Archive for the ‘1ABlog’ Category

Class A Blog: North Cobb Christian boys “selfish”?, Randolph-Clay girls on a mission

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

BOYS

It was not just that North Cobb Christian lost in the title game of the Lake City Classic last Saturday, to host Allatoona (11-0), 58-47. More than that, Eagle head coach Greg Matta appeared to be upset with the way his team fell to the undefeated Buccaneers.

“We had a couple of guys that played their guts out, and we had a couple of guys that played selfishly,” Matta told the Marietta Daily Journal, after he witnessed his team squander a 7-0 lead out of the gate. “When you play championship basketball games against teams like Allatoona, you’re supposed to execute.”

Two of NCC’s senior stars, Hunter Ware (scoreless) and Stephon Jelks (5 points, 3 rebounds), were neutralized. Senior guard Kendall Crute led the Eagles with 18 points, while 6-foot-10 junior center Trey Kalina scored 14 and grabbed 8 rebounds.

Brawl ends Turner-Lowndes game
A bench-clearing brawl last Saturday could play a role in Turner County’s state playoff …

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(UPDATED) Class A Blog: Players compete in football all-star games; Mahone leads basketball resurgence in Talbotton; Calhoun County, Holy Innocents among undefeated upstarts

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

This edition of the Class A Blog will be a football-basketball mix, featuring notes from the top junior and senior all-star football games, along with some of the top basketball performers – teams and individuals – thus far this season.  Also, note that the AJC All-State and All Metro Area Teams are out and can be seen here online and in the hard copy version of Sunday’s Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Class A players match up
Several big-time senior football players from Class A schools have competed or will be competing with and against players from larger classifications in various high school all-star games.

The Cobb County All-Star Senior Bowl, played Dec. 21 at McEachern High School, featured players from North Cobb Christian School (Zach Pruitt and John Towne), Mount Paran Christian School (Dallas Kepler and Jacob Ramsey), the Walker School (Michael Berk, Jacob Johnson and Josh Reini) and Whitefield Academy (Jaylen Hudson, Alex …

Continue reading (UPDATED) Class A Blog: Players compete in football all-star games; Mahone leads basketball resurgence in Talbotton; Calhoun County, Holy Innocents among undefeated upstarts »

Class A Blog: W.D. Mohammad’s Hamilton-Blake best back court tandem?; Greenforest’s “other” freshman; NCC vs. GAC

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Is there a better guard combination in Class A than W.D. Mohammad’s Muhammad Hamilton and Nigel Blake?

Caliphs’ head coach Farad Abdur-Rahman doesn’t think so.  Hamilton, a senior who has committed to Tuskegee, was already a known commodity in Class A and beyond as one of the state’s top complete guards. But Blake, a freshman, is beginning to make a name for himself as well. The two are combining to score 48 points per game with the 5-foot-11 Hamilton averaging 25 and Blake, 5-8, averaging 23.

“[Blake] can flat out play,” Rahman said. “He wasn’t with us over the summer, but he has come in since school started and has fit right in. You should see these two go to work.”

Abdur-Rahman said Blake has allowed Hamilton, an all-state selection last season, to showcase even more of his game because now he can play off of the ball, while Blake handles the point guard duties. This, Abdur-Rahman said, makes the Caliphs a better team …

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(Updated) Class A Blog: Final football blog of the season — Coach Speak; All-Star Games in the Georgia Dome Saturday

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Congratulations to Aquinas and Marion County for their championship wins, which officially bring our beloved football season to a close.

As such, this is the final Class A football blog of the season. In this edition, we allow the coaches to give their individual takes on the high and low points of their seasons, as well as their main focus this off season. We hope you enjoy this version of Coach Speak, featuring a number of coaches from Class A.

Also, if you’re in need of one last high school football fix, the only high school all-star game in the state played in the Georgia Dome will take place Saturday (Dec. 21). The DL Scott Junior & Senior High School All-Star Games will begin with the North Senior All Stars vs. the Central/South Senior All Stars at 1:30 p.m. The North team is made up of players from north Georgia counties (Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, Pickens, Walker and …

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Class A Basketball Blog: Teams off the quick starts; Big games in December

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Next week we’ll go full blast with basketball blogs three days a week, — Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. For now, here’s your weekly hoop fix.

GIRLS

Out of the gate quick
Two teams that excelled last season are off to quick starts so far, as is another team that had an average year. George Walton Academy is 5-0 after finishing last season 24-5, including a 15-0 run through Region 8. The Bulldogs lost to eventual private school runner-up Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy in the second round of the state tournament. Turner County went 20-6 last season and advanced to the public school quarterfinals before falling to Wilkinson County in double overtime (76-74). The Rebels are 2-0 thus far with junior forward Taylor Daniels and sophomore guard Mylayshia Yancey leading the charge. Meanwhile, Mt. Zion-Carrollton is 4-1 after finishing last season 14-11.

