The GC women’s basketball team is heading into the Peach Belt Conference Tournament after posting a 17-11 record this year, with 14 of their wins coming in conference play.
“Winning the Peach Belt Tournament was a top priority on everybody’s list at the beginning of the season, so we’re trying to take it one game at a time” said senior forward Ta’Asia Wright.
The Bobcats have posted a winning record in the PBC for the first time since the 2014-2015 season, when they went 10-9 in conference play.
GC has been dominant on both the offensive and defensive glass, averaging 11.6 and 29.7 rebounds per game, respectively.
The Bobcats have the most players in the top ten in rebounds in the conference, with Wright placing fifth, junior forward Erin Drynan at seventh and senior forward Alyah McGriff close behind at eighth.
Though McGriff recently reached 1,000 career points, Coach Maurice Smith said that McGriff’s athleticism allows her to take more chances on defense than others.
“It’s a gift and a curse,” Smith said. “Her athleticism allows her to make up for some of her mistakes on defense, just by blocking a shot.”
McGriff’s dedication to fine-tune that athleticism into success on the floor has been her biggest strength, according to Smith.
“It takes real skill to be effective with your back to the basket, inside the paint,” said Smith. “Her footwork is tremendous.”
Junior guard Shay Tarver had a breakout game against top-ranked University of North Georgia on Homecoming, posting a career-high 22 points, along with 10 assists for her first career double-double.
“We all know how important it is to do our part, do our job,” Tarver said. “We’re always talking about accountability, so brining our part to the floor every night is what is expected of us.”
GC played UNG close earlier in the season, losing on a buzzer-beater three on the road after leading most of the game.
With the Bobcats claiming the fifth seed heading into the tournament, a victory over UNG ensures that GC can play with anyone.
Defense will anchor the Bobcats throughout postseason play, said Tarver.
“That’s literally our bread and butter. Like 90 percent of our practices are defense. I just feel like it makes us more prepared that some other teams,” Tarver said.
The Bobcats finished up with dominant 28-point road win over Young Harris, followed by an eight point defeat at Francis Marion.
Coach Smith reminded the team of the importance of remaining focused heading into tournament play.
“Coach Mo made sure we knew before our last few games, that our tournament starts now,” Wright said.
The Bobcats play in the PBC Tournament Quarterfinal on Feb. 28 at Flagler.