Charger basketball teams prepare for season openers
GHC prepares for basketball season openers
Rome – Oct. 22, 2014
Georgia Highlands College is gearing up for another basketball season beginning for the Lady Chargers on Friday, Oct. 31, and Saturday, Nov. 1, for the men’s team.
Both teams recently released their 2014- 2015 schedules. The men’s team opens with a string of four home games and will host Cleveland State, Gadsden State, Pasco Hernando and the Fort Benning Knights. The women’s team kicks off their season at the Walters State Classic in Morristown, Tenn. on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 before returning for their home opener against Cleveland State Community College on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
Brandan Harrell, GHC women’s basketball coach, hopes all the players will remain eligible by meeting the academic requirements. Also, he maintains a goal that all sophomores will graduate from GHC by the end of spring or summer semester. Lastly, he hopes to get through the season injury free.
“Our team goals are always centered around competing for the conference championship. We believe that every year, we should be competitive enough to have a legitimate chance to win the conference,” Harrell said. “Individual players will be required to put in writing some of their personal goals within the next couple of weeks. Among those goals will be graduation for our sophomores and our freshmen will need to establish themselves as good students so that they have an opportunity to graduate and move on to the next level. We do not want any of our player’s careers to end here.”
The strength of the women’s team this year will be their experience. Eight sophomores, one redshirt freshman and three true freshmen make up the roster.
“We will be looking for leadership from our sophomores and their past experiences at the college level to motivate and propel us toward our goals,” Harrell said.
Overall, the Lady Chargers are 50-14 during the first two years of the program and had the opportunity to play in the conference championship last season.
“We are proud of our record but there is no hype for this year yet,” Harrell said. “We must work extremely hard, make good decisions off the court, on the court and in the classroom. If we do that, then we will let any accomplishments that we may attain speak for themselves.
Phil Gaffney, GHC men’s basketball coach, said the team is cautiously optimistic about the new season and maintains its goal to win the Region 17 tournament and advance to the national championship in Hutchinson, Kansas.
“We were one of the best teams the second semester last year, and we hope to build on that momentum. We have two of the top players in the region coming back to play, as well as a very deep recruiting class.”
The team’s strengths lie in their length and quickness, which should greatly affect their defensive capabilities.
Two returning players, Montrel Goldston and Donovan Harris, are expected to have productive seasons considering their freshman starts. Goldston is recovering from a broken foot over the summer but should be cleared for play before the season begins. Harris averaged 13 points per game and 10 rebounds per game last season, while Goldston averaged 12.4 ppg and 5 rpg.
The men’s team was voted second place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association preseason poll.
Last season the Lady Chargers finished with a 26-7 record, while the men’s team ended the season 16-16 and lost by one point in the Region 17 semi-finals to Central Georgia Tech.