Class A Basketball: Early statistical leaders, good games for non-football fans

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

The season is still in its infancy, with most teams having played no more than five or six games. But here are some of the state’s statistical leaders in Class A, after a minimum of four games played (let us know if we’ve overlooked someone):

BOYS

Scoring
1. Cornelius Taylor, Claxton, 21 points per game
2. Tosin Mehinti, Greenforest Christian, 19.6
3. Justin Ravenel, Greenforest Christian, 18.6

Rebounds
1. Mehinit, Greenforest Christian, 13.2 per game
2. Kaiser Gates, St. Francis, 8.5
3. Faisal Abdul-Malik, Greenforest Christian, 7.6

Blocks
1. Tosin, Greenforest Christian, 4.2 per game
2. Jordan Jones, St. Francis, 1.5
2. Monteruis Valentine, Claxton, 1.2

Assists
1. Rashad Swain, Greenforest, 6.8 per game
2. Trey Hines, Claxton, 4.4
3. McKinley Brown, St. Francis 3.3

Steals
1. Brown, St. Francis, 2.8 per game
2. Gates, St. Francis, 2.8
3. Darvis Small, Claxton, 2.6

GIRLS

Scoring
1. Cierra Hawkins, Baker County, 21.7
2. Alexis Carter, Southwest Atlanta Christian (SACA), 18.3
3. Amber Brown, SACA, 15.3

Rebounds
1. Shameccia Hagins, Portal, 14.7
2. Carter, SACA, 13
3. Lily Mather, Commerce, 9.5

Blocks
1. Carter, SACA, 5
2. Hagins, Portal, 2.3
3. Breyonna Raymond, Portal, 1

Assists
1. Brown, SACA, 4.3
2. Daniels, SACA, 3.7
3. Jade Davis, St. Francis, 3

Steals
1. Marquita Daniels, SACA, 6
2. Hagins, Portal, 4
3. Carter, SACA 3.7

For those not interested in football …
For those who prefer basketball over football, an endangered species in Georgia, here are a handful of games worth checking out, since you won’t be at the Georgia Dome taking in the football finals:

(Boys) North Cobb Christian (5-1, 1-0 in Region 6-Division A) at Whitefield Academy (4-1, 1-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m.  This is the first matchup between two of the state’s top Class A programs that are now in the same sub region. Whitefield is the defending state champion, while North Cobb Christian is looking to redeem itself after steamrolling through the regular season and Region 6 tournament last year (28-0) only to fall in the first round of the state tournament to St. Francis (65-63). NCC is led by senior Alex Ho-On and juniors Stephon Jelks and Hunter Ware. Whitefield is paced this season by senior Kris Martin and juniors Eric Lockett and Braelen Philips.

(Boys) Turner County at AAAA Crisp County, Friday, 7:30 p.m.  These neighboring schools, located about 30 minutes from each other, usually hook up for a couple of non-region games during the season. Class A Turner has won four of the last six meetings, including a sweep last season – 72-71 in overtime in December and 60-49 in January. Turner, which reached the semi finals last season, is led by junior guard Nate Martin. Crisp, which moved up to Class AAAA after reaching the AAA quarter finals last season, is led by junior guard Javoris Cooks.

(Girls) SACA (6-0) at Gordon Lee (5-1).  This is a rematch of last season’s second-round state playoff game, won by SACA (72-59) en route to the Warriors’ march to the Class A finals. They are two of the top programs in Georgia, as they combined for a record of 55-8 last season. This season the teams are in Region 6-Division A together and will hook up again January 18 in Atlanta. Gordon Lee, undefeated in Georgia this season, is led by seniors Kassidy Blevins and Katie Barger, along with junior Katelyn Lee. SACA is led by seniors Alexis Carter and Amber Brown, and juniors Marquita Daniels and Amy Griffin.

(Girls) Holy Innocents (8-1, 2-0 in Region 5) at AA Wesleyan (6-0), Friday, 6 p.m.  The Bears’ only loss this season was to AAAAAA Brookwood. While they have gotten out of the gate quickly, they did the same last season, starting 10-1 before faltering in four of their final seven games, including a 49-31 loss to Darlington in the first round of the state playoffs. Holy Innocents will see how good it is when it faces last year’s Class A champs who have moved up to AA. The Wolves blitzed Holy Innocents 74-26 when the teams met in the Region 5 tournament in February. The Bears are led by seniors Reshaundra Owens and McKenzie Bolden, while Wesleyan is led by seniors Katie Frerking and Brittany Stevens.

