Archive for March, 2011

Radical reclassification? Delayed on Monday by GHSA

Macon — The Georgia High School Association finally found a way to satisfy the majority on the controversial issue of reclassification at Monday’s meeting.

They decided to delay a vote for another month or two.

The chairman of the Reclassification Committee, Earl Etheridge, read a few sentences about the “4/8 plan” which had been narrowly approved for proposal the day before. Another GHSA member motioned to table or delay the vote and it was quickly approved by the 50-person Executive Committee.

“I think, among the 50 members, there were some people who liked the ‘4/8 plan,’ there were some people that didn’t like it, and there were some people who didn’t know enough to vote wisely,” said Ralph Swearngin, the GSHA’s Executive Director.

Ironically, delaying the vote on the “4/8 plan” was a minor victory for supporters of the radical plan, which consists of reducing the state’s five classifications to four, and then have two state championships per class for each …

Continue reading Radical reclassification? Delayed on Monday by GHSA »

All-State basketball: Give us your picks

The AJC will be selecting its all-state boys and girls basketball teams this week for publication on Sunday.

We’ll pick a first and second team of five players each, plus 10 honorable mentions, for a total of 20 players per classification. We’ll also pick all-classification boys and girls players of the year?

Pick any class and tell us your all-state team.

Who are the no-brainers? Who are the ones that might get overlooked?

Continue reading All-State basketball: Give us your picks »

GHSA prepared to vote on radical ‘4/8′ reclassification plan on Monday

The GHSA’s Executive Committee will have the opportunity to vote on a radical reclassification plan for the state’s high schools on Monday.

On Sunday, the Reclassification Committee voted 7-5 to present what is dubbed the “4/8 plan” to the full board on Monday in Macon. Under the proposal, the state’s existing five classifications would be reduced to four, and there would be two state championships per class for an overall total of eight.

“I really don’t have a clue yet, and this sounds really strange after all these years, about how the [Executive Committee's] 50 members are going to vote on this,” Dr. Ralph Swearngin, the GHSA’s Executive Director, told the AJC on Sunday.

“Even with Sunday’s discussion, there does not appear to be any consensus. People who are for the ‘4/8′ are for it for a couple of reasons. People that are against it are against it for a couple of reasons. There appears to be nothing clear-cut that we’ve seen that is going to solve all the problems.”

The …

Continue reading GHSA prepared to vote on radical ‘4/8′ reclassification plan on Monday »

Voting day: Which GHSA reclassification plan do you like?

Cast your vote for Reclassification

  • 6 classifications
  • 5 classifications with minor tweaks
  • 4 classifications, then subdivide in playoffs for 8 state champions

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Ralph Swearngin, executive director of the Georgia High School Association, said he usually has a pretty good idea about what’s going to happen before any major proposals are presented to the state’s governing body for high school athletics.

This time, however, Swearngin said he’s not so sure about the hotly debated of reclassification, or how the GHSA’s 422 member schools will be divided for competition.

Three ideas are being strongly considered, and one of them will be proposed for a vote at Monday’s meeting of the GHSA’s executive committee.

It could be the most radical change among the state’s classifications in more than a decade, or it may be a few tweaks to the existing structure. Swearngin doesn’t have a gut instinct one way or the other.

“People are all …

Continue reading Voting day: Which GHSA reclassification plan do you like? »

Atlanta Tipoff Club announces winners of basketball awards

Fayette County High School senior Brianna Banks and Milton High School senior Shannon Scott were named Miss Georgia Basketball and Mr. Georgia Basketball, respectively, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced. In addition, Senior Jasmine Camp (Chamblee High School) and junior Tony Parker (Miller Grove High School) were named as the 2011 Metro Atlanta Basketball Players of the Year.

The winners were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s board of selectors and its voting academy, comprised of leading basketball coaches and administrators from around the region, who based their criteria on player performances throughout the season. All honorees will be recognized at the Atlanta Tipoff Club Naismith Awards Banquet presented by AT&T on March 21 at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Ga.

Miss Georgia Basketball: Brianna Banks, Fayette County High School – She led her team in points, assists and steals en route to the Class AAAA state title, the school’s …

Continue reading Atlanta Tipoff Club announces winners of basketball awards »

Alpharetta High has strong showing in gymnastics

Alpharetta High wasted little time in establishing itself as a top contender for the state championship.

Alpharetta, which failed to quality for last year’s finals, opened the season by scoring a school-record 110.87 points in a meet with four other teams, including defending team champion Lassiter. Alpharetta also won the Kell Invitational, with Walton and Milton rounding out the top three.

Alpharetta teammates Kelsey Kopec and Sarah Parkey placed 1-2 in all-around at both meets. Kopec, a junior, is the defending state champion in the all-around.

