Archive for February, 2013

Girls quarterfinal primer: DeKalb, Gwinnett teams will be hard to beat

We’re down to the final eight in seven state tournament brackets. Here’s a class-by-class look at those.

Note that four of the five state champions from 2012 still have a shot at repeating. McEachern, which won AAAAA last year, was eliminated in the first round by Colquitt County, but Miller Grove, Columbia, Lovett and Wesleyan are still alive.

AAAAAA – Valdosta and Tift County of Region 1, both unranked, are within one victory of the semifinals. The last time two south Georgia teams advanced to the final four in the highest classification was in 2001, when Lowndes and Valdosta did it in AAAAA. Both teams lost in the semifinals. The last south Georgia team to win the championship in the highest classification was Beach, which won Class AAAA in 2000. … North Gwinnett and Norcross, the teams to beat, were in the semifinals last season. Most of the rest aren’t accustomed to going this far. It’s been a while for the rest of them — Cherokee (1987), Alpharetta (never), North Cobb …

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Jeff Haws’ Top 10 List

Well, if last week didn’t get you excited about the state tournament, we probably can’t help you much.

The first two rounds had everything you’d expect – upsets, last-second shots, huge games from great players, favorites marching on. In short, it was just as awesome as it always is.

Now, we move on to the quarterfinals, where we’ll get a little closer to learning who the state champions will be and whether we won our tournament pool this year (We never win; it’s always the person on the second floor who can’t name any of the teams).

And, because we’re just such nice people here at The List HQ, we thought we’d get you primed for the boys quarterfinals with a list of 10 players you want to see if you can the rest of the way.

10. C.J. Foster, Berkmar (AAAAAA)

at Norcross, 7 p.m. Wednesday

He was little more than a defensive specialist as a junior, but he’s become a key part of the Patriots’ attack on both sides of the ball this season. He started the season with 32 points in …

Continue reading Jeff Haws’ Top 10 List »

Boys quarterfinal primer: No. 1 Tift vs. No. 2 North Cobb … Columbia-Marist III … GAC-Manchester rematch

Here is a class-by-class look at the boys quarterfinals.

For a rundown on the girls semifinals, go here.

AAAAAA – Tift County had to turn 400 fans away Saturday for its 100-81 victory over Westlake. Expect the same for the quarterfinals against North Cobb unless Tift is able to find a way to squeeze them in. Tift is ranked No. 1, North Cobb No. 2. Tift led by as many as 30 against Westlake, which is ranked eighth. … The other quarterfinal that is between ranked teams matches No. 6 Peachtree Ridge at No. 7 Wheeler. AJC.com’s David Purdum is slated to cover that one from The Lip in Marietta. … Unranked Brunswick is in the quarterfinals for the first time since 1982. The Pirates will be at home against fifth-ranked Hillgrove, another second seed. Hillgrove made the quarters in 2010. Neither has made a state semifinal. … No. 3 Norcross plays Berkmar in the other quarter. The two Gwinnett County schools have won some six state titles since 2000, although it’s been a while for …

Continue reading Boys quarterfinal primer: No. 1 Tift vs. No. 2 North Cobb … Columbia-Marist III … GAC-Manchester rematch »

Boys basketball: Berkmar upsets Alpharetta

By David Purdum / For the AJC

With 30 seconds left and his team in command, a fired-up Berkmar coach Greg Phillips turned to the Patriots fans behind the bench and implored them to, “Get up!”

This win meant something, and it came against the team that ended the Patriots’ season last year.

C.J. Foster had a game-high 22 points, lifting unheralded Berkmar to a 56-48 upset of host Alpharetta in a second round AAAAAA state tournament game Saturday.

The Patriots (18-12) are in the quarterfinals for the second straight season and will face the Norcross-Archer winner on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Foster scored on an array of drives to the basket, which also produced plenty of trips to the foul line.

Berkmar out-scored the Raiders 20-6 from the free-throw line.

But both coaches agreed – this win was about defense.

“Alpharetta’s a heck of a team,” said Phillips, “and to hold them to 48 points, I just can’t say enough about my guys.”

Alpharetta coach Frederick Hurt said his team didn’t play …

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AAAAAA boys: Peachtree Ridge 67, Shiloh 60

Tied at halftime, Peachtree Ridge blew the game open during the first 6 minutes of the third quarter, opening a double-digit lead en route to a 67-60 win at Shiloh in the second round of the Class AAAAAA Tournament.

Coming out of halftime, the Lions were clearly the aggressor, taking the ball to the basket against the Generals (22-7) and scoring their first 10 third-quarter points on layups.

Over the first 5:57 of the third quarter, Peachtree Ridge (21-9) went on a 14-1 run, capped by an Aaron Augustin 3-pointer that stretched the lead to 43-30, the largest of the game for either team.

Peachtree Ridge coach Keith Arrington said he wanted his team to come out of halftime and stay grounded, and the message appeared to pay off.

