Archive for February, 2012

AAA basketball: Barge shines for Carrollton

Talk with Carrollton boys coach Tim Criswell about Josh Barge, and he quickly gets back to a comment from legendary Trojan football coach Charles Grisham.

“Coach Grisham used to say there were guys that you could send to another planet, and whatever sport they’re playing there, they’d be the best at it within two weeks,” Criswell said. “That’s how it is with Josh. He excels at everything he does.”

The leading scorer (19.6 ppg) for the No. 3-ranked Trojans, who open the Class AAA state tournament Friday against Grady, Barge comes by his talent and drive honestly. His father, the late Anthony Barge Sr., was a standout basketball player at the University of West Georgia, where he and Criswell were teammates.

He died in a motorcycle crash in July 2010, and while Josh isn’t necessarily trying to be his father’s reincarnation, “AB” is still very much a presence in his life.

“I know he would want me to do what I would do if he was here,” said Josh who signed a football scholarship …

Continue reading AAA basketball: Barge shines for Carrollton »

VOTING DAY: Second round of AJC Slam Dunk Contest

It’s time for the second round of the AJC’s Slam Dunk Contest.

The star-studded field of 10 high school basketball stars has been cut in half, and here’s are the five still standing:

  • Shaq Goodwin, Southwest DeKalb HS (signed with Memphis)
  • Jaron Blossomgame, Chattahoochee HS (Clemson)
  • Chris Bolden, North Gwinnett HS (Georgia Tech)
  • Dauson Womack, North Cobb Christian HS
  • Rufus Brown, Drew HS

Note: To both view the second-round dunks and go to vote, please go to http://ajc.upickem.net/engine/Votes.aspx?PageType=VOTING&contestid=51652

You can vote once per hour and the voting will end at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

Reminder: To vote, click here.

Continue reading VOTING DAY: Second round of AJC Slam Dunk Contest »

State basketball tourney trivia: 14 teams are making their first appearance; Effingham boys break 28-year drought

Six boys teams and seven girls teams are making their schools’ first appearances in the GHSA state basketball tournament this week. That includes George Walton Academy’s girls, who were playing in the Georgia Independent School Association until 2010-11.

On the flipside, Dodge County’s girls are in for the 22nd straight season, longest streak in the state.

Check out these lists courtesy of Becky Taylor of the Georgia Basketball Project:

FIRST APPEARANCES

BOYS
- Alpharetta
- Hebron Christian
- Mount Pisgah Christian
- New Manchester
- North Murray
- Veterans
- Walnut Grove

GIRLS
- Archer
- George Walton Academy
- Howard
- Kell
- Lambert
- Strong Rock Christian
- West Forsyth

DROUGHT-BREAKERS (at least 10 years since an appearance)

BOYS
- Effingham County (1984; never won a tournament game)
- LaFayette (1999)
- Bradwell Institute (2001; last state win in 1959)

GIRLS
- Riverwood (2000)
- Habersham Central (2002; never won tournament game)
- Harrison (2002; never won tournament …

Continue reading State basketball tourney trivia: 14 teams are making their first appearance; Effingham boys break 28-year drought »

HS rankings: Four new No. 1 teams in final poll before state tournament

Defending boys champions Miller Grove (AAAA) and Greater Atlanta Christian (AA) and defending girls champ Fayette County (AAAA) won their region tournaments last week and re-emerged as No. 1-ranked teams in the final poll before the end of the state tournament, which begins this week.

But Wesleyan, which has won the past four Class A girls titles, dropped from the top spot after losing to St. Francis in the Region 6-A final. The new No. 1 team is Southwest Atlanta Christian. The Warriors routed Paideia 68-35 on Saturday in the Region 9-A championship game and swapped places with Wesleyan.

Also falling from No. 1 were Fayette County boys (AAAA), Jordan boys (AA) and Douglas County girls (AAAA),

One of the most stable teams is Milton’s boys, who are No. 1 in Class AAAAA and winners of 19 straight games. But the state’s largest classification is a mess, otherwise. Seven teams that won their region’s No. 1 seed failed to win their region tournaments.

Class AAAA was nearly as …

Continue reading HS rankings: Four new No. 1 teams in final poll before state tournament »

Class A playoff draw: #1 North Cobb Christian vs. #2 Whitefield in second round? Wesleyan’s loss to St. Francis puts suspense in girls tournament

Wesleyan can win a sixth straight state championship in girls basketball this season, but it won’t happen as a No. 1 seed. The Lady Wolves lost to St. Francis in the Region 6-A final on Saturday. That just means Wesleyan enters the state tournament as a No. 2 seed.

Meanwhile, in the boys draw, No. 1-ranked North Cobb Christian is seeded to play No. 2 Whitefield Academy in the second round. Class A has nine regions instead of the eight that other classes have. That means two region champs must meet in Round 2. It just so happens that those two are the top two teams in the state, both from Cobb County.

