Sharai Lay

Georgia Highlands sophomore Sharai Lay scored 13 points and had six rebounds in the NJCAA Region XVII championship game Saturday in Americus. / File - Jeremy Stewart

The Georgia Highlands women made a thrilling comeback in the semifinals of the NJCAA Region XVII tournament, but they weren’t able to make it happen twice.

After overcoming a feisty Central Georgia Tech team Friday to win 80-78, the Lady Chargers battled top-seeded South Georgia Tech on its home court Saturday in the region and conference finals in Americus, falling short 75-57.

The Lady Chargers (20-13) managed to keep the game close in the first half, trailing the Jets 33-29 at the break. South Georgia Tech came out in the second half, however, and set the tone to take a 19-point lead — their largest lead of the game — and go on to seal the NJCAA Region XVII championship.

The Lady Chargers were led by Jessica Eadsforth-Yates and Ciara Thompson with 14 points each in the championship game. Sharai Lay added 13 points and six rebounds.

Less than 24 hours earlier, Georgia Highlands was celebrating on the court in Americus after posting a come-from-behind win in the region semifinals.

The Lady Chargers trailed at the half and at the end of the third period but found a way to battle back for the 80-78 win to advance to the NJCAA Region XVII championship game.

In a game that had 11 lead changes and 11 ties, Georgia Highlands stayed the course and found a way to keep the game close. When an opportunity arose to win the game the Lady Chargers put the ball in the hands of Thompson, who hit the game wining shot at the buzzer to seal the win.

Thompson finished with 22 points in the contest, while Nijeira Jordan had 18, Eadsforth-Yates finished with 15, and Jahnarria Brown posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Andrew men 87, GHC 76

Georgia Highlands’ men’s team ended the regular season Saturday, dropping its fourth straight game with an 87-76 loss to Andrew College on the road.

The Chargers (21-9, 9-7 GCAA) were led by Carl Johnson’s 24 points, while Derrick Cook had 15 points, David Greer had 14 points, and Latief Harris had 12 points and seven rebounds.

Georgia Highlands, which has lost five of its last six after dealing with injuries, will play in a NJCAA Regional XVII quarterfinal game Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The place and opponent was not available as of press time.