Archive for the ‘AAA’ Category

AAA roundup: Woodward overcomes Westminster

By Score Atlanta

Blessed Trinity 30, White County 0: The Titans evened their record at 2-2 on the season after blanking White County. Quarterback Conor Davis recorded a touchdown with both his arm and his feet to lead the team. Milton Shelton had the biggest play of the night, scoring on a 75-yard run.

Cartersville 55, North Murray 15: Host Cartersville led 55-7 after three quarters. Quarterback Brooks Barden ran in a pair of scores in the first half and threw four touchdown passes in the third quarter. Mark Quattlebaum caught Cartersville’s final score on a 57-yard completion from Barden and scored a defensive touchdown in the first half.

Decatur 42, Clarkston 10: At the Decatur High Stadium, freshman wide out Dennis Bell’s first four varsity receptions, including two for touchdowns, led Decatur to its first 4-0 start since 2005. Clarkston took a 3-0 lead with 6:57 left in the first on junior Santino Jerke’s booming 55-yard field goal. But Decatur ran off six straight …

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Class AAA roundup

By Score Atlanta

Buford 63, Hancock Central 0: Hancock Central completed a 68-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage, but that was basically all the visitors could muster. Despite the big play, Hancock Central netted just 43 yards of total offense. Montgomery VanGorder and Tre’ Neal each threw a touchdown pass, and Evyn Cooper returned a Hancock Central punt for a touchdown for the Wolves.

Cartersville 41, Rockmart 0: Visiting Cartersville scored on its first offensive possession with a 41-yard Brandon Long touchdown. Long added another touchdown in the opening quarter with a 68-yard run. Cartersville quarterback Brooks Barden threw two touchdowns to Gordon Gray and four total in the opening half to give the Hurricanes a 41-0 lead at the half.

Decatur 14, Greenville 7: At Greenville’s Coverson Stadium, fullback Nick Bentley spurted four yards untouched through a gaping left-side opening with 4:01 left to give Decatur its victory. Bentley’s touchdown culminated a 16-play, …

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Class AAA football roundup

Decatur 47, Therrell 12: At Grady Stadium, the Bulldogs earned their first 2-0 start since 2010. On Decatur’s very first play senior fullback/linebacker Nick Bentley dashed 86 yards for a touchdown, the Bulldogs eventually building a 40-0 halftime lead. Bentley finished with 103 yards total on five carries, all in the first half, scoring three touchdowns, two rushing and another on defense after a recovering a fumble. The loss was Therrell’s 17th in row dating to Sept. 29, 2011.

By Bill Banks, for Score Atlanta/AJC

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Class AAA football roundup

By Score Atlanta

Class AAA

B.E.S.T. Academy 48, Cross Keys 0: Visiting B.E.S.T. Academy held Cross Keys scoreless in the first half with a 21-0 lead. The Eagles’ defense kept Cross Keys in check by holding the Indians to less than 50 yards on the ground.

Buford 46, Elbert County 7: Six different players found the endzone for host Buford. In the first quarter, Josh Thomas scored on a 13-yard score and Donte’ Gordon added a 5-yard touchdown run to close the first quarter. Thomas Wilson scored a 6-yard touchdown in the second quarter, and the Wolves’ defense forced an Elbert County safety. Matthew Bonadies added a 28-yard field goal to make it 26-0. Sophomore Isaac Notta caught a 15-yard pass from Taylor Mitchell and Steven Reece caught a 45-yard pass from Montgomery VanGorder. Evan Cooper scored Buford’s final touchdown on a 52-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Jackson-Atlanta 40, Therrell 6: Quarterback Keenan Moore connected with wide receiver Quintavious Monday on touchdown …

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Maxwell Ratings’ preseason projections: Class AAA

Below are the Maxwell Ratings’ projected finish and record (overall and region) for each team in Class AAA.

Remember that the only data used is related to a team’s past performance. The computer does not take into account personnel and coaching changes from season to season.













Appling County








Pierce County








Tattnall County








Johnson (Sav.)
























SE Bulloch








Brantley Co.









Carver (Col.)








Peach County



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Profiles of new head coaches: A look at Class AAA

Number of hires: 16

Best hire: Ken Eldridge, Swainsboro

Hardest to replace: Dell McGee, Carver (Columbus)

Best job: Carver (Columbus)

Toughest job: Towers

Most interesting: Dell McGee, who led Carver of Columbus to seven region championships and one state title in his eight seasons, joined the staff at Auburn and was replaced by his offensive coordinator, Joe Kegler.