27 comments Add your comment

athensbball

December 11th, 2012
3:12 pm

Will Jackson is averaging 30 a game and Demetrius McWhorter is averaging 26 a game for Athens Christian. And the “big game” we were talking about between ACS (Will Jackson) and Athens Academy (Eric Williams) was not even close! ACS was up 56-8 at half time, took out all their starters and won 79-21. Will Jackson had 22 in the first half before leaving the game and Eric Williams finished the game with only 5 points

athensbball

December 11th, 2012
3:14 pm

also i hear the kid from Aquinas put up 40 the other night. Aquinas stats will be hard to find though. there coach doesnt even report his scores or his the teams schedule on any of the major high school sites. hope that kids on an AAU team cuz obviously his coach aint trying to help him get a college scholarship haha

S. Thomas Coleman

December 11th, 2012
3:55 pm

@Athensball: Thanks for both updates! 56-8 at the half?! Are you sure that wasn’t the girls game?! Wow! Did Williams took tired from all the football he played this season? Even in a blowout, seems like he could muster double figures at least.

Looks like you guys might be the team to beat in Class A.

And I’ll try to find out more about the player at Aquinas. That would be a shame if his coach is truly not getting the word out about him.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

Augustafballer

December 11th, 2012
4:19 pm

That kid from Aquinas is Ahmed Hill and there is plenty word out on him. ESPN ranks him the 23rd ranked Junior in the country. He has plenty of Div 1 offers, including Indiana, Kansas, UConn, etc. I know he had 41 last Friday night and had 32 in their opener against Jenkins County.

S. Thomas Coleman

December 11th, 2012
5:08 pm

@Augustafballer: Thanks for the update! I couldn’t find anything in the Augusta paper on him. I’ll try to speak with his coach once we go full throttle into basketball season.

Thans for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

irish supporter

December 11th, 2012
6:42 pm

31 offers from Indiana, Duke etc last I heard. Not sure the boy needs any help from the press.

region8afan

December 11th, 2012
11:21 pm

Williams was definitely tired from football as was the entire acad team as over half the team plays football. 51-8 is inexcusable but with only three practices before the game it’s no surprise they were beaten down by a top flight team

Swamp Lizard

December 12th, 2012
6:45 am

@ STC …. ???? I’m sure the basketball fans are thrilled with the updates and the article on basketball. BUT …. this is like SUPER BOWL week for high school football fans. Why not both? ….. work a little OT !! ;) I’ll look forward to the Thursday readings …… thanks and we appreciate your work.

BBall 101

December 12th, 2012
9:50 am

Jared Harper is averaging 21 points per contest to lead Mount Vernon to a 3-1 start. Harper, who is also averaging five assists per game, scored 28 points to lead the Mustangs to a 75-56 victory over Johns Creek Nov. 17. He also had 24 points in a 64-60 loss to Dunwoody Nov. 19 as well as 21 points in Mount Vernon’s convincing 94-22 win over crosstown rival North Springs Nov. 16.

athensbball

December 12th, 2012
10:14 am

@augustafballer: You are correct that all the college coach’s know plenty about Hill, but from AAU ball, not from Aquinas. its a shame that the coach dont even report scores or stats or nothing. he dont even have his schedule filled out on gaprep…the only games that show up are what other teams have put in. kid is a baller though.

steve

December 12th, 2012
10:30 am

AA also played Aquinas tuesday night then ACS friday, with Providence Christian on Sat, two top ten teams with 4 days of practice, not the best situtation but they should come around, not to the ACS level but at least more competitive, with 5 out of 7 top players are football players.

athensbball

December 12th, 2012
10:37 am

@steve: I agree Academy will get better, much better, but I dont think they will get 50 points better to beat ACS. Looks like its going to be ACS and Lakeview battling it out for the region champ again.

S. Thomas Coleman

December 12th, 2012
4:44 pm

@Swamp Lizard: Just following orders, my man! Sorry! The preview of the private school final will be up late Thursday night, as will a story on how coaches feel about the spilt, now that we’ve come to the end of Season 1. And I might have another nugget for you in this blog spot. Stay tuned!

S. Thomas Coleman

Swamp Lizard

December 12th, 2012
4:48 pm

@ STC … I understand my Man !! I’m sure the basketball guys are thrilled as well. Again, thanks for everything !!

steve

December 13th, 2012
11:10 am

athenbball why where you calling the Acad / ACS game the “big game” the only one that wanted it played that night seems to have been the AA AD so his girls team could catch ACS girls early on, thats like calling an AA / ACS football game a big game, it would be a huge upset if AA beat ACS in basketball, unless Jackson wants to transfer over to AA. AA players where hoping to get through the week and get better over the next few weeks and hopefully make some noise in the region. Its

