Header

 

 

Top-ranked GC looks to stay perfect in return home

By DUSTIN KENT 
News Herald Assistant Sports Editor 
Posted Dec 8, 2017 at 6:37 PM

 

Nearly a month to the day since Gulf Coast last stepped on its home court, the top-ranked Lady Commodores (8-0) will play host to Central Georgia Tech at the Billy Harrison Field House Saturday at 1 p.m.

 

The nation’s No. 1 team has spent the majority of the season on the road, with an 84-81 win over Vincennes on Nov. 10 the first and only home contest for Gulf Coast before Saturday’s game. The road hasn’t seemed to bother the Lady Commodores, who have won their seven games on away or neutral sites by an average margin of 36.4 points per game.

 

That doesn’t mean they’re not happy to be back home where they’ll face a Central Georgia Tech team (6-3) that has won five of its last six games and is riding a three-game winning streak. GC coach Roonie Scovel said that the Titans will provide a stiff test to her team.

 

“They’re athletic, they’ve got a little bit of size in the post and some big-bodied athletic kids, so we’re going to have to play well,” she said. “They play a lot of up tempo and man to man. It’s going to be a challenge.”

 

Gulf Coast is being led by a trio of sophomores in power forward Jhileiya Dunlap and guards Shayla Bennett and Kionna Jeter. Bennett is leading the team with 19.4 points per game after missing the first three games due to injury, while Jeter is putting in 18.6 points, six rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game, and Dunlap 15.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per contest.

 

The combination of Bennett and Jeter has been particularly lethal, with Jeter making 43.5 percent from the 3-point line and Bennett 37.8 percent. They’ve also been menacing defensively, as Jeter averages 3.9 steals per game and Bennett 3.8. But it’s perhaps the offensive end of the court where Bennett and Jeter have the greatest influence over the game, with Scovel saying that the range the two shooters possess can make things much easier for her big players to operate on the interior.

 

“We’ve been a little inconsistent as we’ve gotten started, but on nights where both of them shoot to their ability, we’re a very good team,” she said. “When we’re shooting the ball, we’re going to be a tough team to beat because we have some nice post players as well. We’ve had some games where they’ve both shot it well and some games where they haven’t, but when they’re hot on the same night, it sure is good for Gulf Coast.”

 

While the sophomore trio of Bennett, Jeter, and Dunlap provides reliable production, Scovel said she’s still in the process of working out the rest of her team’s rotations and searching for lineups she likes before the start of Panhandle Conference play next

month.

 

“I think everything is a work in progress and we’ve got a lot of work to do,” she said. “We’ve got some talent, but we’ve got a lot of new people and we’ve had some injuries to start the season. We’re still trying to figure out who plays well together and who needs to play when. We should feel fortunate to be 8-0 this season with so many new people.”

 

NJCAA
FCSAA
GCSC
Gulf Coast State College Athletics | 5230 West Highway 98 | Panama City, FL | 850.769.1551
©2011 | Privacy Policy | Webmaster