Archive for December, 2010

Have you heard these holiday sports stories? And do you have a better one to share?

It seems every high school basketball coach has a favorite memory or funny story from spending time with his or her team over the holidays. With school out for two weeks, teams go out of town to play in tournaments, and unique or unusual things happen.

Two years ago, the Lovett boys arrived on Long Island in New York for the Wheatley Invitational shortly before a blizzard hit the area. There was so much snow that the school system shut down county vehicle transportation for a day, forcing the tournament to alter its schedule and play second-round games on Sunday.

Lovett coach Chuck Melito had to call the GHSA to obtain special permission to play on Sunday. “Dr. [Ralph] Swearngin said he would allow us to play as long as I promised to take the team out West the next year,” Melito said with a laugh.

At the same time in 2008, the Wesleyan girls played in a Phoenix tournament and flew back home with one fewer person. Wesleyan’s scorekeeper missed the flight, which worried the rest …

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UGA 5-star recruit makes rare appearance in Atlanta

Georgia basketball fans will get a rare opportunity to see 5-star recruit Kentavious Caldwell in the metro Atlanta area over the holidays. The 6-foot-6 guard, who signed with Georgia, plays for Greenville High School, which matches up against Rockdale County at 8 p.m. Thursday in the “Hoops In Overdrive Shoot-Out” at Roswell’s Centennial High.

Rockdale County has another one of the state’s top prospects in guard Kevin Ware, who signed with Tennessee.

Nearly 30 teams with college prospects will be featured in the three-day tournament. Milton, with Georgia Tech-bound forward Julian Royal, plays Winter Park, Fla., at 6 p.m. on Friday. Winter Park is led by point guard Austin Rivers, who signed with Duke.

For a schedule and complete listing of teams, go to hoopsinoverdriveshootout.com.

Here are some other local holiday tournaments:


Memphis vs. Atlanta Roundball Christmas Classic

Dec. 27-29 at Marietta High

Teams appearing: Four boys teams from Memphis against the following …

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Lithonia High boys snap two-year losing streak in basketball

Lithonia High’s boys snapped a two-year losing steak in basketball with a 56-52 win over Druid Hills. Said Lithonia first-year coach Milan Kenley, “We are a very young group this year but we have a lot of fight and toughness in us.”

  • Please click here for the AJC’s latest news on FOOTBALL and BASKETBALL … and scroll down the page.
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Brookwood pitching ace makes early college decision

Brookwood High’s Brandi Jones has committed to Mercer. This past season as a junior, Jones posted a 19-4 record at pitcher while helping the Broncos finish third at the Class AAAAA softball tournament. Jones also played outfielder, registering a .355 batting average.

Jones was selected Region 8-AAAAA pitcher of the year, and has been named all-region and all-county for the past three seasons.

  • Please click here for the AJC’s latest news on FOOTBALL and BASKETBALL … and scroll down the page.
  • Follow the AJC’s coverage of Georgia top high school teams and prospects, led by Michael Carvell, on FACEBOOK … and Twitter

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SEC school hires Georgia football coaching legend to recruit the state’s football talent

Will hiring LaGrange High’s Steve Pardue help Kentucky’s recruiting efforts in Georgia?

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Kentucky is one of many SEC schools that has successfully invaded the state of Georgia to lure away some of the top high school football players.

Kentucky recently made a bold — and many call “brilliant” hiring — to further establish its popularity among Georgia’s high school coaches. The Wildcats recruited and signed up longtime LaGrange High coach Steve Pardue as an assistant.

Pardue will coach Kentucky’s running backs and, perhaps more importantly, help recruit players from Georgia. Pardue is well known in the state’s coaching circles after leading LaGrange to three state championships in 17 seasons. He voluntarily stepped down from the position last month and was quickly offered a college job.

“One thing that I wanted to do is hire someone that could recruit the southern part of Georgia and also had some Kentucky ties,” …

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All-area football teams: Got ‘em for Atlanta, Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett, North Fulton, Southside

Here are the AJC’s all-area teams from six regions — Atlanta/South Fulton, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Gwinnett County, North Fulton and Southside.

DEKALB
Player of the year: Jonquel Dawson, M.L. King
Offensive player of the year: Demarco Robinson, M.L. King
Defensive player of the year: James Vaughters, Tucker
Coach of the year: Mike Carson, M.L. King

Offense
QB – Jonquel Dawson, M.L. King, 5-10, 185, Jr.
RB – Bashr Coles, Tucker, 6-0, 189, Sr.
RB – O’Kenno Loyal, Columbia, 5-10, 210, Jr.
WR – Demarco Robinson, M.L. King, 5-10, 165, Sr.
WR – Vincent Dallas, Cedar Grove, 6-1, 185, Sr.
TE – William Goodwin, Southwest DeKalb, 6-7, 220, Jr.
OL – Joe Harris, Lithonia, 6-5, 315, Jr.
OL – Brandon Greene, Cedar Grove, 6-5, 276, Jr.
OL – Tarik Cook, Stephenson, 6-3, 285, Sr.
OL – Aaron Epps, Tucker, 6-6, 250, Sr.
OL – Nick Brigham, Marist, 6-4, 260, Jr.
PK – Austin Hardin, Marist, 5-11, 200, Sr.
ATH – Geno Smith, St. Pius, 5-11, 175, Jr.

