Class A Blog: Shake up atop private girls, Graddics leading Turner, girls POTY candidates

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Shake up at the top of girl’s privates

Darlington, ranked No. 4 in the AJC Top 10 and No. 3 in the Class A private school power rankings last week, knocked off top-ranked Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy (15-2, 4-1), 47-46 on Tuesday. Senior center Terar Stewart, a Class A Player of the Year candidate, led the way for the Tigers with 22 points.

The win vaulted Darlington (12-4, 5-0) to the top spot in Region 6 – Division A, and will impact the poll and the power rankings as well. The rematch is Feb. 2 at SACA.

Graddics leading Turner County

Turner County has a solid chance of bringing two public school state titles back to Ashburn, and the keys to that accomplishment live under one roof.

Antania and Antonio Graddic are integral parts of their respective teams. Antania, a 6-foot-4 senior center, is averaging 15 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks per game for the Rebels, who are 14-3 overall, and undefeated (8-0) in Region 2 with a No. 2 public school power ranking. Meanwhile, Antonio, a 6-3 junior forward, is averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds. His team is 13-4, 7-1 in perhaps the toughest public school region in Class A. The Rebs, who advanced to the state semifinals last season, have a No. 7 power ranking and sit at No. 9 in the AJC Top 10.

Deep field for girls POTY

As we come to the midpoint of the regular season it’s time to take a look at some of the potential Class A Player of the Year candidates. Here’s a short list of contenders for the girl’s award. Tell us who’s missing:

Alexis Carter, Soph., SACA – The 6-foot-1 forward is averaging 15 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and three blocks for the Warriors, who are still a heavy threat to win the private school title.

Anissa Collins, Sr., Irwin County – Though she stands just 5-foot-7 and plays mostly on the perimeter, Collins does it all for Irwin County, averaging 16 points and 17 rebounds for a team that will be in the hunt for the public school crown.

Antania Graddic, Sr., Turner County – Graddic won the first head-to-head match up against Collins and Irwin County, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a 63-54 win for the Rebels. The rematch is Jan. 29 in Ocilla.

Cierra Hawkins, Sr., Baker County – Though her team is just 4-12, Hawkins makes Bears’ basketball games a must-see event down in Newton. The 5-foot-5, cat-quick guard is averaging 18 points per game.

Others to watch: Zenia Coley, Sr., Turner County; Kiyanna Johnson, Jr., Greenville; Moses Johnson, Sr., Greenforest Christian; Alexus Parker, Sr., Calvary Day; Emily Raymer, Sr., Mt. Pisgah Christian; Terar Stewart, Sr., Darlington.

9 comments Add your comment


January 20th, 2013
7:33 am

How ’bout a little love for Kassidy Blevins from Gordon Lee??


January 20th, 2013
10:28 am

Antania Graddic scored her 1000 point last year and her teammate Zenia Coley should reach that mark Tuesday night. It has been fun to watch these two girls play. Coley has really stepped up her game this year.


January 21st, 2013
4:37 pm

George Walton’s Ivey App is one to watch out for, she is a Jr. this year..


January 22nd, 2013
1:56 pm

@STC: I know this blog is about girls, but I have a question about the GHSA points system that could affect both guys and girls. What rules are in place to guarantee that schools report every single game to maxpreps (which determines the GHSA rankings)? The higher classifications are not on this crazy point system so what incentive do they have to make sure their scores are reported on time and accuratetly? For example, Aquinas played Laney the other night (and loss), and neither team has that game even listed on their schedule in maxpreps. Or Glenn Hills, which has played several Class A teams, hasnt reported a score in over a week. Thoughts?


January 22nd, 2013
2:06 pm

better sit down!!!
@athensbball I agree with you.

Lakeview boys had a huge win and a loss against North Hall. There are at LEAST 5 wins that haven’t been reported, that goes towards our point total. Our overall score is incorrect. I know there has been a “reaching out” and it has been falling on deaf ears. GHSA has said they would fine a school $250 , but that is a drop in the bucket, why not make them ineligible for the state tournament instead??
I am sure we are not the only school in this situation.. So how accurate is the rankings for the girls and boys?


January 22nd, 2013
4:01 pm

Not to mention it could actually help some class A schools by not reporting a game, since the points system is actually an “average power points per game”. If you played 20 games, but only reported 18 of them and those 2 you didnt report are losses then your total points will be divided by 18 instead of 20….surely schools wouldnt not report their games cuz they found a loop hole in the system….no way! never in ghsa!


January 22nd, 2013
4:10 pm

@bballmom: I like that idea, making them ineligible for the state tournament but when a couple teams that ACS played like AA-Putnam County (3-15) or AAAAA-Greenbrier (1-16)….how bad will making them ineligible really hurt when they werent going to make it to state anyways?

S. Thomas Coleman

January 22nd, 2013
5:34 pm

@bballmom and athensball: The incentive/penalty-punishment for not reporting a game is the $250 fine you mentioned. If it’s a road game against a non-Class A school, the Class A school is STILL responsible for reporting it to MaxPreps because the power ranking is vital for Class A schools, not so much for the other classifications.

As for trying to “sandbag” and inflate your power ranking by under reporting games, the GHSA’s basketball committee will go over every team’s schedule, which they already have a copy of in the GHSA’s office. If a team doesn’t report the score to the game (trying to pull a fast one), the game will probably be counted as a loss. OR, the GHSA could get really strict and count the game as a loss AND impose the fine.

But I’ll try to check in with Dr. Swearngin and ask him about specific fines/punishments for such things.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman


January 22nd, 2013
10:35 pm

I understand all classifications have to report the score. The problem arises when the larger schools fail to report theirs and the single A teams are left hanging..

@athensbball I have seen the list of offenders, and most are having rough seasons, who aren’t in the state tournament picture, but for those like North Hall who is now 11-2 in maxpreps, but actually 16-2 for the season, a penalty of forfeiture of the State Tournament would be a very hefty consequence and would send strong message.