Here are the opening-round matchups. Let us know if we’ve got any teams out of order. The GHSA has not announced the official draw.

CLASS A
BOYS
Preliminary games

Game A: R5#4 Wesleyan at R9#3 Greenforest
Game B: R8#4 Commerce at R6#3 Gordon Lee
Game C: R7#4 Lincoln County at R8#3 Hebron Christian
Game D: R6#4 Trion vs. R9#4 W.D. Mohammed
First round
R4#4 Central-Talbotton at …

Continue reading Class A playoff draw: #1 North Cobb Christian vs. #2 Whitefield in second round? Wesleyan’s loss to St. Francis puts suspense in girls tournament »

Class AA state playoff draws: Jordan-South Atlanta headlines opening games

Here are the first-round matchups for the Class AA playoffs.

A week ago, Jordan of Columbus was ranked No. 1 and South Atlanta was No. 5 in the boys rankings. This week, the two will play in the first round of the state playoffs.

CLASS AA

BOYS

R4#4 Crawford County at R3#1 Laney
R2#3 Toombs County at R1#2 Thomasville
R3#4 East Laurens at R4#1 Morgan County
R1#3 Early County at R2#2 Long County

R7#4 Calhoun at R8#1 Dawson County
R5#3 Spencer at R6#2 Buford
R8#4 Rabun County at R7#1 Coosa
R6#3 South Atlanta at R5#2 Jordan

R2#4 Appling County at R1#1 Albany
R4#3 Northeast-Macon at R3#2 Blecklely County
R1#4 Cook at R2#1 Vidalia
R3#3 Dodge County at R4#2 Putnam County

R5#4 Callaway at R6#1 Greater Atlanta Christian
R7#3 North Murray at R8#2 Jefferson
R6#4 Decatur at R5#1 Manchester
R8#3 East Hall at R7#2 Dade County

GIRLS

R4#4 Northeast-Macon at R3#1 Laney
R2#3 Vidalia at R1#2 Thomasville
R3#4 Dublin at R4#1 Morgan County
R1#3 Albany at R2#2 Jeff Davis

R7#4 Dade County at …

Continue reading Class AA state playoff draws: Jordan-South Atlanta headlines opening games »

Class AAA state playoff draw: No. 1 Columbia boys get tough first-round matchup with Shaw

Here is the first-round schedule for Class AAA. Let us know if you see an error.

Two-time champ Columbia has a formidible first-round opponent in Shaw (21-5) from tough Region 6-AAA.

Who are the other good opening-round games?

CLASS AAA
BOYS

R4#4 Henry County at R3#1 Josey
R2#3 Howard at R1#2 Monroe
R3#4 Washington County at R4#1 Drew
R1#3 Westover at R2#2 Westside-Macon

R7#4 LaFayette at R8#1 Walnut Grove
R5#3 Washington at R6#2 Troup
R8#4 Monroe Area at R7#1 Allatoona
R6#3 LaGrange at R5#2 Towers

R2#4 Veterans at R1#1 Crisp County
R4#3 Eastside at R3#2 Westside-Augusta
R1#4 Dougherty at R2#1 Central-Macon
R3#3 Thomson at R4#2 Eagle’s Landing

R5#4 Grady at R6#1 Carrollton
R7#3 Cartersville at R8#2 North Hall
R6#4 Shaw at R5#1 Columbia
R8#3 Franklin County at R7#2 Dalton

GIRLS

R4#4 Eastside at R3#1 Washington County
R2#3 Westside-Macon at R1#2 Westover
R3#4 Cross Creek at R4#1 Sandy Creek
R1#3 Monroe at R2#2 Rutland

R7#4 Pickens at R8#1 North Hall
R5#3 Woodward Academy …

Continue reading Class AAA state playoff draw: No. 1 Columbia boys get tough first-round matchup with Shaw »

AAAA first-round schedule: Fayette County draws Lovejoy in boys opener

CLASS AAAA

BOYS

R4#4 Forest Park at R3#1 Alcovy
R2#3 Effingham County at R1#2 Bainbridge
R3#4 Dutchtown at R4#1 North Clayton
R1#3 Northside-Columbus at R2#2 Ware County

R7#4 Sequoyah at R8#1 Cedar Shoals
R5#3 Osborne at R6#2 Southwest DeKalb
R8#4 Salem at R7#1 Chattahoochee
R6#3 Chamblee at R5#2 Douglas County

R2#4 Liberty County at R1#1 Northside-Warner Robins
R4#3 Lovejoy at R3#2 Fayette County
R1#4 Hardaway at R2#1 Brunswick
R3#3 Griffin at R4#2 Jonesboro