Defense
DL – …

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All-state football: Tell us what you think

Tim Byerly is the AJC’s all-classification player of the year. Byerly, the quarterback for Chattahoochee, threw for more than 2,500 yards and rushed for more than 1,500 in leading his school to its first state championship in football.

Here is the all-state team.

CLASS AAAAA
Offensive player of the year: Taylor Heinicke, Collins Hill
Defensive player of the year: Cameron Lynch, Brookwood
Coach of the year: Mark Crews, Brookwood

Offense
QB – Taylor Heinicke, Collins Hill, 6-1, 190, Sr.
RB – Tevin King, Colquitt County, 5-6, 148, Sr.
RB – Nick Tompkins, Brookwood, 5-10, 185, Sr.
WR – Malcolm Mitchell, Valdosta, 6-3, 185, Sr.
WR – DeMarco Robinson, M.L. King, 5-11, 170, Sr.
TE – Jay Rome, Valdosta, 6-5, 225, Sr.
OL – Blake Fussell, Brookwood, 6-1, 290, Sr.
OL – D.J. Glover, Camden County, 6-4, 330, Sr.
OL – Manrey Saint-Amour, North Gwinnett, 6-2, 245, Sr.
OL – Joe Turner, Roswell, 6-3, 255, Sr.
OL – Xzavier Ward, Colquitt County, 6-6, 255, Sr.
PK – Erick …

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Stanford lands one of the state’s most talented point guards

Jasmine Camp hails from an athletic family (AJC)

Jasmine Camp hails from an athletic family (AJC)

Those watching Chamblee’s basketball games closely still might not notice the full impact of point guard Jasmine Camp, who has signed with Stanford. The 5-foot-8 point guard averages 14 points and contributes in countless unsung ways.
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“The best thing about Jasmine is that she is consistent — she is not a ‘wow-type’ player,” Chamblee coach Paul Ireland said. “She just does it, does it and does it. She’s not real flashy at all. If you’re not really paying attention, you may not even notice her. But she’s hurting you out there.”

Along with stellar basketball skills, Camp is also a near perfect student. She had straight A’s from kindergarten on until last year, posting a “B” in physics. Camp has a 3.95 GPA and has Stanford admission approval.

“I’ve just also done well in school, never wanting to accept failure,” Camp said. “I didn’t freak out about the B. I just do the best I can.”

Camp comes from an athletic family;  her …

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Milton High loses on buzzer beater in ESPNU-televised championship basketball game

Milton’s Shannon Scott and Julian Royal were named to the all-tournament team at the City of Palms Classic in Ft. Myers, Fla.

New Jersey’s St. Patrick defeated Milton High 69-67 on a buzzer beater in Wednesday night’s tournament championship game which was televised on ESPNU.

Royal (signed with Georgia Tech) finished with 20 points, while Scott (Ohio State) scored 17.

Here’s more on the game from Adam Fisher of the Naple News

It was only fitting that in the strongest field the tournament had ever assembled, the State Farm City of Palms Classic had one of the best finishes in its 38 years.

Jarrel Lane swished a deep 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left for Elizabeth (N.J.)-St. Patrick, and time expired before Alpharetta (Ga.)-Milton could inbound the ball as the Celtics won 69-67. The lead changed hands 10 times in the final four minutes, and St. Patrick trailed in the final seconds after leading by 13 in the second half.

“When I let it go, I knew it was good,” Lane …

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5 of the state’s top college basketball prospects … who else??

Here are five of the top Georgia high school girls basketball players to watch:

Brianna Banks, G, Fayette County: You have to be good to draw the attention of Connecticut recruiters. The 5-foot-9 senior did that after a stellar summer on the AAU circuit, signing with UConn over Louisiana State, among others.  “She’s a pretty nice guard,” Norcross coach Angie Hembree said. “She can beat you on her first step. She’s left-handed but can go either way. She can also kick it another gear. Brianna has an outside game but can take it to the hole. She’s one of the best players in the state.”

Aneesah Daniels, F, Redan: The 5-11 senior is one of the reasons Redan has been a state powerhouse over several years, winning the Class AAAAA championship in 2009 and finishing as state runner-up last season. Daniels is a punishing player in the post area and seems to prefer contact. She led the team with 10.6 rebounds per game last season as a junior. Daniels signed with Alabama.

Diamond …

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Chamblee boys get revenge against M.L. King in DeKalb Holiday Tournament

Chamblee took home a pair of titles and Southwest DeKalb grabbed another as the fifth annual DeKalb County Holiday Basketball Tournament came to a close on Tuesday night.

