaguars cut down on turnovers.


Jan. 24, 2008

Jaguars savor sweet Homecoming win

There are upsets, and there are “Stop-the-presses, can-you-believe-it?” outcomes.

File Wednesday’s Homecoming victory by the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team in the latter category. The Lady Jaguars, with 13 losses this season, ran away from undefeated Middle Georgia 78-58 on the Decatur Campus.

GPC (8-13, 3-1 GJCAA) attained its first three-game win streak of the year and has taken four of its last five games. Middle Georgia (13-1) was ranked 25th in the National Junior College Athletic Association polls.

The first hint of this improbable verdict came at the end of the first half, when Brittany Cade passed to Michelle Smith for a three-point basket from the corner that lifted the Lady Jaguars on top 32-29 before the horn.

The home team’s press wore down Middle Georgia in the second half, forcing 23 turnovers that resulted in about a dozen scores. The unchallenged baskets enabled GPC to shoot 43 percent from the field, supplemented by 72 percent from the foul line.

Stat-sheet dominator Leslie Phillips sculpted another superior all-around game, with 19 points, 11 rebounds, seven steals and six assists. Tanya Turner scored 16, followed by Smith with 13 and Cade and Nia Davis with 10 each. Cade reeled in 12 rebounds.

The vastly improved Lady Jaguars tackle Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton on Saturday afternoon.


Jan. 19, 2008

Strong second half leads to victory

It was a second half second to none this season.

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team, down by two points at intermission in Americus, outscored South Georgia Tech by 18 after halftime and rang up the host team 68-52 on Saturday.

Converting turnovers into baskets, the Lady Jaguars amassed 42 second-half points and wound up shooting 44 percent from the floor, well above their average.

Several players joined the fun offensively, nobody more than Renee Shackleford with 17 points. Leslie Phillips scored 15, Tanya Turner 13, Stephanie Solomon 11 and Brittany Cade 10.

Phillips contributed in multiple ways, leading the team in three other categories with nine rebounds, six assists and three steals.

The Lady Jaguars (7-13, 2-1 GJCAA) aim for their first three-game win streak of the season at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on the Decatur campus against Middle Georgia College.

The Lady Jaguars’ home basketball games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road in south DeKalb County.


Jan.17, 2008

GPC launches a new streak

The GPC women’s basketball team launched a new streak, or so it hopes, Thursday by downing Andrew College of Cuthbert, Ga., 60-49 on the Decatur Campus.

Last Saturday, the Lady Jaguars (6-13, 1-1) had weathered their first Georgia Junior College Athletic Association defeat in 40 outings. But they leveled their league record Thursday with a strong come-from-behind run midway in the second half.

GPC spread the wealth offensively with a balanced scoring attack. Leslie Phillips scored 15 points, and Tanya Turner added 12. Stephanie Solomon and Renee Shackleford each tallied nine and Brittany Cade had eight.

Turner and Phillips also were the leaders in rebounds with 11 and 10, respectively, as well as steals with seven and five.

The Lady Jaguars deal with a quick turn-around and head to Americus for a Saturday afternoon tip-off against South Georgia Tech College.


Jan.14, 2008

GPC’s two-year streak ends

The streak had to end sometime. For the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team, a three-year run of total conference domination ended Saturday with a 55-51 loss to Darton College in Albany.

The Lady Jaguars (5-13, 0-1) had won 40 straight Georgia Junior College Athletic Association games in the regular season and tournament, dating to a 2005 defeat at Darton.

A week’s rest between outings did GPC little good. The visitors shot 25 percent from the floor and committed 30 turnovers.

Darton did not do much better, with 28 percent accuracy and 29 giveaways. But it was enough to release the Lady Jaguars’ stranglehold on the league.

Nia Davis scored 12 and Leslie Phillips and Michelle Smith 10 apiece for GPC, which is back home Thursday for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off against Andrews College.

The Lady Jaguars’ home basketball games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road in south DeKalb County.


Jan. 5, 2008

Lady Jaguars score a new year victory

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team coasted by Lawson State, Alabama, Saturday for the second time in a week, 65-43 on the Decatur Campus.

GPC can thank Lawson for two of its five victories, the first coming at a tournament in Memphis.

Lawson led 21-20 at the end of the first half, which was stained by 15 percent GPC shooting. But the Lady Jaguars shifted into a higher gear after intermission, scoring on fast breaks and nailing 43 percent of their field goal attempts with higher-percentage shots.

Lauri Coward set up many baskets with 19 rebounds, which triggered the transition baskets. Leslie Phillips (18 points) and Nia Davis (15)handled the bulk of the scoring.

Phillips etched another outstanding all-around game, with nine rebounds, six assists and six steals to supplement her scoring.