St. Francis, SACA test themselves early
The two private school finalists from last …

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Class A Blog: Notes from Friday night’s semifinals

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here are a few nuggets from Friday night’s semifinals:

In a great indication of parity in Class A, three of the four semifinal games were decided by one point: Aquinas 17, Mt. Pisgah 16; Calvary Day 35, Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy 34; and Charlton County 34, Irwin County 33. Marion County blew out Hawkinsville in the other public school semifinal, 40-7.

Three of the four finalists will be in their first state title game: Aquinas, Calvary Day and Marion County.

The regions left standing are Region 2 (Charlton County), Region 3 (Calvary Day), Region 4 (Marion County) and Region 7 (Aquinas).  Regions 5 and 6, considered by many to be the most competitive in Class A during the regular season, have been shut out of the finals.

Traditionalist may hate it, but the one-back or no-back spread offense has become the new wing-T when it comes to evening the playing field. For years, teams that were short on size and talent employed the …

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Class A Blog: The semifinals, and Coach Speak with Irwin County’s Jonathan Lindsey

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here’s a quick look at the semifinals. In a huge contrast, the public side has two rematches from this season while the private side has two first-time matchups. Also, we have another installment of “Coach Speak” with Irwin County’s Jonathan Lindsey:

PUBLIC

Upper Bracket

No. 9 Charlton County (8-4) at No. 4 Irwin County (10-1-1). Irwin County won the first meeting between the Region 2 rivals, 29-26, in the regular season finale on Nov. 8, thanks to a 33-yard field goal in the final seconds by Eric Contreras. The all-time series between the two schools is 17-17. Irwin County had won the first 15 meetings from 1966 to 1989. Then Rich McWhorter took over in Folkston and Charlton County won the next 17 games from 1990 to last season, when Irwin ended the run with a 55-34 win in the regular season. Irwin County, located about an hour east of Albany, has improved steadily during head coach Jonathan Lindsey’s three years in Ocilla, going …

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Class A Basketball Blog: SACA, St. Francis girls headed for final rematch? Early boys showdown next week: St. Francis at Whitefield Academy

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

For all the hoop heads out there, as previously announced, the Tuesday Prep Zone blogs are devoted to basketball until the football champions are crowned. So here’s a quick look at some early season happenings on the hardwood.

GIRLS

SACA, St. Francis final again?
Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy and St. Francis are off to quick starts as both look to get back to the private school title game, which St. Francis won last season. The teams sit on opposite sides of Region 6 and split with each other prior to the Knights winning the title game in Macon. This season, SACA is 3-1 with the only loss coming at the hands of defending Class AAAAA champion Southwest DeKalb (4-0), 70-64 in overtime last Friday. St. Francis is 2-0 with wins over Jonesboro (69-43), a Class AAAA semifinalist last season, and Tucker (57-56 in OT), which advanced to the Class AAAAA Elite Eight. SACA and St. Francis will meet once in the regular season, Jan. 17, at St. …

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Class A Blog: Down to the Final Four

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

We’re down to the final four on the public and private sides, after Friday night’s outcomes:

PUBLIC

Upper Bracket

No. 9 Charlton County 42, No. 1 Seminole County 0. Who saw this coming? Charlton County (8-4) raced to a 21-0 halftime lead – on 57-yard touchdown run by Andrew Lee and touchdown receptions of 31 and 50 yards by Julian Roberts and Curtis Nixon, respectively – and never looked back en route to stunning previously unbeaten Seminole County (11-1). Charlton County’s defense held Seminole County’s vaunted wing-T offense, which rolled up 400 yards in last week’s first round win over No. 16 seed Wilkinson County, to just two first downs, according to the Albany Herald.

No. 4 Irwin County 56, No. 5 Johnson County 26. Irwin County advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 1997, and didn’t need to complete a pass to do so. According to the Tifton Gazette. Irwin County (10-1-1) rushed for more than 500 yards and led …

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Class A Blog: The Quarterfinals

Here are the quarterfinal match ups for Friday:

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Upper Bracket

No. 9 Charlton County (7-4) at No. 1 Seminole County (11-0). Seminole County sophomore running back Thomas Aiken returned to the team from suspension with his head on straight and his game in top form, as he rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown to lead a ground attack that gained 400 yards and paced Seminole County to a 21-14 win over No. 16 Wilkinson County in the first round.  Charlton County downed a solid team from Commerce, 35-21.  Charlton won the only previous game between the two, 23-20, in the first round of the 2001 playoffs when the teams competed in Class AA.

No. 5 Johnson County (10-1) at No. 4 Irwin County (9-1-1).  Johnson County defeated Region 3 rival and defending public school champion Emanuel County Institute, 29-20, in the first round last week, in a game that was much closer than the 65-29 win the Trojans had over the Bulldogs on Oct. 25.  Irwin County rolled over No. 13 Trion, …

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Class A Blog: Top seeds advance; No. 10’s pull upsets

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Public school No. 1 seeded Seminole County squeaked into the second round of the playoffs, while private school top seed Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy won easily. Meanwhile, both 1o seeds — Dooly County and Holy Innocents’ — pulled upsets.  Here’s a look at what went down Friday night, as well as next week’s match ups.

