AAA basketball blog: Eagle’s Landing survives

Five thoughts from he first round of the AAA state tournament:

Hanging on by talons: The Eagle’s Landing boys led by 15 points midway through the third quarter then held on for a 57-53 win over Thomson Saturday night, surviving two turnovers in the final 20 seconds and holding Thomson without a shot on a last-minute possession where the visiting Bulldogs had a chance to tie or take the lead. Afterward, they weren’t quibbling about style points. After falling in the 4-AAA championship game, they were glad to have their state championship pursuit still alive.

“The region championship wasn’t our main goal,” said center Desmond Ringer. “We want to win state.”

After a state semifinal appearance last year, they weren’t going to sneak up on anyone.

“I told them before the game that we weren’t defending last year’s run,” said Eagle’s Landing coach Clay Crump. “There are some expecations on this team. We’re looking to make a new run.”

Don’t doze on Drew: The Titans thoroughly embarrassed Washington County, 73-47, the largest margin of any first-round boys game in AAA. They stay at home against Albany’s Westover in the second round, and while the Patriots have the history, Drew has plenty of weapons. I’d still rate Columbia as the favorite, but Drew is worth watching.

Oh, the upsets: Two No. 1 seeds were sent packing on the boys side. Henry County entered the state tournament as a fourth seed but bounced 3-AAA champ Josey in the frist round. Further north, LaFayette, the No. 4 seed from 7-AAA, ousted 8-AAA champ Walnut Grove. On the girls side, fourth seed Dougherty topped 2-AAA No. 1 seed Mary Persons, but Dougherty coach Charlene Jackson didn’t like the upset terminology.

“We didn’t feel like an underdog and this was not an upset,” Jackson was quoted in the Albany Herald. “We felt confident coming into the this game and we got the job done.”

Most compelling second-round matchups: Girls, 26-2 Westover and star DyTiesha Dunson at 28-0 Washington County and Allisha Gray. Boys, 24-5 North Hall and Imani Cross at 26-3 Carrollton and Josh Barge.

AAA coaches: Send your updated information to ajcaaablog@gmail.com.

32 comments Add your comment

Tom

February 26th, 2012
9:31 pm

4AAA had a good first round with Drew, Eagle’s Landing, and Henry County all winning. Must be a tough region

Jeremy

February 26th, 2012
10:02 pm

7AAA boys had a good weekend. LaFayette, Dalton, and Allatoona all won.

Ga BBALL Fan

February 26th, 2012
10:45 pm

3AAA girls went 3 and 1. Westover has lost two games not one Jay.

Ga BBALL Fan

February 26th, 2012
10:59 pm

I saw Columbia boys on friday and Drew boys on Saturday. Don’t think Drew matches up very well with Coulmbia they are a good team, but the Eagles are another level. That WACO team was not very good they didnt beat any good teams all year and were a #4 seed in weak region 3AAA which went 1 and 3 on the boys side. Not sure they could beat there girls team. Only had two good players on the team and were not well coached.

Jay Stone

February 26th, 2012
11:16 pm

Indeed. Thanks for the catch. As for 3-AAA, I really wasn’t surprised with how the girls teams did.

Jay Stone

February 26th, 2012
11:20 pm

Here’s the truth about playoff basketball: It’s great to have an inside presence, but if you don’t have good guards, the rest of the floor doesn’t matter. In my mind, that’s what separates Columbia from the rest of AAA. Tahj Shamsid-Deen makes that team go.

Towers High School

February 27th, 2012
12:58 am

Don’t sleep on Towers High School. They won a very tough game versus Lagrage and are now matched up with a good Allatoona team.

Whoever wins that game will likely be favored over Washington or Lafayette to move on to the Elite 8.

Towers is very athletic, plays great defense, and has just enough offense to be dangerous.

C-town

February 27th, 2012
9:44 am

@ Tom: Eastside was the only loser in the first round from 4AAA, and they led Westside-Augusta in the 4th qtr of that game, but lost by 5. Really proud of what Coach Freeman did this year at Eastside, their region next year wont be nearly as tough and they should flourish with 3 returning starters. Brighter days ahead for Eagle basketball, great season guys.

BucsBballFan

February 27th, 2012
10:29 am

@Towers – Great win against LaGrange on Friday night. Your team sent home a very good team in LaGrange. From how you described your team, it looks like we will have a great match-up on Wednesday night. Both our teams are long, athletic & play great defense.

lil Scrappy!

February 27th, 2012
12:58 pm

I would describe Towers as SCRAPPY! Not long at all..tallest player is what 6′1 or so? Not big at all and but very scrappy Especially if you are undisciplined and take crazy shots(washington h.s) lol! playing wild and crazy is what they do best…They gotta make it a fist fight , make it a Basketball game and they got problems! But if your post players shoots 3’s and play above the the free throw line living off fade aways, you might lose vs Towers..real talk!

BucsBballFan

February 27th, 2012
1:18 pm

@lil Scrappy! – Thanks for the feedback. Our team is very well coached and usually very disciplined. I thought Towers was long when I looked at their roster on ga prepccountry, they have all but one player listed as over 6′….with a guy listed at 6′5″ & two more listed at 6′3″. We are long, athletic & play pretty disciplined basketball. Our coach understates our size on the roster. You can ask anyone in 7AAA and they will tell you that we’re long & athletic. Sounds like Tower’s coach overstates their size. We have our moments where we play out of control, but not very often. I hope both teams play their best & let the best team win! If we play well, I like our chances.

BucsBballFan

February 27th, 2012
1:20 pm

@lil Scrappy! – who is their best player?

Chris

February 27th, 2012
2:00 pm

@ lil Scrappy why you talking about Washington. Worry about Allatoona. From what i remember Columbia beat yall like a drum it was a much closer game when they played Washington. Washington is doing they thang it don’t matter how you win just win and advance!!!!!! So focus on your team and leave the Bulldogs alone.

tre

February 28th, 2012
8:45 am

Eagle Landing going to take this ….I feel it …………….Bring out all the stock coach

sportsnut

February 28th, 2012
10:59 am

Eagles Landing, Drew, Henry County== Good ball being played in the ” SCC”, the Southern Crescent Conference. I know this is the AAA blog but I can’t help mentioning Jonesboro, Lovejoy and North Clayton still representing in AAAA. What more could a fan of High School Sports want with all the talent in the SCC.

lil Scrappy!

February 28th, 2012
11:22 am

@ Sensative Chris~ I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings! Please accept my appologies!lol But no need to dis anyone IF i lied about anything that would be something totally different. But for the record..Columbia beat everyone like a drum! And lets be honest They are the best team in AAA and will probably win state this year, the only question is who is going to be the sacrificial lamb! That doesn’t change the facts that Washington is exactly what I said they were wild and undisciplined..Anyway..i wouldn’t say Towers has one player to stop the whole team is full of guards, they press and run a lot but if you have a true post player you can go too in the half court game (right Washington)?lol they really don’t have any sieze giving there tallest player is a guard at maybe 6′1 the post is maybe 5″10 looks like a lil Middle linebacker.But they play hard.. very hard! if you can’t get anything from your post players you will struggle with them..

Ga BBALL Fan

February 28th, 2012
12:04 pm

The Westover v/s Waco game tonight should be a good one. Think I may take a ride south to check it out.

BucsBballFan

February 28th, 2012
12:11 pm

@ lil Scrappy – we typically have solid post play. We have two athletic 6′6″ guys and several more that are well over 6′2″. We’re definitely long & athletic. Towers sounds a lot like another team in our region, LaFayette….who beat #1 seed Walnut Grove in the opening round. I think we’ll do alright if we can force them into a half court game.

I agree with you that Columbia is the class in AAA and one of the best in the state. If anyone can beat them, then it will be a major upset. Assuming both Columbia & Carrollton win tomorrow night (which I think they will), they’ll play each other on Saturday. Carrollton is definitely one of the top teams in AAA so it’ll be interesting to see if they can give them a ballgame….or possibly beat them. Hopefully we will be playing in the 5:30 game (possibly against Washington) before them in Dalton so I can watch that ballgame as well.

Thanks for the feedback! Good luck to your team as well!

Chris

February 28th, 2012
1:22 pm

@ lil Scrappy nobody from Washington has said anything negative about Towers at all . So why you keep talking about Washington are you mad about something that we did to you? Again dont worry about Washington worry about Allatonna!!!

TruFan

February 28th, 2012
1:43 pm

The win is soooo much sweeter when you’re the underdog…GO DREW!!!!

BucsBballFan

February 28th, 2012
1:55 pm

@ Chris – I don’t think lil Scrappy is a Towers fan. From what I’ve learned about Towers, his assessment of their playing style/strengths/weaknesses is on the mark. Not sure who he supports, but I don’t think it’s Towers.

BucsBballFan

February 28th, 2012
1:58 pm

@ TruFan – you’re the #1 seed playing a #3 seed in Westover. Unless I’m missing something, you’re the favorite, not the underdog. BTW – I’ve heard that your team is good. Good luck to y’all.

Chris

February 28th, 2012
2:09 pm

@ BucsBballFan, I don’t care who lil scrappy team is all I am saying is is’s 16 teams left my team is on of them that aint no fluke. Regardless of style of play if you are still playing in the tournament then you are successful. Every team is undisciplined at times these are high school kids.

BucsBballFan

February 28th, 2012
2:58 pm

@ Chris – I hear what you’re saying. Good luck to y’all Wednesday night. Hopefully both teams will still be alive in this thing after Wednesday night & we play each other in Saturday’s 5:30 game in Dalton!

Chris

February 28th, 2012
3:06 pm

@ BucsBballfan Good luck to yall to hopefully we’ll get a chance to play each other this weekend.

chris

February 29th, 2012
9:14 pm

Washington 68 Lafayette 40 thanks lil Scrappy

BucsBballFan

February 29th, 2012
10:18 pm

@ Chris – Congratulations on your win tonight. I hope we both play well in Saturday night’s game & it’s a good game. It looks like you beat LaFayette pretty good. We beat Towers by 11. We had a 19 point halftime lead & came out of half very flat. They got it down to 7 at the end of 3, but we played just well enough in the second half to hold them off.

BucsBballFan

February 29th, 2012
10:20 pm

@ lil Scrappy – which one was your son….the linebacker in the middle? You have a big, physical team. Your team showed character fighting its way back into the game. Congrats to y’all on a good season!

chris

February 29th, 2012
10:39 pm

@ BucsBbhttp://www.prepcentralonline.com/view/full_story/17699668/article-BOYS-BASKETBALL–LaFayette-bitten-by-Bulldogs-in-Sweet-16?instance=lead_story_left_columnallFan

chris

February 29th, 2012
10:40 pm

Chris

March 1st, 2012
11:23 am

@ BucsBballFan Congrats on you win against Towers. We look forward to playing Allatoona Sat. Good Luck

vsdeen

March 6th, 2012
3:42 pm

tahj shamsid deen. best guard in the state of ga. go columbia eagles…