By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC
News and notes from Class A basketball …
Lillie one of state’s all-around best. Athens Christian (15-2) may crack the top 10 this week and center Zach Lillie is a major reason why. A 6-foot-9 senior, he is putting together one of the state’s best all-around seasons, averaging 16 points, 13 rebounds, seven blocks and five assists, while shooting 70 percent from the field for the Eagles, whose only losses thus far are to Class AAAA East Paulding and Landmark Christian, ranked No. 6 in Class A.
Athens boasts two freshmen standouts. The Athens area is also home to two of the most dynamic freshmen in the state. Lillie’s teammate at Athens Christian, Will Jackson, a 6-4 guard, is averaging 17 points and six assists per game. Across town, Athens Academy guard Eric Williams is averaging 19 points and five assists, while shooting 42 percent on 3-pointers. Jackson’s team got the best of Williams’ on Dec. 9, as Athens Christian won 78-37. They will meet again Feb. 3 at Athens Academy.
The eye of the Tigers. LaBron Glover, a 6-foot senior guard, has Claxton (9-4) in first place and undefeated (4-0) in Division A of subdivided Region 3. Glover is averaging 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals per game for the Tigers.
Watch out for Portal. The Panthers are not in the top 10 yet, but the could be soon. Portal (15-1) avenged its only loss of the season last week with a 57-54 victory against Montgomery County, which had won the first meeting 53-48 on Dec. 6. Portal is paced by junior swingman Corey Reese, who is averaging 15 points and 12 rebounds per game, and sophomore point guard Stacey Morgan, who is averaging 17 points and five assists.
No. 1 vs. No. 2 lives up to hype. No. 1 vs. No. 2 in Class A girls basketball was worth the price of admission. No. 1 and three-time state champion Wesleyan finally pulled away from No. 2 St. Francis to earn a 67-54 victory Friday at Wesleyan. Neither has lost to a team in Georgia this season. It was the first time in a long time that Wesleyan (15-2) had been tested by a team in Georgia and in Class A. St. Francis (16-3) was within one point of the Wolves early in the third quarter and trailed by just eight late in the fourth. Wesleyan was led by senior forward Holli Wilkins, who scored 20, and junior Katie Frerking with 14 points, and St. Francis was paced by senior forward Keyona Hayes, who scored 17. They will meet again Feb. 7 at St. Francis.
Charlton County on the rise. The Indians are 12-2 and undefeated (6-0) in Division A of subdivided Region 2. Charlton is on a nine-game streak, primarily behind the efforts of senior guard Courtney Williams, who has signed with South Florida and is the reigning Region 2A Player of the Year.
Trio leads Bryan County. Bryan County is a contender in Region 3, in large part to the efforts of three players scoring in double figures. Junior guard Diamond McGirt is averaging 16 points per game, and is joined by senior forward Satashala Beasley (15 ppg) and senior guard Tiffany Howard (14 ppg).