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Upper Bracket

No. 1 Seminole County 21, No. 16 Wilkinson County 14. Seminole County got one of its big weapons back just in time and thwarted an upset big by the Warriors. Thomas Aiken, Seminole County’s 6-0, 230-pound sophomore running back, missed the entire regular season serving a lengthy suspension in alternative school. He returned to the field with a vengeance, rushing for 129 yards and a touchdown to lead a ground attack that gained nearly 400 yards, according to the Albany Herald.

No. 9 Charlton County 35, No. 8 Commerce 21

No. 5 Johnson County 29, No. 12 Emanuel County Institute 20

No. 4 Irwin County 49, …

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Class A Blog: Eight playoff capsules; ELCA’s Gess, Seminole’s Ingram and Aquinas’ Leonard in Coach Speak; Playoff brackets

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here is a look at the remaining eight games in the playoffs, along with an installment of “Coach Speak,” featuring Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy’s Jonathan Gess, Seminole County’s Alan Ingram and Aquinas’ James Leonard, and another look at the brackets.

PUBLIC

No. 16 Wilkinson County (4-6) at No. 1 Seminole County (10-0). Seminole County went undefeated through the regular season for the first time since 1973 en route to winning its third consecutive Region 1 title. Seminole County, located in Donalsonville in southwest Georgia on the Florida border, was knocked out in the second round of last season’s public school playoffs by eventual runner up Dooly County (34-28). Wilkinson County made the tournament despite having a losing record. The teams met for the first time in the second round of the 2011 state playoffs, with Seminole County emerging with a 28-7 win.

No. 15 Turner County (4-6) at No. 2 Marion County (9-1). Marion …

Continue reading Class A Blog: Eight playoff capsules; ELCA’s Gess, Seminole’s Ingram and Aquinas’ Leonard in Coach Speak; Playoff brackets »

Class A Basketball Blog: State’s top girls; Two from Pace Academy sign baseball scholarships

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

The Tuesday basketball blog will take a break next week, Thanksgiving Week, as we will have blogs devoted to the football playoffs on Tuesday (Nov. 26) and Saturday (Nov. 30). The Tuesday basketball blog will return on Dec. 3.

For now, as promised last week, here are some girls to watch this season (if any of them have transferred, let us know, and let us know who we’ve overlooked as well), followed by a note about two spring sport athletes from Pace Academy who have made their college selections:

GIRLS

Ivy Atkism, George Walton Academy. The 6-1 senior is one of the premier post players in the state and is the leader of a team that finished 24-5 last season. She has reportedly committed to Clemson.

Erika Cassell, Holy Innocents’. The 6-2 Cassell averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds last season for the Region 5 champions, who advanced to the private school Final Four.

Marquita Daniels, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. The 5-7 senior is …

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Class A Blog: Championship weekend schedule; Four more interesting match ups

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Class A took a break this weekend and will join in other classifications in the round of 16 next week. Here is a look at the championship schedule Dec. 13-14, as well as a deeper look at four more interesting match ups in the first round:

Dome Schedule

For fans of those playoff favorites who have no fear of the power of a “jinx,” as well as fans who are thinking positive thoughts about their dark horse team’s chances of making it to the Georgia Dome, the Georgia High School Association is helping you plan ahead with the announcement of the times for the championship games.

The private school title game will lead Championship Weekend, Friday, Dec. 13 at 2:30 p.m. The Class AAA (5:30 p.m.) and AAAAA (8:30 p.m.) games will follow. The public school championship will launch Saturday’s four-game lineup at 11:30 a.m., followed by AA (2:30 p.m.), AAAA (5:30 p.m.) and AAAAAA (8:30 p.m.).

PUBLIC

No. 9 Charlton County (6-4) at No. 8 Commerce …

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Class A Blog: First round brackets; Four intriguing match ups; Region breakdown

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here are the first round match ups, which will be played next Friday, Nov. 22. The brackets were finalized Wednesday afternoon, after several appeals were heard by the Georgia High Schools Association. None of the appeals impacted the seeding or the playoff brackets. Also, we take a quick look at four of the games, and give the region breakdown of the teams that made the cut.

PUBLIC

Upper Bracket

No. 1 Seminole County (Region 1 champion) vs No. 16 Wilkinson County

No. 8 Commerce vs. No. 9 Charlton County

No. 5 Johnson County vs. No. 12 Emanuel County Institute

No. 13 Trion vs. No. 4 Irwin County

No. 12 Emanuel County Institute (6-4) at No. 5 Johnson County (9-1). Johnson County walloped defending public school champion ECI 65-29 back on Oct. 28. Johnson County QB Markel Horne rushed for 330 yards and scored six touchdowns on 16 carries to lead the charge. At the time both teams were ranked in the top 10 – Johnson County at No. 5, ECI at No. …

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