Archive for March, 2012

Boys Player of the Year: Tony Parker proves his point

In middle school, Tony Parker wasn’t the person people expected to start on four high school state championship basketball teams. Some even wondered if he’d make his high school team.

Parker was 6-foot-3 and nearly 300 pounds — in the seventh grade.

“I wasn’t always as slim as I am now,’’ Parker said. “I averaged around four points a game. When I scored, the crowd went crazy. That’s how horrible I was. Me and my dad [Virgil Parker] used to be in the gym, and people would come by and say, ‘Oh, you got you a lineman out there.’

“But I kept playing … and I kept playing. It gave me lot of ambition to prove to people that I really was a basketball player.’’

If there were ever a time to gloat, it’s now. Parker is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s state Player of the Year.

Parker is 6-9, 270 pounds, or maybe a little heavier when wearing four Class AAAA championship rings. No other Georgia player has been a starter on four state champions …

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Girls basketball POY: Roberts stood out on loaded McEachern roster

McEachern’s Pachiyaanna “Pachis” Roberts was the brightest star on a roster loaded with talent.

To be sure, Roberts had her share of memorable moments this season. There was the 60-foot shot she hit at the buzzer to cap a 42-point performance in a 64-61 victory against Memphis Central (Tenn.) in the fourth game of the season. There were the acrobatic rebound put-backs on consecutive possessions to help the Indians regain control in the state championship game after Hillgrove had cut a 21-point deficit to 12 at the start of the fourth quarter.

But it was Roberts’ all-around solid play that made her The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s state Player of the Year in 2011-12, according to McEachern coach Phyllis Arthur and coaches of teams that had to face the 5-foot-11 senior.

“We could not have done it without her,” Arthur said. “She does it all. She’s one of those players that’s not stuck in one position. She’s not just a small forward or a power forward or a …

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Boys and girls basketball all-state teams


All-classification player of the year: Tony Parker, Miller Grove


Player of the year: Evan Nolte, Milton

Coach of the year: Tim Jordan, Savannah

First team

G, Anthony Bagtas, Westlake, 6-0, Jr.

G, Chris Bolden, North Gwinnett, 6-2, Sr.

C, Robert Carter, Shiloh, 6-9, Sr.

G, Shaquille Johnson, Milton, 6-5, Sr.

F, Evan Nolte, Milton, 6-8, Sr.

Second team

G, Ryan Blumenthal, Harrison, 6-3, Sr.

G, Yonel Brown, Berkmar, 5-9, Sr.

F, Tevin Glass, Milton, 6-8, Sr.

G, Tadric Jackson, Tift County, 6-2, So.

G, Ty Toney, Alpharetta, 6-1, Jr.

Honorable mention: Jordan Capps, Peachtree Ridge; Stephen Croone, Newton; Kavon Freeman, Savannah; Brandon Goodwin, Norcross; Marshall Guilmette, Harrison; Tim Quarterman, Johnson-Savannah; Charles Mann, Milton; Charles Mitchell, Wheeler; Lee Moore, North Cobb; Sean Morgan, Walton


Player of the year: Marcus Hunt, North Clayton

Coach of the year: Sharman White, Miller Grove

First team

F, Jaron Blossomgame, Chattahoochee, 6-7, …

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Boys and girls basketball all-metro teams



Player of the year: Chris Bolden, North Gwinnett

Coach of the year: Greg Phillips, Berkmar

First team

G, Chris Bolden, North Gwinnett, 6-2, Sr.

G, Yonel Brown, Berkmar, 5-9, Sr.

F, Jordan Capps, Peachtree Ridge, 6-6, Jr.

C, Robert Carter, Shiloh, 6-9, Sr.

F, T.J. Shipes, Buford, 6-7, Sr.

Second team

G, Jordan Gaither, Shiloh, 6-2, Sr.

G, Brandon Goodwin, Norcross, 6-0, Jr.

G, Adonai Rogers, Berkmar, 6-2, Sr.

F, Trevon Shaw, Mill Creek, 6-2, Jr.

