The Road to the Final Four
Kansas called them feisty. Kansas called them scrappy. They even called them pesky.
Not many in Kansas expected the #19 nationally ranked Georgia Highlands College Chargers men’s basketball team to make it very far in the NJCAA Division 1 National Championship Tournament.
But a team which three years ago ended its season with absolutely no wins fought through this season with authority and conviction, secured first place in the region and then took that passionate, spirited momentum to Kansas to upset several teams on a quest for a national title.
The Chargers ended up blasting their way through the tournament bracket and earning a spot in the Final Four.
The GHC team went head-to-head against Kansas-local Butler Community College (#7 nationally ranked) in its first step to the Final Four, winning a back and forth affair by two points, with a final score of 88-86.
Next, the Chargers earned a spot in the Elite Eight by taking down Southern Idaho College (#3 nationally ranked) with an unbelievable late game timeout, where a play was drawn up to hit a game-winning three point shot with five seconds left on the clock. It worked. The final score was 67-66.
Third game into the tournament, the Chargers found themselves not only fighting against Kansas’ hometown favorite Hutchinson Community College, but also against the over 7,000-person crowd they drew. Against the roar of “defense, defense,” as the Chargers pushed the ball down the court, the Chargers defeated Hutchinson with a final score of 64-59.
Surging into the Final Four, the Chargers looked to win their match against Northwest Florida State College (#5 nationally ranked) for a spot in the finals. The team fell short by only two points in overtime with a final score of 105-103.
GHC President Don Green said that the Chargers epitomize what Georgia Highlands College is and what it offers.
“We are proud of our athletes and their success,” he said, “but the willingness to give all you can to compete and complete is embodied in all of our students. That is why we have one of the best retention rates in our sector of Georgia colleges. All of our students possess the same qualities our basketball team is showing.”
After the Chargers’ impressive display in Kansas, two GHC chargers made the list of the 12 on the All-Tournament Team, which honors those players who are considered to have performed the best in the tournament. Those players were: Montreal Goldston and Ty Toney.
Chargers won some fans along the way. Check out the photos below: