Smyrna, GA – March 5, 2013 – The Chattahoochee Tech men’s basketball team finally broke the GCAA Quarterfinal playoff barrier with a solid 83-69 win over Waycross on Tuesday night at the Smyrna Community Center. The win was the first men’s GCAA playoff victory, after falling in the quarters in 2012 and 2011.
The #2 seeded Golden Eagles got out to a strong start from the opening tip, racing out to a 15-4 lead early on. The lead eventually grew to 30-7 with 9:30 remaining in the opening stanza, before Waycross began chipping away. The CTC offense got stuck, and the Swamp Foxes closed to within 10 at one point. CTC was able to take a ‘not-so-comfortable’ 45-29 lead into the halftime break.
In the second half, Waycross continued to fight, applying full court pressure, eventually trimming the score again down to 10 at one point. Down the stretch, timely baskets from Devarick Houston and Jay Ellis saw the Eagles push the lead back out to 75-57 with just over three minutes left in the game. The Eagles were able to stave off a flurry of points by the Swamp Foxes in the closing minute with a couple of free throws by Sadarius Boyd and Mike Morris, to claim a victory.
Houston tallied an impressive 25 points, 14 rebounds, five steals and four blocks to lead the Golden Eagles. Malcolm Riley chipped in 18 points on eight of nine shooting from the field and also grabbed eight rebounds, while Ellis added 11 points and Michael Morris had 10.
Robert Powell poured in 27 to pace Waycross' offense.
Head Coach David Archer commented, “Our goal coming in was to do our best to both break Waycross’ pressure without turning the ball over too much, as well as, to try not to let them out-rebound us. Coach Baldwin is one of the best defensive coaches in the country, and we knew we were going to be in for a battle!” Archer added, “But, I think we had our minds set on not starting slow, like we have been prone to do at times. The quick start gave us extra adrenaline we were able to carry through to the end. This win is a big step for us as a team, but we can't celebrate too long. South Georgia Tech is going to be a tall task for us on Friday night. We have to prepare well for them!”
The 27-4 Golden Eagles advance to the NJCAA Region XVII/GCAA Final Four where they will meet the #6 seeded South Georgia Tech Jets at 5:30pm on Friday, March 8th at East Georgia College in Swainsboro. The Jets who defeated Gordon 72-55 in the quarters, come in to the game with a 22-9 overall record. The winner will take on the survivor of the other semi-final between #4 seed Middle Georgia (23-7) and #1 seed East Georgia (28-2) in the finals on Saturday at 7:30pm.
The game can be viewed live online at http://www.thegcaa.com