G, Delano Spencer, Greater Atlanta Christian, 6-2, Jr.

Honorable mention: Simeon Dennis, South Gwinnett; Benny Johnson, Peachtree Ridge; Anthony Morse, Dacula; Shane Smith, Wesleyan; Collin Swinton, Greater Atlanta Christian


Player of the year: Kenneth Gaines, Whitefield Academy

Coach of the year: Terry Gorsuch, North Cobb

First team

G, Ryan Blumenthal, Harrison, 6-3, Sr.

G, Kenneth Gaines, Whitefield Academy, 6-3, Sr.

F, Armani Moore, Mount Paran Christian, 6-5, Sr.

F, Sean Morgan, Walton, 6-6, Sr.

F, Devonte …

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Golf/tennis blog: Grayson boys set school record

Grayson got a pair of 36s from Matthew Wilson and Joey Snyder and set a school record for a nine-hole match in a 147-152 win over Brookwood at Summit Chase Country Club. Michael Clay shot 37 and Connor Dickinson shot a 38 for the Rams, who have not lost a dual match this season. . . .

Parker Derby shot a two-day 144 and helped Brookwood finish sixth in the 19-team Joe King Invitational in Auburn, Ala. James Clark shot 151 and Mercer Clark shot 156 for Brookstone, the reigning Class A champions. Charlie Flowers shot 151 for Columbus, which placed ninth. . . .

The Johnson boys, led by Carter Cagle, won the Border War Challenge at the Hampton Golf Village. Cagle shot a 41 in the final round to help Johnson finish with a 522. Lumpkin County was second with 541, as Austin Booker closed with a 38. . . .

Archer’s Casey Milewski set a school record with a 39 at the Providence Club and the Tigers beat Central Gwinnett in the dual meet.

Buford’s boys and girls scored a sweep over …

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Baseball: Mount Paran makes statement with 20-6 win over No. 1 Darlington

Mount Paran Christian’s baseball team made the Class A second round last season and returned almost every key contributor, but the team’s prospects didn’t resonate statewide until this week when the Kennesaw private school beat No. 1-ranked Darlington 20-6.

Sophomore shortstop Jake Palomaki was 3-for-4, and Mount Paran (10-1 and ranked No. 10 in the coaches poll) scored nine runs in the second inning and had 14 hits overall.

Beating a quality team wasn’t a shock to Mount Paran coach Harvey Cochran.

‘’It reaffirmed what we thought,’’ Cochran said. ‘’You never know how 17-year-olds are going to play, but the talent and ability is there.’’

The hitting was outstanding against Darlington, but Cochran says it’s the depth of the pitching staff that defines the team.

The ace has been sophomore lefthander Andrew Maxwell, who is 4-0 and is hitting over .400. Juniors Logan Haner and Jordan Versteeg are both tall right-handers who got a late start because of …

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Baseball: Brookwood, Parkview, Columbus to travel to national showcase in North Carolina

Brookwood, Parkview and Columbus will be in Cary, N.C., next week for the first National High School Invitational tournament, which has attracted the three highest-ranked teams in the country for a four-day event beginning Wednesday.

No. 1 Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas and No. 2 Carroll of Corpus Christi, Texas, will be there. Columbus is No. 3. Parkivew, Georgia’s defending Class AAAAA champion, is ranked No. 38.

Brookwood isn’t ranked nationally, but has the history of a AAAAA title in 2008 and one of the country’s elite prospects in pitcher/shortstop Lucas Sims, who has signed with Clemson but is projected for the first two rounds of the June MLB Draft.

‘’The idea is that we’ve never really had high school baseball on a national level,’’ Brookwood coach Rick Howard said. “That’s what they’re targeting. It highlights the programs that have been successful and some tremendously talented kids and puts them all on the same stage.’’

The tournament’s top …

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Girls soccer blog: Red-hot Whitewater moving up in rankings

Whitewater has been the biggest mover in the rankings in the past week, climbing to No. 24 nationally in the ESPN rating of spring teams and No. 1 in Class AAAA in Eurosport’s state rankings. Whitewater (6-0) avenged a loss in last year’s state championship game with a 3-1 victory on March 9 against McIntosh, the previous No. 1 team. Teegan VanGunst had two goals and Abbey Reddig had one in the victory. The Wildcats followed that up with a 3-0 victory against Starr’s Mill, and on Tuesday they knocked off Class AAA No. 2 Woodward Academy 2-1. Whitewater has outscored its opponents 23-2 this season. … Whitewater is one of four Georgia teams in this week’s ESPN rankings. Milton is No. 16, Union Grove is No. 30 and St. Pius is No. 36. Union Grove, making its first appearance in the national rankings in school history, is 8-0-1 after a 3-0 victory over Heritage-Conyers on Tuesday. The Wolverines lost in the state quarterfinals last season. … Class AAAAA No. 1 Milton …

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Westlake hires Pritchett as football coach

Westlake introduced North Atlanta’s Stanley Pritchett as its new head football coach Tuesday evening.

Pritchett, a former Falcons player, was 2-7 in one season at North Atlanta and was 19-12 in three at Washington.

“Stanley Pritchett is a role model that can stand in front of our kids,’’ Westlake principal Grant Rivera said. “We spoke with a long-time coach who attends a church in north metro Atlanta and asked him about Coach Pritchett. He said that he hears something good about Coach Pritchett almost every Sunday, how he is impacting the lives of kids in that community and how he is a role model to them. That speaks volumes about his character and leadership.

Pritchett replaces Greg Minnis, who resigned after a 4-6 finish. Minnis was 20-21 in four seasons. Westlake last won a playoff game in 2005.

S. Thomas Coleman contributed to this article

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Lambert boys, girls rolling through competition

By Stephen Black

Score Atlanta

Area 3, Class A-AAAA-leading Lambert won two big games in the past week, first defeating Class AAAAA powers Walton 10-8 on Tuesday and Roswell 10-3 on Saturday. Like their male counterparts, Lambert’s girls squad had a successful week. The Longhorns won games against Wesleyan on Wednesday (18-14) and North Forsyth (16-8) Saturday. However, South Forsyth beat Lambert 10-6 on Friday.

More lacrosse

Peachtree Ridge defeated Grayson 12-8 Saturday as twin brothers Steven and Jacob Lee each scored three goals. The twins were celebrating their 16th birthday. … Area 4, Class A-AAAA is led by Marist, as the War Eagles boast a 3-0 record in area play. Marist enjoyed a dominant week by shutting out area rivals Dunwoody (14-0) and Druid Hills (18-0). … Area 2, Class A-AAAA Westminster lost a 12-6 affair to Class AAAAA power Milton 12-6 on Wednesday, but defeated Decatur 8-6 Saturday. The win over the Bulldogs was a crucial match in Class A-AAAA, as it …

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Track and Field Blog: Top performances over the weekend, indoor all-state team

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Top performances from the weekend. With more than 60 high school teams from Georgia and Alabama competing, the 2012 Coaches Invitational, held last weekend at Georgia Tech, featured some of the region’s best athletes, who had stellar performances.

In the boys 1,600 meters, nine of the state’s top 10 times were recorded at the meet, with Peachtree Ridge junior Josh Brickell leading the way at 4 minutes, 16.13 seconds. He was followed by seniors Zane Coburn of Grady (4:17.54) and Sid Vaughn of Lakeside-Evans (4:20.65). In the 100 meters, McEachern senior Amba Etta-Tawo won in 10.58 with Chestatee senior Brandon Thompson finishing second at 10.61, the first and second fastest times in the state thus far.

In the girls 100 meters, four of the state’s current five fastest times were posted, led by Walton senior Tayla Carter’s 11.80. She was followed by Grayson senior Jasmine Abrams (11.87), Brookwood sophomore Simone Glenn (12.04) and …

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GHSA bans three-a-days, sets limits on football practices to combat heat risks

Moved by the news that Georgia leads the nation in heat-related deaths of among football players over the past 15 years, the Georgia High School Association made sweeping changes Monday to make football practices safer.

