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.