The Lady Jaguars (5-12) have a week to rehearse for their first conference game, Saturday afternoon in Albany against Darton College.


Jan. 2, 2008

Lady Jaguars scare No. 1 GCCC

It was no New Year’s Eve dream. At halftime Monday, the GPC women’s basketball team sat atop an eight-point lead over Gulf Coast Community College, the top-ranked squad in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll.

But the Lady Jaguars were jarred awake in the second half at their home gym, and the calendar year’s last game ended as so many others have—defeat, 77-57 to the unbeaten guests from Panama City, Fla. Gulf Coast (15-0) has been averaging more than 90 points per game.

GPC (4-12) rode 65 percent shooting to its shocking first-half advantage. However, after the intermission the Commodores clamped down with a full-court press, producing easy baskets and limiting the Jaguars to 18 points. The period included a fatal 10-minute scoring drought for Georgia Perimeter.

Nia Davis, the Jaguars’ most impressive player lately, accounted for 15 points and six rebounds. Leslie Phillips followed with 13 points and eight assists.

GPC gets a rematch with Lawson State (Ala.) Community College at 2 p.m. Saturday on the Decatur Campus. The Jaguars’ defeated Lawson State last week 73-43.

The Lady Jaguars’ home basketball games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road in south DeKalb County.


Dec. 29, 2007

Jaguars rock ’n’ roll in Memphis

The city of Memphis may be known for its blues, but the GPC women’s basketball team was rockin’ ’n’ rollin’ there this weekend.

GPC opened the Lady Saluqis Classic on the campus of Southwest Tennessee Community College with its easiest win in a rocky season, 73-43 over Lawson State (Ala.) Community College on Friday.

One night later, in the title game against the unbeaten host team, the Lady Jaguars could not close out a six-point lead in the final minute and fell 80-74 in overtime.

“ We are growing,” GPC head coach James Waldon said. “We’re definitely getting there.”

Waldon has changed tactics, calling off his customary full-court press to compensate for a lack of team quickness and relying on a half-court game. As a result, GPC (4-11) strung together two of its best offensive games of the year.

A balanced attack against Lawson State resulted in five players reaching double figures, none with more than 14 (Leslie Phillips). The rest of her stellar all-around game: nine rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks.

Nia Davis also authored an impressive stat line: 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals.

“That [win] against a pretty good team was a sign we had it going,” Waldon said.

Against the nationally ninth-ranked host school, “We pretty much controlled the game,” he said. But Southwest Tennessee tied it with 20 seconds left on its second straight three-point basket.

Two potentially winning GPC shots missed at the end of regulation, the latter from underneath the basket.

“It never should have gotten to overtime,” Waldon said. “Those three-pointers broke our back. The ball just didn’t bounce our way.”

Davis erupted for 25 points, while Stephanie Solomon supplemented with 12.

The Lady Jaguars’ frying-pan-into-the-fire schedule sends them against No. 1 Gulf Coast (Fla.) Community College at 4 p.m. Monday, December 31, on the Decatur campus.


Dec. 18, 2007

GPC falls to Walters State

The holiday intermission could not come at a better time for the GPC women’s basketball team, which has misplaced its shooting eye.

The Lady Jaguars failed to reach 50 points for the second time in three games, all losses, and succumbed to Walters State 69-48 on Sunday afternoon in Morristown, Tenn.

GPC shot a mere 32 percent, compared to the winners’ 54 percent, in plunging to 3-10 this season. Nor could the Lady Jaguars contain Dana Garrett, who amassed 24 points along with 13 rebounds.

Two GPC players accounted for the scoring bulk. Tanya Turner had 18 points, accompanied by six steals, and Brittany Cade tallied 17. The remaining Lady Jaguars combined for just 13 points.

The team returns to Tennessee after the break for a two-day tournament beginning Dec. 28 in Memphis. The Lady Jaguars’ next home appearance is New Year’s Eve afternoon against Gulf Coast Community College at 4 p.m.

The Lady Jaguars’ home basketball games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road in south DeKalb County.


Dec. 16, 2007

No. 6 Chipola edges GPC

The GPC women’s basketball team whipped up one of its best performances all season Friday night. Unfortunately for the Lady Jaguars, the opponent was sixth-ranked, once-beaten Chipola Junior College. The Lady Indians left the Decatur campus with a 63-57 win, their second over GPC (3-9) within a month.

The Lady Jaguars got a boost from Brittany Cade, who was reinstated as a starter after two games coming off the bench. She contributed 15 points and 12 rebounds. Another double-double came from Leslie Phillips (16 points, 11 rebounds). Michelle Smith, also a recently relegated starter who fought back into the lineup, added 12 points.