It’s believed to be the first time in state history that the GHSA has set limits on practice time.

Beginning this summer:

- Each player must participate in five days of practices in only helmets, t-shirts and shorts before going to pads in August. These practices without pads, which may begin no sooner than July 25, are limited to two hours.

- Practice in pads, which may begin Aug. 1, are limited to three hours.

- Three-a-day preseason practices are banned, and two-a-day practices cannot take place on consecutive days or exceed a total of five hours in a single day.

- All schools must use wet-bulb temperatures, and not heat index, to determine when excessive heat and humidity call for limiting or canceling practices.

Schools violating the new regulations …

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Tennis/golf blog: Pope boys overcome challenges

The Pope boys are 8-2 and have overcome many challenges in their quest to repeat as Class AAAA champions. The No. 3-ranked Greyhounds changed coaches – Dean Kroeger replaced Josh Smerker, who left to join the football staff at Milton. Hayes Brewer, the team’s No. 1 singles player, opted to be home schooled for his junior year, and three others opted to focus on non-school teams. Austin Bates, who played doubles last year, and Kyle Hatfield, are both expected to be strong in singles. The Greyhounds will celebrate Senior Night on March 28 against Kennesaw Mountain.

No. 2 Carrollton will host No. 1 Woodward Academy on Tuesday in a showdown of two of the top girls teams in Class AAA. Garrett Brown plays No. 1 for Carrollton and will likely meet freshman Molly Paradies or Sarah Zschunke of Woodward. Woodward beat Carrollton 3-2 in the state quarterfinals a year ago and went on to win the state championship.

The No. 8 Dunwoody boys have a strong returning core from the team that …

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Boys soccer: St. Pius, Westminster roll along

Defending AAA champion St. Pius and AA champ Westminster are rolling along. Neither has been saddled with a loss yet and both have put up extended shutout streaks.

St. Pius (7-0, 4-0 Region 5-AAA DivisionA) beat Paideia 2-1 in its season opener and hasn’t allowed a goal since, including shutouts of North Springs, West Forsyth and Greenbrier this week, the last two games coming in the Jekyll Island Tournament of Champions Thursday night and Friday night.

Westminster, meanwhile, posted shutouts in its first six games before playing to a 1-1 tie Wednesday at
Atlanta International and beating Cross Keys 2-1 at home Friday night in the Bob Sims Championship.

The other three defending champions have struggled out of the gate.

Class AAAAA champ Walton already has as many losses, four, as it had all of last year. The Raiders are 4-4-1, 2-0 in 5-AAAAA, and have just one win over a team with a winning record.

Chattahoochee, which won the AAAA title in 2011, might be close to …

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Golf/Tennis blog: Brookwood boys look strong

The defending Class AAAAA champion Brookwood boys improved to 12-0 with wins over No. 1-ranked Alpharetta and over Berkmar. The Broncos, ranked No. 2, are led by No. 1 singles player Mark Guentert, No. 2 Drew Wendel and No. 3 Ryan Pridgeon, the No. 1 doubles team of David Brown and Matt Jones, and the No. 2 team of Jody Chan and Anarin Montroy. Guentert is ranked No. 18 in 18s in Georgia. Brookwood’s match with Johns Creek, the No. 1 team in Class AAAA, was rained out. . . .

The Mill Creek girls improved to 13-2 and remained undefeated in Region 7-AAAAA after beating Duluth. Allison Weaver plays No. 1 singles for the Hawks. . . . The Region 8-AAAAA leading Brookwood girls, led by Gabby Griffith, improved to 9-3 by beating Berkmar. . . . No. 5 West Hall, led by Max Wilson at No. 1 singles, improved to 9-1 with a 5-0 win over Monroe Area. . . . Dane Allen of East Hall is undefeated at No. 1 singles.


The Gainesville boys and girls defended their titles at the Hall County …

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