The Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats, tied for sixth in the latest USCAA Division II national poll, punched their ticket to the championship game of the Tim Walthour Memorial Tournament at the Rossville Athletic Center on Friday night with a 67-51 victory over Trinity Baptist College of Florida.
Georgia Northwestern (7-1) used a strong defensive performance, especially in the first three quarters. They held the Lady Eagles (0-8) to 21.6 percent shooting from the floor in the first half and built a 27-point cushion, 56-39, by the end of the third.
Trinity Baptist would make a brief run in the fourth, but never got closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Jayla Stone had 19 points to pace the Lady Bobcats, followed by 12 from Tori Harvey, who also had 10 rebounds and inspired the defense by taking two charges on back-to-back plays in the first half.
Taylor Bethune had 10 points and eight boards. Katy Phillips also finished with 10 points. Mia Clark and Tori Hall each added six and Christina DeSalvo dropped in five.
Diamond Alford led all scorers with 25 points for the Lady Eagles.
Trinity Baptist will take on Welch College in the women's consolation game at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, while Georgia Northwestern will face Hiwassee College in the women's title game at 12:30 p.m. Hiwassee beat Welch, 70-66, in the day's first game.
Trinity Baptist men 76, Georgia Northwestern 53
In the nightcap, the Bobcats gave up a big run at the end of the first half and another at the start of the second half as their losing streak was extended to seven games.
The Eagles (4-6) scored the game's first 11 points, but the Bobcats (2-9) would battle back to tie the game at 15 at the 8:00 mark of the first half. But the visitors from the Sunshine State would immediately respond, closing out the half on a 17-5 run to take a 32-20 lead at the break.
TBC would then open the second half on another 11-0 spurt to take its biggest lead, 43-20. They would continue to lead by 20 with 10 minutes to play and the Bobcats could never trim the lead down to any more than 15 points the rest of the night.
Five players scored in double figures for the Eagles. Marquel Perry led the way with 14 points.
Nine players scored for the Bobcats, but no player reached double figures. Davantae Kimble and Bryce Waters had eight points apiece, followed by Tyler Phillips with seven and Justin Smith, Davian Wheeler and Micah Wheeler with six each. J.T. Langford added five and Deontae Jackson ended up with two. Phillips had a team-high 10 rebounds.
TBC will take on Welch College in the men's championship game at 2:30 p.m. There will be no men's consolation game as Georgia Gwinnett College, who was originally slated to be in the tournament, had to cancel their appearance due to inclement weather in Lawrenceville.
Saturday's games will also be the second day of the Bobcats' annual Toy Drive. Spectators will receive free admission with the donation of one new, unwrapped children's toy.