Niabinghi

December 13th, 2012
12:24 pm

Forget ACS you gotta see Greenforest Christian play..They are sooo talented and that point guard has energy for days..They never rest that poor kid..I’ve seen them play once and play the point guard the entire game..I heard that they only have 2 starting seniors and they are blowing out teams. I know they put a beating on us.. Next year they will even more dominant.

athensbball

December 13th, 2012
12:25 pm

@steve: STC was talking about the battle between who was better….Jackson or Williams…not necessarily the battle between the teams. there is an obvious talent and coaching drop between the 2 teams so i doubt Jackson would ever transfer to AA…wouldnt be surprised though if one of the ATL schools tries to get em though. Heck…Whitfield players/parents were trying to get him to transfer there right after the state champ game. Academy will be much better than that performance though. But then again, ACS was only 2 weeks removed from football and it was only there 2nd game. Almost the entire ACS team plays football too.

athensbball

December 13th, 2012
12:28 pm

@steve and FYI….STC called the AA & ACS game a “big game”….i put it in quotes to be sarcastic

athensbball

December 13th, 2012
1:52 pm

@Niabinghi: I heard Greenforest is good too. Only 2 seniors…thats pretty good. ACS starts 4 sophmores and the first one off the bench is also a sophmore :)

S. Thomas Coleman

December 13th, 2012
10:34 pm

@athensball: Actually, I was referring to both the one-on-one battle between Jackson and Williams, and the battle between their teams. I thought AA was better than they actually are at this point in the season, I guess. Don’t think they’re as good as ACS, but didn’t think they were 50 points worse.

By the way, what’s your problem with Coach Banks? He played big time college ball at UGA, so he knows the game. What’s the deal there? Curious minds want to know (or at least I do)!

Thanks for reading and posting.

S. Thomas Coleman

steve

December 14th, 2012
9:24 am

Those of us who have watch both play realize Williams is a great hs player but Jackson is one of those unique talents that does not come along that often surprised he would stay playing in the region he is in,but with AAU these days it may not better. I think the issue with Banks is that is he the best fit for the type of talent AA has, being a great player doesnt mean you are a great coach at most of these small private or public schools you need to adjust to the talent pool you have as coach Farribra at Prince in football or Hebron does in BB

athensbball

December 14th, 2012
10:29 am

@steve & STC: couldnt agree with you more steve. well said. Being a great player rarely means that you can coach. A lot of great coach’s are guys who got cut from their high school teams haha. And your also right that Jackson is a rare talent. Link has been coaching for like 40 years in college and in high school ball and he said that as a sophmore, Jackson is one of the best hes ever seen. i think Williams could be better than just a good high school player though. the problem is, he has ZERO supporting cast and hes really a true point guard…not a scorer like Jackson. If he had any talent around him or a coach that could adjust their game to the talent that they do have, then he could be a D-1 prospect.

NEGAbballobserver

December 14th, 2012
12:25 pm

Don’t forget Austin Montgomery of Lakeview Academy is avg. just shy of 24 pts a game. Has 49 pts. to go until he hits his 1000 high school career point. (been doing my research).

Also just heard Coach Seth Vining for Lakeview will retire after this season.
733-291: Career coaching record, 3rd-most high school wins in Georgia history
4: State championships, with East Hall girls 1979-80, East Hall boys 2001, 2003
25: State tournament teams coached
10: State final four berths
7: Trips to state championship game
2006: Inducted into the Northeast Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

athensbball

December 14th, 2012
2:08 pm

@NEGAbball: Does Lakeview got anything else besides Montgomery this year? I been looking at scores in the paper, and it looks like he is scoring like 75% or more of their points this year

TCDAWG25

December 14th, 2012
2:22 pm

@ Swamp Lizard I got your shirt Maybe Thomas can help us connect through email.

NEGAbballobserver

December 14th, 2012
2:56 pm

Same problem as the other small schools, the majority of the team is getting into the swing of basketball after football. Who knew Montgomery has a younger brother on the team, that is versatile and is playing the 2,3,4&5.. He is shorter @ 6′4″, but much stockier. Clearly he has been in big brother’s shadow, but starting to hold his own and making a name for himself. Their PG has been out with a broken hand and has just gotten cleared to come back.. I am not sure if he is a scorer or not.

athensbball

December 18th, 2012
10:47 am

Im not accusing them of anything, just a little curious about Greenforest Christian and wanted to get you guys take on it. They have like less than 100 kids in the entire school, and here is their roster listed on gaprep….6′6, 6′2, 6′7, 6′3, 6′3, 6′7, 6′9, 6′4, 6′1…..if that is truly their actual heights, then how in the WORLD does one of the smallest schools in ALL of class A get a lineup like that…hmmmmmmm