The St. Pius girls won the state championship last season and are expected to be a prime contender again this year. Well, the school’s boys program isn’t too shabby, either.
The Golden Lions went 22-9 last year with a very young team and have started the season 4-0 by winning the Tabo’s Tipoff Tournament at Jefferson. St. Pius whipped Jackson County, Class AAAAAA Mill Creek and host Jefferson in the final, 58-54.
St. Pius is led by 6-foot-10 senior Nick Harris, who has signed with the College of Charleston. The Golden Lions were second in Region 6-AAA a year ago and reached the state quarterfinals.
Cartersville steps up in class: The Cartersville boys will step up in weight class for Saturday’s game in the fifth annual Greater Atlanta Christian Showcase. The Hurricanes will meet Class AAAAAA Hillgrove at 2 p.m.
Cartersville is led by wings Ryan Davis (17 points) and Corey Tobin (14.9 points)and will meet a Hillgrove club that went 28-5 and lost in the state final to Norcross a year ago. Hillgrove is led by guard Kyle Castlin, Keith Ray and B.J. Brown.
Morgan takes down Buford: If Morgan County can beat Buford again in February it will be considered a great win. For right now the Bulldogs’ 76-65 win over the Wolves will remain in the “good” category since Buford is without a handful of players still involved in the football season.
But Morgan County made a strong statement four nights later when it beat Class AAAAA Allatoona 69-63 in overtime. Coach Charlemagne Gibbons’ team has its next test on Friday at Elbert County in the Region 8-AAA opener.
Dawson boys start 3-0: The Dawson County boys are trying to get a headstart in tough Region 7. The Tigers won their first three games. The closest outcome was a 17-point win over Pinecrest Academy. Dawson graduated four starters and lost starting point guard Jonathan Sanderson to a knee injury.
Upcoming tournaments to watch:
The 54th Lanierland Tournament will be Dec. 14-21.It is the oldest non-postseason tournament in the state and features all the Hall County schools, including AAA competitors North Hall, West Hall and East Hall.
The Carroll County Holiday Classic on Dec. 19-21 features the likes of Central Carroll, Hart County, Rockmart and Villa Rica.
The Rome News-Tribune Tournament on Dec. 17-21 will be led by defending boys champion Cartersville, which beat Model in the championship game a year ago, and the Cartersville girls, who finished third.