A Phillips three-pointer at the halftime buzzer sent the Lady Jaguars into the locker room with a 28-27 deficit and a wave of momentum. It carried over into the second half, which found Chipola ahead 44-42 at the midpoint. But two straight turnovers led to five Lady Indians’ points, and GPC could not close within threatening territory again.

Other than letting Chipola’s Latoya Williams go off for 29 points, GPC’s defense was stellar. Shooting was the Lady Jaguars’ downfall; they managed 36 percent accuracy from the field and 4-of-11 from the foul line. GPC closes out its pre-holiday schedule against Walters State on Sunday afternoon in Morristown, Tenn.


Dec. 10, 2007

Cold spell downs GPC

The revamped lineup that led to a GPC women’s basketball victory last week failed Sunday to deliver another one.

The Lady Jaguars’ supposedly accelerated offense stalled at Chattanooga State, resulting in a 63-42 defeat.

GPC, unable to place a single player in double figures, went scoreless for seven minutes in the first half and never challenged thereafter. Top point producers Brittany Cade and Nia Davis had seven apiece.

Cade and Michelle Smith came off the bench for the second straight game as coach James Waldon constructed a lineup designed to pick up the pace. But the Lady Jaguars backtracked in falling to 3-8.

They complete the pre-holiday portion of the schedule with a home game Friday at 6 p.m. against Chipola (Fla.) Junior College, followed by a trek back to Tennessee next Sunday against Walters State in Morristown. Chipola downed GPC 66-49 in Panama City last month.


Dec. 7, 2007

GPC’s revised lineup wins

Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball coach James Waldon set side the stat sheet and relied on intangibles in revamping his lineup Thursday at Spartanburg (S.C.)Methodist.

The gamble paid off with a 58-51 victory that raised the Lady Jaguars’ record to 3-7, with two wins coming against Spartanburg.

Top scorers Brittany Cade and Michelle Smith took a seat on the bench in favor of reserves Stephanie Solomon and Leslie Phillips.

“The difference is, the intensity we need,” Waldon said. “At this stage, we need aggressiveness. We don’t need that finesse [that Cade and Smith bring].”

The Lady Jaguars picked up the pace and led from the start, relying mainly on defense. The home team scored only 15 points in the first half.

“We controlled the tempo all night,” Waldon said. GPC’s lead dwindled to one late in the second half, but it denied Spartanburg any points on the next few possessions and rebuilt the advantage.

Lauri Coward paced the Lady Jaguars with 16 points and 15 rebounds, supplemented by four steals and three blocks. Renee Shackleford’s impressive stat line was 11 points, 11 rebounds, four steals.

“I went with more quickness. We missed some easy shots, but it’ll get better,” Waldon said.


Dec. 3, 2007

No. 23 Louisburg slips by GPC

The Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team turned the page Saturday on its calendar, hoping December would trigger a turnaround to the season.

However, the Lady Jaguars suffered another loss, this time at Louisburg (N.C.) College, but they could take solace in scaring the No. 23-ranked team in the National Junior College Athletic Association coaches’ poll.

Midway through the second half, GPC (2-7) trailed by only four points. But Louisburg awakened and put away the Lady Jaguars 64-53.

Louisburg (7-1) broke ahead 10-2 at the start and led 41-29 at halftime. The Lady Jaguars’ defense clamped down, allowing the hosts only three points deep into the second half. The closest they drew was 44-40.

The defense limited Louisburg to 39 percent shooting, but GPC responded with just 34 percent on its own.

Sophomore forward Chaz Jastes paced GPC, with 16 points and seven rebounds. Lindsay Stephenson scored 11.

The Lady Jaguars travel again Thursday to Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist for a 5:30 p.m. game.


Nov. 30, 2007

Chattanooga State out-muscles GPC

As much as any other facet in basketball, rebounding is a product of effort more than skill. The GPC women’s team lost the battle of the boards Wednesday night in a 60-53 defeat to Chattanooga State on the Decatur Campus that halted a modest two-game win streak.

Chattanooga State out-rebounded the Lady Jaguars 55-27, and 21 of the visitors’ rebounds occurred on offense, allowing many second-chance points.

The rebound drought limited GPC’s ability to fast-break and restricted the Lady Jaguars to a half-court game and 31 percent shooting from the floor.

Two GPC players attained double figures in scoring, Michelle Smith with 13 and Chaz Jastes with 10.

The Lady Jaguars (2-6) are back on the road for their next three games, starting off with a Saturday matinee against Louisburg (N.C.) College.


Nov. 26, 2007

Lady Jaguars play host, win two

The holiday comforts of home brought the Georgia Perimeter College women’s basketball team its first two wins of the season after a rough start south of the state border.