“I told them, ‘All right, let’s play in the moment. Don’t start looking, are we gonna have a chance to win? Just play every play one at a time,” Arrington said. “Don’t look ahead. In the moment, that’s what we want.”

The Lions would never again lead by …

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A boys (Private): W.D. Mohammed tops Whitefield in OT

Whitefield Academy brought the 2012 state Class A title and precocious freshman Brendon Myles to the gym, but No. 6 W.D. Mohammed had the elders Saturday and the Caliphs rode their upperclassmen to a 49-44 overtime win at Crim High.

Just 21 seconds into overtime, WDM’s Muhammad Hamilton hit two free throws after a controversial play to give the Caliphs (24-2) the lead for good. Hamilton, a junior, scored 16 points. All other WDM points were scored by seniors as the Caliphs unseated the champs.

WDM, ranked No. 1 a couple weeks ago before being upset by Landmark Christian in the Region 5 tournament, was in control at halftime with a 22-14 lead.

The Caliphs turned the ball over on their first two possessions of the third quarter, however, and Myles hit back-to-back 3-pointers on the way to a game-high 18 points. The Wolfpack (18-11) closed the quarter with another trey, when junior Everett Pollard hit a 40-footer off an inbounds pass at the buzzer for a 32-30 lead.

WDM had five …

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AAAAA boys: Tucker 37, Allatoona 33

The sixth-ranked Tucker boys basketball team was struggling to score, hampered by foul trouble and staring at a seven-point deficit going into halftime of its second-round game of the Class AAAAA tournament at Allatoona on Saturday.

So the Tigers had to rely on their defense in the second half.

Tucker held No. 7 Allatoona to four field goals and just 12 points in the final 16 minutes to escape with a 37-33 victory and advance to the quarterfinals, where it will play at Miller Grove.

“Class AAAAA basketball is tough all over the state,” Tucker coach James Hartry said. “All 32 teams that made it to the tournament are going to be tough to play. It’s just a matter of which team’s going to show up and play 32 minutes. The team we played tonight is a fine ballclub, well-coached and disciplined. We’re just lucky to get out of here. It’s a tough place to play and a tough place to win.”

Tucker (20-9) trailed 21-14 at halftime and 22-14 after Allatoona’s Forrestt Lane made a free throw …

Continue reading AAAAA boys: Tucker 37, Allatoona 33 »

Saturday basketball playoff roundup

By Score Atlanta

Class AAAAAA

Hillgrove 72, Tri-Cities 63: Tri-Cities jumped out to a 4-0 lead over visiting Hillgrove, but Kyle Castline scored 10 of his team-high 19 points during a 19-0 run by Hillgrove to end the first quarter. Hillgrove led 38-20 at the half before holding a lead of at least 12 points for the entire second half. Keith Ray finished with 18 points while B.J. Brown chipped in 14 points in the victory.

Norcross 69, Archer 50: The host Norcross Blue Devils jumped out to a five-point lead after the first quarter and a six-point advantage at halftime. Archer outscored Norcross 23-17 in the third quarter, but coach Jesse McMillian’s team held Archer to just three points in the final frame. Norcross outscored Archer 22-3 in the fourth to prevail. Archer connected on eight 3-pointers while Norcross’ Brandon Goodwin scored 18 points in the win.

North Cobb 80, Morrow 76: Guard Lee Moore had 24 points while Jon Beausejour added 16, Austin Jacobs had 13 and Jordan Neff …

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State Tournament: A/Private boys scores

Compiled by Score Atlanta

First Round

Saturday

Aquinas 58, Lakeview Academy 49

Athens Christian 83, Mount Pisgah 70

Calvary Day 65, Landmark Christian 58

Excel Christian 57, Holy Innocents’ 49

Greenforest Christian 66, Savannah Christian 39

North Cobb Christian 72, Mount Paran 49

St. Francis 93, Pace Academy 74

Quarterfinals

Wednesday

Aquinas 67, Excel Christian 40

Athens Christian 78, North Cobb Christian 76

Greenforest Christian 63, Calvary Day 29

St. Francis 80, W.D. Muhammed 56

Semifinals

Friday

Kennesaw State

Greenforest Christian Academy 60, Athens Christian 55

St. Francis 61, Aquinas 56

Finals

Macon Coliseum

Saturday

Greenforest Christian 55, St. Francis 41

Continue reading State Tournament: A/Private boys scores »

Class A Girls (Private): SACA 72, Greenforest Christian 32

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

All signs pointed to a blowout Friday night at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy.

The Warriors (26-3), top ranked in Class A in the AJC Top 10 for weeks, had already defeated Greenforest Christian by 30 points three months ago, and were in a foul mood, after being upset by St. Francis in their region championship game last weekend. Additionally, they were none too pleased with the No. 4 power ranking they received from MaxPreps and the Georgia High School Association.

And, despite having one of the state’s most talented players in senior guard Moses Johnson, who has signed with Chattanooga, SACA was still clearly the better team on paper. But this time, the Warriors didn’t win by 30. They won by 40.

SACA bolted out to a 30-7 lead after one quarter en route to a 72-32 win over Greenforest in the first round of the Class A private school state tournament.

