AAA basketball blog: No pressure on Washington County boys

With a state title a year ago and a 48-game winning streak, the Washington County girls team is getting a lot of attention. Few would argue against the notion that they deserve it. The Lady Hawks beat Cross Creek 63-52 Friday night to move to 16-0 this season.

“We usually have a packed house because everybody’s here to see the girls play,” Washington County boys coach Carlos Hope said.

The packed houses are also seeing a boys team that smothers its opponents. Friday night, visiting Cross Creek managed 32 points, the eighth time in 15 games Washington County has held its foe to fewer than 40 points. No team has scored 50 against the Golden Hawks.

“We’re holding most teams around 35 points,” said Hope. “We feel like if we can do that, we’ll have a chance to win every night.”

Hope says the boys team doesn’t suffer by comparison to the girls team.

“We don’t play against our girls,” he said. “We’re very supportive of each other … winning is contagious, and it helps that our girls have been successful.”

Juwan Burden, who scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Cross Creek, averages 17 points per game. And like the Lady Hawks, the boys have a Gray on the roster. Freshman A.J. Gray – younger brother of girls star Allisha Gray – scored 23 Friday night.

What Hope is hoping is that history might repeat. The Washington County girls team won a state championship in 1991 and the boys followed that with two championships the next three seasons.

By the numbers:
Columbia point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen is averaging 13.6 points per game, which leads the team, but perhaps the biggest reason the defending state champion Eagles are 17-1 is that he’s averaging nearly 10 assists per game. He had 10 assists or more nine times in Columbia’s first 13 games. Combine his backcourt play with the inside play of Chris Horton (11 rebounds per game and five blocks), and it becomes difficult to find answers against Columbia.

Seing triple: Kaelyn Irby of the Cartersville girls had a triple double in Friday night’s 78-62 victory against Pickens, scoring 15 points with 12 rebounds and 14 assists. The Lady Hurricanes are 13-4, 4-1 Region 7-AAA Division B.

Milestones: Thomson boys coach Michael Thomas Sr. recently collected his 500th career victory, a 101-36 trouncing of Harlem on Jan. 10. The Bulldogs are 15-2, 4-1 in Region 3-AAA Division B after beating Grovetown on Friday night, though they suffered their first loss to a AAA team last week against Augusta’s Josey, a game they played without Dwayne Williams (17 ppg), who is recovering from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident. Leading scorer Ronkeem Sallywhite had 949 career points entering the Grovetown game.

13 comments Add your comment

Cobb house

January 21st, 2012
10:11 am

So what is happening with Wheeler? Underacheivers or what ?!?!?!?!?!?! Justin Seymour doesn’t even look like an NAIA scholarship candidate after all the years of hype.

Columbia = that's what's up.

January 21st, 2012
10:17 am

Columbia is the best team in the state by far (sorry Miller Grove). They are loaded and play great team ball…and their head coach is exceptional. Tahj is a great floor leader and a very smart young man who is extremely well liked and respected throughout the state. Columbia doesn’t exact any “street swagger” when they walk in the gym, which is why I like them even more…they take care of the game, make few mistakes, and play efficiently…a very fun team to watch.


January 22nd, 2012
8:36 pm

So tired of hearing about Cartersville! They haven’t won a single game of significance. Let me play nobodies and pad my kids stats! They aren’t even the best team in their region.


January 23rd, 2012
6:37 pm

Waco girls are imposing compared to the Waco boys;we can’t dwell in what happened in 1991 but we can see the achievement of the girls from the past season and an undefeated season so far. I think Coach Hope needs to focus getting beyond the region rather than dreaming of a state title.


January 24th, 2012
10:42 pm

Watched WACO girls play Cross Creek a team ranked in the top 10 and the game wasnt as close as the score. The Gray kid is really good. She doesnt just score the ball.


January 25th, 2012
2:17 am

she is the best girls basketball player in the country on alisha grey averaging almost 30 points a game and only a junior hands down the best player in highschool basketball watch her play u want disagree


January 25th, 2012
8:38 am

Looks like Columbia and WACO could meet for the girls and boys state titles. Dont think anyone in AAA can beat Columbia’s boys or WACO’s girls. I think both repat.


January 25th, 2012
8:40 am

As for Gray dont know if she is the best or not but I know the hype around her would be a lot bigger if she played here in metro ATL.


January 25th, 2012
1:14 pm

Watchout for those Westover Patriots both girls and boys as well

JG Hawk

January 25th, 2012
5:31 pm

Gray scored 48 last night against Hephzibah to go over 2,000 pts for her High School career.

JG Hawk

January 25th, 2012
5:31 pm

Gray scored 48 last night against Hephzibah to go over 2,000 pts for her High School career.


February 5th, 2012
3:05 pm

Waco boys are good but they haven’t faced josey eagles, westside patriots or Thomson bulldogs on the other side of Region 3-AAA…state champion hopes are not to be acknowledged before a region title that is easily loaded with 6 legitimate teams who could win the region and are more battle tested than Waco. Waco girls are a lock…it’s theirs to lose


February 17th, 2012
6:13 am