Continue reading Alpharetta High has strong showing in gymnastics »

The celebration goes on at Norcross High after basketball sweep

One of my favorite all-time photos -- Norcross High guard Chris Bolden has tears of joy as winning the state championship sinks in. Bolden scored the deciding points on four straight foul shots (AJC Photo by Hyosub Shin)

One of my favorite all-time photos — Norcross High guard Chris Bolden has tears of joy as winning the state championship sinks in. Bolden scored the deciding points on four straight foul shots (AJC Photo by Hyosub Shin)

The wild court celebration by members of Norcross High School boys team after they upset Milton for last weekend’s Class AAAAA state championship paled compared to the chaotic scene at the school later that night.

The Norcross boys and girls teams — which swept the respective championships in the state’s largest classification — rode together on the same team bus leaving Gwinnett Arena. They were followed by a caravan of nearly 300 cars to the Norcross gym.

“There were so many people that the police had to direct traffic in front of the school,” said Angie Hembree, coach of the Norcross girls. Hembree was stuck in the traffic, but was waved through when she held the state championship trophy out of her car window for the police to see.

“We got …

Continue reading The celebration goes on at Norcross High after basketball sweep »

Northview 6-foot-10 center Kyle Meyer commits to Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa-bound recruit Kyle Meyer (photo submitted by Meyer family)

Iowa-bound recruit Kyle Meyer (photo submitted by Meyer family)

One of Georgia’s top big men is leaving the state.

Kyle Meyer, a 6-foot-10 center from Northview High, committed to Iowa over early basketball scholarship offers from East Carolina, Drake, Jacksonville, Georgia State, Georgia Southern and Mercer.

Meyer recently completed his junior season and was also getting looks from UGA and Georgia Tech, among other SEC and ACC schools.

“Iowa is getting a player that can do a little bit of everything,” Northview coach Steve Bombard told the AJC.

“Aside from his ability to score from the inside, he can also step out and shoot 3-pointers.. He is a very good passer, especially outlet passes in transition. And he runs the floor very well for a big man.”

Meyer averaged 16 points and 14 rebounds this past season at Northview. He caught Iowa’s attention while playing AAU basketball for the Atlanta Celtics last summer.

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery was impressed enough to investigate …

Continue reading Northview 6-foot-10 center Kyle Meyer commits to Iowa Hawkeyes »

What will be the basketball legacy of Milton High’s 2011 team?

Legacy for Milton 2011?

  • Overachievers
  • Underachievers
  • Still too shocked to vote

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Now that Milton coach David Boyd has had some time to think about it, losing to Norcross in the state championship was not that bad.

In fact, Boyd thinks — all things considered — it was a very respectable season for Milton, which began the season ranked No. 1 in the nation by several polls.

“I’m not quite as exuberant this time of year as I was last year,” Boyd said.

“But when I look back at the amazing accomplishments of our team this season and the past three years, it’s just incredible.

“We beat this year’s Class AA champion [GAC] 73-35, we beat Norcross in the regular season, and we beat Winter Park not once but twice and they won Florida’s state championship. We beat Oak Hill, one of the top programs in the country. We beat Wheeler by double digits.

“To make it all the way to the championship game with all the pressure, leading the game with …

Continue reading What will be the basketball legacy of Milton High’s 2011 team? »

Voting Day: Who had Georgia’s No. 1 overall basketball team? Regardless of classification?

Vote for overall No. 1?

  • Miller Grove
  • Norcross
  • Milton
  • Columbia
  • GAC
  • Other (read below)

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Who had the best high school basketball team in Georgia this year? Regardless of classification?

Miller Grove has a strong case:

* Defeated Milton 71-61 at the start of the season when Milton was ranked No. 1 in the nation by several polls, including USA Today.

*Played well in out-of-state tournaments, including winning the Beach Ball Classic at Myrtle Beach.  Note: Miller Grove did lose to Florida’s Dr. Krop during the regular season but Dr. Krop later had to forfeit the win for using an ineligible player.

* Finished with a 32-1 record, with the one loss to archrival  Southwest DeKalb in the region championship.

* Won third Class AAAA state championship in a row.

Who had Georgia’s best team? Miller Grove coach Sharman White didn’t back down from the question. He voted for his squad.

The national spotlight will be on Miller Grove coach Sharman White and his squad next year (AJC photo)

The national spotlight will be on Miller …

Continue reading Voting Day: Who had Georgia’s No. 1 overall basketball team? Regardless of classification? »

Rankings: Norcross is No. 1, then what? And what is Milton’s legacy?

Congrats to Norcross, the first school since Murphy of Atlanta in 1958 to win boys and girls basketball titles in the same year in the highest classification.

Before we get into the impossible task of ranking Georgia’s Class AAAAA, boys or girls, let’s discuss Milton-Norcross.

First, it was not a huge upset. This is basketball, and Norcross had a national-caliber team in its own right with four guys headed to Division I programs. Once it got its act together, Norcross was one of the best 25 teams in the country the past few weeks.

Second, Milton still is one of the best teams in Georgia history. So is Norcross. In 1979, SW Macon didn’t play any teams as good as Miller Grove and Norcross.