Warrior head coach Jackie Cowan said she expected a great effort from her team and she …

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AAAAAA girls: Norcross 59, Parkview 51 2OT

It doesn’t always happen, but Friday’s second-round playoff game between No. 2 Parkview and No. 3 Norcross lived up to its hype.

The two Gwinnett County powers battled through two overtimes before the veteran Norcross club was able to put away a 59-51 victory. The Blue Devils (24-5) advance to the Class AAAAAA quarterfinals for a game at Cherokee. It was the first loss for Parkview, which finished 28-1.

“It was like a heavyweight fight and they finally got us at the end,” said Parkview coach Tony Watkins.

And in the end it was the team with the two heavyweight players who won the game. Norcross got 25 points and nine rebounds from Diamond Deshields, a North Carolina commitment who many consider the best player in the state, and 25 points and eight rebounds from Shayla Cooper, who has signed with Georgetown.

Deshields scored 19 of her points in the first half, as Parkview spent final two quarters with two players on her almost all the time. That opened the inside game up for …

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State Tournament: A/Public boys scores

Compiled by Score Atlanta

First Round

Saturday

Jenkins 62, Dooly County 57

Mitchell County 79, Greenville 64

Portal 77, Marion County 68

Randolph-Clay 62, Hawkinsville 53

Seminole County 69, Stewart County 61

Wilcox County 76, Hancock Central 66

Wilkinson County 62, Treutlen 41

Friday

Turner County 78, Terrell County 51

Quarterfinals

Wednesday

Jenkins County 75, Seminole County 70

Portal 56, Mitchell County 54

Wilcox County 75, Turner County 62

Wilkinson County 70, Randolph-Clay 66

Semifinals

Fort Valley State

Friday

Wilcox County 65, Portal 56

Wilkinson County 81, Jenkins County 65

Finals

Macon Coliseum

Thursday

Wilkinson County 53, Wilcox County 49

Continue reading State Tournament: A/Public boys scores »

AAAA girls: Columbia 61, LaGrange 47

Last season LaGrange served as Columbia’s first hurdle on the trek toward winning the Class AAA state title. The Lady Grangers were back in DeKalb County Friday for revenge and found none, bowing out to the Lady Eagles 61-47 in a Class AAAA second-round game.

It was the third time in four years the Lady Grangers were eliminated by Columbia, and the Lady Eagles went on to win the state title after their previous matchups last year and in 2010. Top-ranked Columbia (24-3) advanced to face the River Ridge-Chestatee winner.

After trailing by 20 late in the first half and 14 to start the fourth quarter, LaGrange pulled within 51-43 with just over two minutes left to play. Thirty seconds later Yaktavia Hickson’s drive and layup put Columbia up 55-43 and Miah Spencer’s free throws in the final minute inched the lead to 59-45, when LaGrange coach Jan Jones waved the white flag.

“We came out early and took control, then we started to play a little too cool,” Columbia coach Chantay …

Continue reading AAAA girls: Columbia 61, LaGrange 47 »

Class AAAA girls: Redan 70, Fayette County 40

After first-round exits from the state tournament the last two years, the Redan girls are playing like a team with something to prove.

The Lady Raiders, throttled Fayette County 70-40 Friday night in the Class AAAA second round, their second straight 30-point win.

“We’ve been through a lot over the past three years,” said Redan’s Jada Byrd, who scored a game-high 23 points. “Coming out in the first round really gave us the killer instinct. It really gives us more motivation.”

Redan (25-2) sprinted away from Fayette late in the first quarter and turned the game into a rout by the middle of the third.

Byrd also had 13 rebounds and five assists, for Redan, whose two losses were both to No. 1 Columbia. Destiny McClary scored 17, Brea Elmore 15 and Jamese Abney 10 for Redan, which only traied in the opening minute and earned a home state quarterfinal appearance for its effort. McClary added five assists and Elmore four.

After Fayette’s Ciara Hughes scored from the lane to tie the …

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State Tournament: A/Private girls scores

Compiled by Score Atlanta

First Round

Saturday

Calvary Day 65, Savannah Country Day 20

Friday

Atlanta International 50, Mount Paran Christian 48

Darlington 62, Providence Christian 27

George Walton Academy 49, Brookstone 33

Holy Innocents’ 64, Hebron Christian 40

Pace Academy 35, Paideia 28

Southwest Atlanta Christian 72, Greenforest Christian 32

St. Francis 67, Strong Rock Christian 13

Quarterfinals

Tuesday

Calvary Day 61, Pace Academy 32

Holy Innocents’ 58, Atlanta International 43

St. Francis 61, Darlington 40 (Wed.)

Southwest Atlanta Christian 57, George Walton Academy 29

Semifinals

Friday

Kennesaw State

St. Francis 50, Calvary Day 27

Southwest Atlanta Christian 78, Holy Innocents’ 43

Finals

Macon Coliseum

Saturday

St. Francis 62, Southwest Atlanta Christian 56

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