SGSC edges Georgia Highlands, clinches regular season title

Colin Cotter’s three-point play with 17.3 seconds left in regulation allowed No. 19 South Georgia State College to escape Rome, Ga. Saturday afternoon with a 59-58 win over Georgia Highlands.  The win also clinched a first-ever regular season championship for the Hawks (25-4, 14-3) and the top seed in the upcoming GCAA Conference Tournament.

“Today’s game had a championship game type atmosphere,” said head coach Cory Baldwin.  “I thought they (Georgia Highlands) threw some good punches at us, but we were able to respond. Colin’s play was huge and definitely a game changer.”

The Hawks were without starter Demontrez Austin (injury) and lost Jovante’ Spivey after he fouled out with 5:00 left in the second half.

“Overcoming the loss of Spivey late in the game and not having Austin is a testament to our team,” said Baldwin.  “We overcame that adversity, which is what good teams do.”

Cody Helgeland had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.  DeAundray Rhett finished with 10 points and four rebounds, while Spivey and Donavan Robinson each had nine points in the win.

“I believe today was Spivey’s first game where he didn’t score in double digits,” Baldwin said.

As the top seed, the Hawks will host a quarterfinal game in the GCAA Conference Tournament – date and team to be officially announced at a later date.  If the Hawks win their quarterfinal game, they will host the tournament semifinals and championship game scheduled for March 6-7, respectively. 

“We’ve had some good success at home.  Hosting the tournament is great on the basketball side and also great for SGSC, our fans, and the Waycross community,” said Baldwin.

More information about the GCAA Conference Tournament will be released at a later date by the GCAA and South Georgia State College.

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TOP PHOTO: Tyrone Sam drives for a basket Saturday afternoon against Georgia Highlands.

BOTTOM PHOTO: Jovante’ Spivey was held to only nine points in the win over Georgia Highlands.