The Chamblee Bulldogs (7-5) avenged a pair of earlier losses this season to the Martin Luther King Jr. Lions (9-4) by reeling off an impressive 57-42 win to take the American Division Boys’ title at Martin Luther King Tuesday afternoon.

Fred Miller hit for eight of his 18 points in the second period as the Bulldogs extended a 15-10 lead to 31-18 at the half. Miller closed out the half with a pair of baskets, the last coming on a steal and layup just before the buzzer.

A three-point play by Larenz Griggs with 2:40 to play in the third period cut the lead to 35-32, but Miller and Sederious Boyd (12 points, 14 rebounds) scored the final six points of the quarter to push the lead back out to 44-34 heading into the fourth quarter.

Miller took over again in the fourth quarter after Thomas Dunans and De’Aires …

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Milton basketball team to play on ESPNU at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday

The defending state champion in Georgia’s largest classification will play on ESPNU at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in high school basketball.

Milton High matches up against New Jersey’s St. Patrick in the championship of the City of Palms Classic in Ft. Myers, Fla.

On Tuesday, Milton’s Julian Royal (signed with Georgia Tech) had 20 points and 10 rebounds in a 63-62 win over Winter Park, Fla. Winter Park point guard Austin Rivers, the Duke recruit who is considered the nation’s No. 1 prospect, finished with 25 points against Milton after scoring 42 the previous night.

Milton’s Shannon Scott (Ohio State) might’ve been the best point guard in this game, finishing with 15 points and 7 assists.

Related: Our friends at Courtcred.com have a video from the Memphis vs. Atlanta Classic

Milton and Winter Park will have a rematch in the “Hoops In Overdrive” on New Year’s Eve. For more information, go to hoopsinoverdriveshootout.com

Continue reading Milton basketball team to play on ESPNU at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday »

UGA 5-star recruit to make rare appearance in metro area …

Georgia basketball fans will get a rare opportunity to see 5-star recruit Kentavious Caldwell in the metro Atlanta area over the holidays. The 6-foot-6 guard, who signed with Georgia, plays for Greenville High School, which matches up against Rockdale County at 8 p.m. on Dec. 30 in the “Hoops In Overdrive Shoot-Out” at Roswell’s Centennial High.

Rockdale County has another one of the state’s top prospects in guard Kevin Ware, who signed with Tennessee.

Nearly 30 teams with college prospects will be featured in the three-day tournament. Milton, with Georgia Tech-bound forward Julian Royal, plays Winter Park, Fla., at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31. Winter Park is led by point guard Austin Rivers, who signed with Duke.

For a schedule and complete listing of teams, go to hoopsinoverdriveshootout.com.

Here are some other local holiday tournaments:

Hiram Holiday Classic

Monday through Wednesday at Hiram

Teams appearing: South Cobb boys and girls, Osborne boys and girls, Stone Mountain girls, …

Continue reading UGA 5-star recruit to make rare appearance in metro area … »

Southwest DeKalb boys, Stephenson in Monday’s semifinals of DeKalb Holiday Basketball Tournament

The semifinals of two of the brackets in the DeKalb County Holiday Basketball Tournament are set for Monday at Arabia Mountain and Martin Luther King Jr. basketball gyms.

The first semifinal in the National Boys Division features Southwest DeKalb (6-2) and Avondale (5-4) in a 4:40 p.m. contest at Arabia Mountain. Southwest advanced to the semifinals with a victory over McNair while Avondale knocked off Clarke Central.

The other boys’ semifinal is set for 8 p.m. at Arabia Mountain as Stephenson (6-1) takes on Alcovy for the opportunity to advance to the championship game at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Arabia Mountain. Stephenson won their opening round game with Druid Hills 42-37 to advance while Alcovy (6-3) defeated the hosts Arabia Mountain Rams 65-52 to move into the semifinals.

The National Girls Division semifinals features undefeated and Class AAAA No. 6 ranked Chamblee (9-0) taking on the 6-2 Clarke Central Gladiators at 6:20 p.m. at Arabia Mountain. Chamblee defeated the …

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High school of NFL star Hines Ward looking for new head football coach

Forest Park has dismissed Jajuan Wright as the school’s head football coach.

Co-athletic director John Patterson revealed the decision in a statement:

“Forest Park has decided to go in a different direction with its football program, and has made its Head Coaching football position vacant.    Coach Wright stepped in as head coach, after budget cuts left the head coaching position vacant last year.  The new principal of Forest Park High School , Derrick Manning, is committed to raise its athletics program to the highest level.

“In doing this Mr. Manning, has developed a multi-year plan which will begin with bringing in an experienced football head coach and staff.  He is as passionate about athletic programs as he is his academic programs.  Mr. Manning is committed to bringing back the rich tradition of competiveness, stability, and achievement to football.  This program will instill high academic achievement, accountability, a continual strength and conditioning program …

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