AAAA basketball: Eagle’s Landing heads to Fla. tourney

Last year, Eagle’s Landing played in the Converse Invitational Classic at Columbia High School, and Golden Eagles coach Clay Crump hoped the stiff competition would serve as preparation for an anticipated state tournament run.

This year, Crump appears to have taken the scheduling a step further. The Golden Eagles played in the Memphis/Atlanta Challenge. Without senior post player Desmond Ringer, who sat out while rehabbing from a knee injury, the Golden Eagles dropped both of their games in Memphis.

“He does a lot for us,” said Crump. We didn’t play very well without him. He was back against Griffin Friday night.”

That was a 74-41 win for Eagle’s Landing, which improved to 6-2 overall and 5-0 in Region 4B-AAAA play. Now, it’s back to the road for another high-powered tournament: The City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., a weeklong event featuring teams from 10 states. The event starts today at Bishop Verot High School.

Eagle’s Landing is one of two Georgia schools in the event; Class AAAAAA Tift County is the other.

“It’s probably the most prestigious high school tournament in the country,” Crump said. “It’ll be a great test for us.”

Eagle’s Landing opens Tuesday by jumping into the fire against Omaha Central, which has won four straight state titles and features two Division I commitments – 6-9 Akoy Agau (Louisville) and 6-5 Nick Billingsley (Nebraska). Ringer squaring off inside against Agau should be a treat to watch.

Eagle’s Landing has five players averaging in double-figure scoring, led by point guard Isaiah Dennis at 23 points per game.

TORNADO TIME: Last season, the Westover girls opened the season with 23 straight wins. This time, it’s cross-town rival Monroe that is off to the hot start. The Lady Tornadoes are 8-0 entering this week’s Carrollton Christmas Tournament. KeKe Price is leading the way. According to the Albany Herald, Price scored 29 points in Monroe’s win over Westover last Friday with 11 rebounds and four assists. She scored 22 of her points in the second half.

D.C. BOUND : The Columbia girls might not be in rebuilding mode – they do have big-time recruit Mia Spencer, who has signed with North Carolina State, and Shaundrika Mann, who is headed to Shorter – but after graduating five key players off last year’s state championship team, there were definitely a lot of questions.

The Lady Eagles are off to a 4-1 start behind Spencer, who is averaging 18 points per game. Columbia heads to Washington D.C. For the 4th Annual National Title IX Holiday Invitational Classic.

“It’s been almost like starting over again,” said Columbia coach Chantay Frost. “We have two seniors and three juniors, and the rest are sophomores. For some of these girls, this tournament trip will be their first time on a plane.”

Columbia is one of two Georgia teams in the event. The other is Southwest DeKalb.

2 comments Add your comment

Hubert Green

December 18th, 2012
1:30 pm

The City of Palms is a gauntlet. Hoping that both Ga schools will win their first game so that they square off and one is guaranteed to make it to the semifinals.


December 21st, 2012
4:41 pm

Well yes, City of Palms is a beast, Both GA teams lost in the first round. Eagles landing was blasted, then Tift beat them in the second round.