Making it to 50 can be associated with many different feelings when it happens.
The Georgia Highlands College men’s basketball team got to have that experience Wednesday night. And it felt kind of familiar.
The nationally-ranked Chargers used multiple runs in the first half to take a huge halftime lead and beat Atlanta Metro College 97-55 to earn their 50th consecutive victory, the longest streak in any division of men’s collegiate basketball
“It’s really surreal, you think you get five or six straight wins that’s good, so 50 is really something,” Georgia Highlands coach Phil Gaffney said. “But it’s just a number. I’m not concerned with it. Our concern is playing well the rest of the season.”
The streak started with the second game of the 2015-2016 season and was helped by a technicality.
After winning the region title, the Chargers lost to Ranger College in the quarterfinals of the NJCAA National Tournament last year. Later findings however unveiled that Ranger had used an ineligible player, leading to a forfeit and taking the loss off of Georgia Highlands’ record.
“We don’t even talk about winning, to be honest,” Gaffney said. “We talk about being a good person, a good student and the best athlete one can be.”
The No. 3 Chargers (16-0, 3-0 GCAA) have certainly played that way this season, winning 15 of 16 games by double digits. Wednesday’s game was the fifth time the team has won by more than 40 points and the 13th time it’s scored at least 90.
Kyvon Davenport was to leading scorer for GHC, making a home in the post and tallying 22 points to go with 10 rebounds. The Chargers led 60-23 at halftime, and Davenport was not surprised by the powerful start.
With the chance of getting to 50 wins, the 6-8 sophomore forward knew the team was not going to come out sluggish.
“We knew it was for our 50th win, so everybody was really pumped,” Davenport said. “So we knew we had to come out and go hard from the beginning.”
Ty Cockfield finished with 20 points for Georgia Highlands, while Antonio Wade added 15, Rico Bonds recorded 14 and D’Andre Bernard scored 13.
The Trailblazers (5-10, 0-2) committed 18 turnovers in the first half and finished with 30 for the game, mostly due to the press.
Players like Davenport and Bernard provided the speed and size for GHC to run the press and still be able to fall back and recover.
“We press every game, and that isn’t going to change. Just press, press, press,” Davenport said. “That’s us, man. That’s Georgia Highlands.”
The Chargers go for win No. 51 Saturday when they host South Georgia Tech.
Georgia Highlands women 79, Atlanta Metro 66
The Lady Chargers also took care of business Wednesday, beating Atlanta Metro 79-66 for a GCAA win. Georgia Highlands’ women (7-11, 2-0) jumped out to an 11-point halftime lead to open the game and never looked back. Sophomore forward Pam Diokpara was the Lady Chargers’ most consistent force, recording 26 points, 19 rebounds and a steal.
Atlanta Metro (5-11, 1-1) never really got close to Georgia Highlands in the second half, thanks largely to the host team winning the rebound battle 48-33.
The Lady Chargers begin Saturday’s contests with South Georgia Tech at 2 p.m. at Georgia Highlands.