Puckett named to All-PBC team

From staff reports

For the third year in a row, the Clayton College & State University's men's basketball team had a player recognized on the Peach Belt All-Conference team.

B.J. Puckett, a 6-foot-9 junior post from Auburn, GA, was named to the All-PBC team after leading the squad in scoring and ranking second in rebounding. Puckett becomes the third straight Laker named to the squad, as Kareen Harris was named All-Peach Belt in 2000-01 and Jamal Johnson received the honor last year.

"B.J. had a fine season for us," said head coach Gordon Gibbons. "We are proud to receive this recognition for our team. With his continued hard work, he will help our team compete for championships next year."

CCSU ranked sixth in nation

The Clayton College & State University women's tennis team has opened its season with a 6-2 record, which includes two recent victories over top-10 nationally ranked teams, and the program was rewarded for its fine play with its highest national ranking in school history.

The Lakers catapulted in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll released Wednesday, moving from 17th in the nation to sixth. The sixth place national ranking is the highest the women's tennis program has been ranked. The Lakers were ranked as high as seventh in the country in the 2001 season and as high as ninth in the 2002.

Clayton State, ranked second in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region behind Armstrong Atlantic State University, will return to action on Tuesday at 2 p.m., hosting Peach Belt Conference rival Columbus State University. The match with Cougars, who are eighth in the country, will begin at 2 p.m. at the Clayton State Tennis Complex.

The Lakers made the meteoric rise in the poll, thanks to two victories over top 10 teams in the last two weeks, defeating West Florida and North Florida, who at the time were ranked sixth and ninth in the country. CCSU also fell by the slimmest of margins to the nation's fifth-ranked team in Rollins 5-4.

Clayton State has three seniors on the club in Nathalia Collantes (Burcarmanga, Colombia), Natalia Koulechova (Moscow, Russia) and Jackeline Nieto (Caracas, Venezuela), and all three have been an integral part of the tennis program's success the last four seasons.

Shirley places third at tourney

Clayton College & State University's Jess Shirley fired a 1-over par 143 to tie for third in the 2004 Richard Rendleman Invitational Tuesday at the Country Club of Salisbury in Salisbury, N.C.

Shirley, a senior from Newnan, shot a 1-under par 70 in the second round of the event, after shooting a 2-over par 73 on the first day. He finished four shots off the lead and his round of 70 was the third best round of the tournament.

As a team, the Lakers finished 10th in the 15-team event with a two-round team score of 616. Carson-Newman won the tournament with a two-round score 582.