(Oxford, GA) – The West Georgia Tech men’s basketball team won its third-consecutive Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association – Region 17 Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship, 64-56 over Oxford College of Emory University Sunday afternoon in Oxford, Ga.
West Georgia Tech swept both championships on Sunday, with the women winning earlier in the day, 98-46 over Georgia Northwestern.
Winning in the postseason has become an old habit for head coach Niki Okolovitch and the Golden Knights men’s team.
West Georgia Tech has now won three-straight Region 17 Tournament titles despite never winning the regular season championship outright.
All three have come at the expense of the Oxford College Eagles with West Georgia Tech matching up with them in the last three championship games. The Golden Knights won last year’s championship game tilt 65-46. Two of those three wins came on Oxford’s home court.
Damon Pearson and Martez Winston, two former Heard County Brave standouts, are a part of the Golden Knights team championship squad.
West Georgia Tech had a 13 point lead with 8:34 to play but Oxford went on a 13-2 run to get to within two, 56-54, with 3:01 remaining. The Golden Knights then scored on two-straight possessions to stretch the lead back out to six, 60-54 with 1:01 to play. Oxford would get no closer than that.
“A win like this will help us get ready for what we will face up in North Carolina next week,” Okolovitch said. “We stepped up and made a couple of big plays at the end of the game. We faced some adversity and I thought we stepped up and played with poise, especially on the defensive end. That’s something we have worked hard on, and today we showed that we can win a big game in a big environment.
Jalen Bracey led West Georgia Tech with 17 points. Codi Linton had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Devante Orebeau (13 points) and Orlandis Hill round out the double-figure scoring for the Golden Knights.
West Georgia Tech held Oxford to just 32.3-percent shooting from the field (20-of-62). WGTC shot 41.7 percent (25-of-60) from the field, and 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from three-point range.
WGTC dominated the glass, outrebounding the Eagles 50-36.
West Georgia Tech and Oxford will both move on to the next round of the postseason and compete in the four-team NJCAA D-III Men’s Basketball District 7 Semifinals next weekend in Dobson, N.C.
WGTC and Oxford will represent Region 17 and will be joined by the champions of Region 10 and Region 20. The winner of next weekend’s tournament will secure one of the eight spots in the NJCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Elite 8 National Championship Tournament in upstate New York.
West Georgia Tech lost in the first round of the District 7 tournament two years ago before making the championship game last year, losing to Caldwell Tech.