R5#4 New Manchester at R6#1 Miller Grove
R7#3 Creekview at R8#2 Loganville
R6#4 Marist at R5#1 Lithia Springs
R8#3 Rockdale County at R7#2 Woodland-Cartersville

GIRLS

R4#4 Lovejoy at R3#1 Fayette County
R2#3 Liberty County at R1#2 Northside-Warner Robins
R3#4 Woodland-Stockbridge at R4#1 Jonesboro
R1#3 Lee County at R2#2 Statesboro

R7#4 Lambert at R8#1 Habersham Central
R5#3 Douglas County at R6#2 Chamblee
R8#4 Clarke Central at R7#1 Creekview
R6#3 Southwest DeKalb or Redan at R5#2 Kell

R2#4 Effingham County at R1#1 …

Continue reading AAAA first-round schedule: Fayette County draws Lovejoy in boys opener »

AAAAA state playoff brackets: First-round specials include Westlake vs. Tift County, Norcross vs. Berkmar

Here are the first-round matchups for the Class AAAAA tournament, which begins Feb. 24. Working on other classifications. Hope to have all today.

Two pretty good boys games really stand out: Westlake will travel to Tift County, and defending state champion Norcross will play at Region 8 champ Berkmar. All five have been highly ranked at one time or another this season.

Let us know if you see errors. The GHSA will not release the official schedule until Monday.

CLASS AAAAA

BOYS

R4#4 Hillgrove at R3#1 Savannah
R2#3 Westlake at R1#2 Tift County
R3#4 Bradwell Institute at R4#1 North Cobb
R1#3 Coffee at R2#2 Stephenson

R7#4 Norcross at R8#1 Berkmar
R5#3 Marietta at R6#2 Centennial
R8#4 Dacula at R7#1 Peachtree Ridge
R6#3 Alpharetta at R5#2 Lassiter

R2#4 Newnan at R1#1 Valdosta
R4#3 Harrison at R3#2 Johnson-Savannah
R1#4 Lowndes at R2#1 M.L. King
R3#3 Jenkins at R4#2 South Cobb

R5#4 Walton at R6#1 Milton
R7#3 Mill Creek at R8#2 Shiloh
R6#4 Northview at R5#1 …

Continue reading AAAAA state playoff brackets: First-round specials include Westlake vs. Tift County, Norcross vs. Berkmar »

AAA basketball blog: Irby pushes Cartersville to 7-AAA final

Cartersville’s Kaelyn Irby and Adrienne Green were too much for Gilmer Friday in the region 7-AAA semifinal. Irby scored 20 points to go with 10 assists, five steals and four rebounds, while Green scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a 58-41 win. The Lady Hurricanes will face Allatoona for a third time; the two teams split in the regular season.

Bumper-to-bumper defense: It wasn’t enough that the Drew boys faced Eastside in the 4-AAA semifinals Friday. The No. 8-ranked Titans had beaten the Eagles in two reasonably close games in the regular season. Friday, Drew also had to battle traffic snarls on I-75 to get to the region tournament at Eagle’s Landing. The bumper-to-bumper defense wasn’t enough to stop Drew, which won 54-47 and advanced to the region final against No. 2 Eagle’s Landing. The Titans are one of two teams to beat the Golden Eagles.

5-AAA: Columbia beat Riverwood and St. Pius beat Woodward Academy to set the 5-AAA final. St. Pius’ 43-28 win over Woodward, …

Continue reading AAA basketball blog: Irby pushes Cartersville to 7-AAA final »

AA basketball blog: Ranked girls team play for 8-AA title

A pair of top-10 girls teams will clash in the Region 8 final on Saturday at Hart County. No. 6 North Oconee (24-3) and No. 8 East Hall (24-3) both battled their way into the championship game.

North Oconee won its 14th straight game, tying a school record, as Ginny Channell scored 13 points in a 54-51 win over Rabun County. Channell scored the go-ahead basket and Brooke Hubbard, who scored 11, made two free throws with 15 seconds left to ice the win.

East Hall got 15 points from Jasmine Jenkins and 14 from Morgan Jackson to beat Union County 47-38.

In the boys tournament, Dawson County (22-6) upset No. 8 East Hall 71-59 in the semifinal and will play Jefferson for the region title. Dawson County was led by Gunnar Armstrong’s 19 points, with Bruce Clark scoring 14. J.C. Hampton scored 30 for East Hall (20-7).

Jefferson (19-8) got 22 points from Austin Thomas and beat Rabun County 81-75. Andre Daniel added 17 and Will Puckett scored 15 for the Dragons.