The Lady Jaguars (2-5) swept the GPC Classic this weekend, downing Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist 74-60 on Friday and Walters State of Morristown, Tenn., ranked 17th in the NJCAA coaches poll, 48-45 on Saturday.

Freshman guard Nia Davis was the ringleader in both victories, which eased the pain of an 0-5 beginning resulting from two road trips to Florida.

Davis scored 18 points on Friday, including 4-of-6 from three-point range, and maneuvered her 5-foot-6 frame to pull down eight rebounds.

For an encore, she amassed 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals on Saturday.

GPC followed a similar script in each game—building a comfortable halftime lead, then allowing the visitors to tighten the gap. On Friday, the Lady Jaguars led 40-17 at the break.

“Spartanburg came back well, but they could never close the gap,” said assistant GPC coach Christina Shafer.

At the end, the significant statistic was a 47-29 dominance in rebounds, with Brittany Cade hauling in 14. She also had 14 points. Tanya Turner and Chaz Jastes added 12 and 11, respectively.

Cade repeated with 14 points the next night as GPC surged on top 31-24 at the half and led by 10 at one point. Walters State had the last possession with a chance to tie, but a forced three-pointer under heavy defensive pressure kicked off the rim.

The Lady Jaguars’ three-game home stand winds down Wednesday with a 6 p.m. game against Chattanooga (Tenn.) State.

The Jaguars’ home basketball games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road,in south DeKalb County.


Nov. 17, 2007

Lady Jaguars fall to ranked teams

The GPC women’s basketball team will not be clogging the south-bound roads with other snowbirds headed to Florida in the coming months.

The Lady Jaguars spent the past two weekends in the Sunshine State – which was more than partly cloudy for them. They are 0-5 in Florida, and overall, after two more defeats Friday and Saturday.

Their task was Herculean at the Gulf Coast Community College Tournament in Panama City, Fla. The Lady Jaguars first fell 66-49 Friday to Chipola Junior College, ranked No. 4 in the NJCAA preseason poll. The next night, they were hammered by the host school, rated No. 8, 95-55.

Coach James Waldon says he consciously sought a challenging pre-conference schedule to toughen the Lady Jaguars, ranked No. 12, for important games ahead.

The weekend began with promise as GPC surged in front of Chipola 15-10. But the Lady Jaguars went on a seven-minute dry spell. The most telling numbers were 24 turnovers committed and 24 offensive rebounds allowed.

The Lady Jaguars finally play at home this weekend as host of their four-team GPC Classic. Spartanburg Methodist visits on Friday, Walters State on Saturday. Both games begin at 4 p.m.

The rest of the schedule is free of games in Florida.

The Lady Jaguars’ home basketball games are played at GPC’s Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road in south DeKalb County.


Nov. 13, 2007

Chipola tourney tough for GPC

The GPC women’s basketball team underwent a baptism by fire on its opening weekend—and got burned. Against two nationally ranked teams and a ringer, the Lady Jaguars went 0-3 at the Chipola Tourney in Marianna, Fla.

The Jaguars came into the tourney ranked 12th in the National Junior College Athletic Association preseason coaches’ poll. They fell to unranked Pensacola Junior College 67-55, No. 27 Tallahassee Community College 62-52 and No. 2 Trinity Valley (Tex.) Junior College 87-73.

GPC head coach James Waldon said he told his squad that the experience gained against five-star competition will serve the Lady Jaguars well as they move deeper into the season.

“We grew as a team due to the level of competition,” Waldon said. “We got what we came for, gaining valuable experience.”

“It was a mini-national tournament—many of the teams were former national tournament champions or recently have appeared in the national tournament,” said assistant coach Christina Shafer.

The difference in the season opener was Pensacola’s more accurate shooting as the Jaguars matched their opponent in rebounds and turnovers.

Turnovers, however, was the downfall in the second game as Tallahassee converted many steals into baskets.

The tournament finale was the most encouraging game as GPC clung to No. 2 Trinity Valley, cutting down on turnovers but not shooting well enough to challenge the Cardinals.

Sophomore post player Brittany Cade paced the Lady Jaguars in scoring all three days with 18, 12 and 20 points, respectively.

Other notables: Freshman guard Michelle Smith and sophomore post player Renee Shackleford had double-digit rebounds each in the first game, while Smith had scoring performances of 11 and 10 points.

There’s no let-up against ranked teams for the Lady Jaguars this weekend as they return to Florida for the Gulf Coast Community College Tournament in Panama City. They tip off against fourth-ranked Chipola College at 5 p.m. Friday and play the host school, ranked eighth, at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The win dropped GPC to 2-1, after a double-digit win over Pensacola in first day of classic Friday.

Georgia Perimeter will host Gulf Coast Community College Saturday, Nov. 18, at 3:00 p.m., at the Decatur campus gymnasium.