For better or worse, the top teams today are more talented than most from a generation before because they’re built, not grown. State titles in Class AAAAA can’t be won any more without multiple player transfers. The third-best team this season – take your pick: Milton, Norcross, …

Continue reading Rankings: Norcross is No. 1, then what? And what is Milton’s legacy? »

Scholarship release? Georgia Tech’s No. 1 basketball recruit says ACC school is still his top choice after Hewitt firing (UPDATED)

Your Royal prediction

  • Sticking with Georgia Tech
  • Not Georgia Tech

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Georgia Tech’s top basketball recruit said the Yellow Jackets are still his No. 1 choice after Saturday’s firing of coach Paul Hewitt.

Milton High power forward Julian Royal signed with Tech over rival Georgia last November. Royal said he will wait at a week and maybe longer before considering other options, including a scholarship release.

“I still want to go to Georgia Tech; it’s a great school and it has always been the place I’ve wanted to go to since I was a little kid,” Royal said.

“However, you never know about the new coach and if you’re the type of player that will fit into his system. I hope it works out, but I guess I will have to wait to see how everything unfolds.”

Royal’s father was contacted by both Hewitt and Tech athletics director Dan Radakovich in separate phone calls on early Saturday morning.

“Paul was apologetic that we have to go …

Continue reading Scholarship release? Georgia Tech’s No. 1 basketball recruit says ACC school is still his top choice after Hewitt firing (UPDATED) »

Should UGA football recruit Jay Rome play basketball in college, too? Rome is considering it (UPDATED)

UGA football recruit Jay Rome finished with 33 points after a scoreless first quarter in the Class AAAAA semifinals (AJC photo)

UGA football recruit Jay Rome finished with 33 points after a scoreless first quarter in the Class AAAAA semifinals (AJC photo)

Valdosta High’s Jay Rome, ranked as the nation’s No. 1 tight end by several recruiting services, signed a football scholarship with Georgia.

After Rome’s performance on the grand stage of the Class AAAAA semifinals at Gwinnett Arena on Thursday, one person suggested that Rome consider playing basketball at UGA, too.

The 6-foot-6, 230-pound Rome had 33 points in a 70-61 loss to Norcross after going scoreless in the first quarter.

Norcross coach Jesse McMillan told the AJC’s Todd Holcomb: “He’s one of the top five post players in the state, and not a lot of people know him except for football. He’s a rare big guy with size and ability. Mark Fox [Georgia’s basketball coach] should take a look at him.”

What about Rome? Is he interested in playing basketball at UGA? Maybe.

“Jay has given it some serious thought, but he has not made a concrete …

Continue reading Should UGA football recruit Jay Rome play basketball in college, too? Rome is considering it (UPDATED) »

Final score: Norcross 59, Milton 55 — say what? Biggest upset in championship? Ever? (UPDATED)

Wow.

We’ll let the photo speak first for Norcross High’s 59-55 upset over Milton in the Class AAAAA state championship. (You’ll have your chance below)

Norcoss celebrates after improbable win over the nation's No. 4-ranked team (Photo by the AJC's Hyosub Shin)

Norcoss celebrates after improbable win over the USA's No. 4-ranked team (Photo by the AJC's Hyosub Shin)

I certainly didn’t see that coming. Did you?

Even with the loss, Milton had perhaps the most talent-loaded roster the state of Georgia has ever seen. When your sixth man has committed to Auburn, you’re pretty good.

Milton was pretty darn good this season, representing the state very well against out-of-state competition. It’s the last couple of minutes of the state championship that will be replayed forever in the minds of Milton supporters.

What happened to the No. 4-ranked team by USA Today?

Norcross SG Chris Bolden aka Mr. MVP (AJC photo)

Norcross SG Chris Bolden aka Mr. MVP (AJC photo)

Maybe Norcross simply had a better night?

You have to give Norcross High a lot of credit. Even with a disastrous start to the regular season, Norcross was always considered the only …

Continue reading Final score: Norcross 59, Milton 55 — say what? Biggest upset in championship? Ever? (UPDATED) »

The winner of the 2011 AJC Slam Dunk Contest is (UPDATED)

Whitefield Academy’s Kenneth Gaines is the winner of the AJC’s 2011 Slam Dunk Contest.

It was arguably the most talented-loaded field in the history of the contest. Gaines is a 6-foot-3 junior guard who averages 21 points, 6.5 assists, 4 assists and 3 steals for Whitefield Academy, the Cobb County private school which played in the Class A semifinals on Wednesday night.

“It’s exciting to hear that Kenneth won the contest,” Whitefield coach Tyrone Johnson told the AJC. “He can get up in the air really quickly.

“Kenneth is probably the best all-around offensive player I’ve ever coached. He has a good touch around the basket and finishes well. He can shoot very well from 3-point range. He also has something that you don’t see often — and that’s being able score from the mid-range area.”

Gaines projects to be one of the metro’s top college basketball prospects for 2012. He has an early offer from Iowa. Johnson said he was contacted on Wednesday morning by South Carolina, which …

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