Albany derails …

Continue reading AA basketball blog: Ranked girls team play for 8-AA title »

GHSA Traditional Wrestling Championships

(Top 25 Team Results from Friday’s Semifinals at Gwinnett Arena)

Class AAAAA

1. Collins Hill 152; 2. Camden County 126.5; 3. Archer 84; 4. Lowndes 80.5; 5. North Gwinnett 64.5; 6. Brookwood 55.5; 6. Kennesaw Mountain 55.5; 8. Peachtree Ridge 49; 9. North Forsyth 48; 10. Etowah 44; 11. Lassiter 40; 12. Colquitt County 37; 13. Roswell 34; 14. Shiloh 33.5; 15. Milton 32.5; 16. Harrison 29; 17. Stephenson 25; 18. Tift County 24.5; 19. Cherokee 24; 19. Newnan 24; 21. Hillgrove 23; 21. Wheeler 23; 23. Walton 21; 24. Parkview 19; 25. Valdosta 17

Class AAAA

1. Pope 93; 2. Alexander 65.5; 3. Loganville 59; 4. Whitewater 53.5; 5. Lambert 49; 6. Rockdale; County 46; 7. Ola 45; 8. Marist 39; 9. Cass 38; 10. Harris County 36; 11. Ware County 32; 12. Union Grove 31; 13. Kell 30; 14. Heritage-Conyers 29; 15. Creekview 28; 16. Clarke Central 27.5; 17. Lee County 26.5; 18. Woodland-Cartersville 25; 18. Paulding County 25; 20. Chattahoochee 24; 20. Dunwoody 24; 22. Jonesboro 23.5; 22. Flowery …

Continue reading GHSA Traditional Wrestling Championships »

Westlake 60, Newton 48 (girls)

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

One of the old adages in sports is “It’s hard to beat a good team three times in one season.” Apparently, someone forgot to tell that to Westlake.

The Lions (22-5) had already defeated Newton twice in the regular season, 55-51 on Jan. 10 and 74-57 on Feb. 4. On Friday afternoon the Lions jumped out to an early lead and were never in any real danger of allowing a Ram comeback, as they coasted to a 60-48 win in one Region 2AAAAA semi final at Westlake’s Lion’s Den. They will face the winner of the Stephenson-Newnan game, Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

Westlake, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, ranked No. 10 in Class AAAAA, led 16-3 late in the first quarter, largely on the efforts of senior guard Aisha Turner-Johnson, who scored six points in the period. Newton sophomore Precious Price went on a personal 5-0 run to close the quarter and pull the Rams to within 10, 18-8. Price scored all eight of Newton’s points in the first quarter.

Newton (20-7) …

Continue reading Westlake 60, Newton 48 (girls) »

Price scores 43 in SWD’s 82-62 victory over Chamblee

Slowed by ankle injuries, Jordan Price figures he’s been 100 percent for only about half the games he’s played for Southwest DeKalb in two seasons.

A 6-foot-4 guard who has signed with Auburn, Price reached peak performance Friday, scoring 43 points in an 82-62 victory over Chamblee that sent third-ranked Southwest DeKalb (17-8) to the finals of the Region 6-AAAAA tournament at Miller Grove.

Price’s all-court performance was stunning for its versatility. He made six 3-pointers, one a buzzer-beater to end the first quarter. He was 9-of-10 from the free throw line, and scored points freely off the dribble and posting up inside.

“He’s been banged up all season, but he’s getting in condition and now we’re seeing what this kid can do with a basketball,’’ said Southwest DeKalb coach Dwayne McKinney. “He can score the ball, but he buckled down on defense and got some rebounds too.’’

Price got 16 points during an 21-4 run that gave Southwest DeKalb a 26-16 lead early in the second …

Continue reading Price scores 43 in SWD’s 82-62 victory over Chamblee »

AAAA basketball: Region tournament schedules (updated with Saturday’s results)

Here are the draws for the Class AAAA region tournaments. If you spot any errors, let us know. Top four teams qualify for the state playoffs, which begin Feb. 24.

BOYS

REGION 1
At Northside-Columbus

Tuesday

Northside-Warner Robins 64, Houston County 33

Hardaway 56, Thomas County Central 50

Bainbridge 67, Warner Robins 47

Northside-Columbus 81, Lee County 39

Thursday

Northside-Warner Robins 66, Hardaway 51

Bainbridge 57, Northside-Columbus 56

Friday

Third-place game: Northside-Columbus 56, Hardaway 49

Championship: Northside-Warner Robins 60, Bainbridge 58

REGION 2

At Richmond Hill

Tuesday

Liberty County 49, South Effingham 33

Wayne County 67, Greenbrier 41

Statesboro 55, Glynn Academy 45

Richmond Hill 51, Lakeside-Evans 40

Thursday

Liberty County 44, Evans 39

Brunswick 77, Wayne County 45

Ware County 51, Statesboro 29

Effingham County 48, Richmond Hill 31

Friday

Brunswick 70, Liberty County 56

Ware County 47, Effingham County 38

Saturday

Third-place game: Effingham County …

Continue reading AAAA basketball: Region tournament schedules (updated with Saturday’s results) »