Region 1

*Johnson of Savannah promoted defensive coordinator Thomas Tedder to replace Jamie Baldwin, who resigned after leading the team to its first playoff victory in school history in 2012. Tedder was an assistant for state championship teams at Charlotte’s Independence High in 2003-05 that featured Joe Cox, Mohamed Massaquoi and Hakeem Nicks. He also was coach at West Port in Ocala, Fla., for two seasons. Baldwin, whose four-year record at Johnson was 15-27, said he planned to remain at the school as a teacher.

Region 2

*Carver of Columbus promoted offensive coordinator Joseph Kegler to replace Dell McGee, who …

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Preseason all-state: AAA features deep, talented class

Three of the state’s top 15 college prospects for the 2014 recruiting year are in Class AAA, according to 247Sports’ Composite Rankings.

Each made GHSF Daily’s preseason all-state team, all on defense. They are No. 11 Korie Rogers of Buford (committed to Clemson), No. 13 Nick Ruffin of St. Pius (Auburn) and No. 15 Bryson Allen-Williams (South Carolina).

Woodward Academy quarterback Terry Googer, rated No. 28, is on the offense listed as an athlete. He is projected as a receiver in college.

Class AAA also has two of the top-five juniors in Georgia in Callaway CB/WR Terry Godwin and Caver of Columbus DE Mehki Brown.

And Class AAA is deep at quarterback. The nod went to Cartersville QB Brooks Barden (2,872 yards passing) ahead of several highly recruited players that include Tyler Harris of Pierce County, Tez Parks of Callaway and Greg Williams of Peach County.


QB – Brooks Barden, Cartersville, Sr.

RB – Kawon Bryant, North Oconee, Jr.

RB – Trey Dillard, Savannah, Sr.

RB – …

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Star Savannah player injured in quarterfinal win, questionable for Buford game

Chris Cokley, the leading scorer and rebounder for Savannah’s second-ranked boys basketball team in Class AAA, is questionable for the semifinals against top-ranked Buford after being knocked unconscious in Wednesday’s game, the Savannah Morning News reported.

After getting a rebound, Cokely fell to the floor and hit his head in the first quarter of Savannah’s 61-57 victory over Washington County. He was unconscious, face down for several minutes, the newspaper reported. He later walked off the court but did not return to the game and was hospitalized for a CAT scan.

“From what I saw, he got undercut and then hit his head,” teammate Jovante Spivey told the newspaper. “I saw his eyes rolling back and he was fidgeting and twitching. I wanted to break down right then, but I knew I had to stay strong for the team.”

Messages to coach Tim Jordan’s cell phone could not be sent Thursday morning because his mailbox was full.

The Savannah-Buford game will be played at Armstrong Atlantic …

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Carver football coach McGee takes job at Auburn

Dell McGee, the former Auburn football player who turned Carver of Columbus into a state football power, is returning to his college alma mater to be part of Auburn’s football support staff, according to several media reports.

McGee, 39, reportedly was hired by new Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. Auburn has not announced the hire.

“I’m very grateful for the years I spent at Carver,” McGee told David Mitchell of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.  “And I’m grateful for the opportunity Coach Malzahn has given me here.”

A graduate of Kendrick High in Columbus and former NFL defensive back, McGee  arrived at Carver in 2005, when the school had not had a winning football season since 1995 or a state-playoff victory since 1987.

After a 3-7 start in his initial season, McGee led Carver to seven straight seasons of at least 11 victories. The run included a Class AAA championship in 2007.

In 2012, Carver had 33 of its former players on college football rosters, including Georgia All-America …

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AAA boys: Buford 61, Cedar Grove 43

When the first-round pairings for the state tournament were announced, the No. 1-ranked Buford boys knew their opponent wasn’t going to be the typical pushover that a top-seeded team sees in the opener.

Buford, the Region 7-AAA champion, had to open the tournament against Cedar Grove, a team that was ranked as high as seventh in the state a month ago.

“We wrote it on the board. This was not a typical No. 4 seed,” said Buford coach Allen Whitehart. “They had a letdown in the region tournament and lost a couple of games. Our kids were aware of the situation.”

The properly prepared Wolves broke free midway in the first quarter, using a 12-2 run to set the pace as they rolled to a 61-43 win over Cedar Grove. Buford improved to 23-6.

The difference was the defense. Buford was able to physically impose itself on Cedar Grove, with Kyle Doyle grabbing rebounds and knocking away passes and shots. Point guard Isaiah Williams didn’t have much trouble against the Cedar Grove pressure and …

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AAA odds: Computer sees Buford as boys, girls teams to beat

Here are the Maxwell Ratings’ computer-generated odds of winning the state championship for each of the 64 Class AAA boys and girls playoff teams.

Maxwell’s simulations point to a boys and girls sweep by Buford, with the boys winning 18.8 of 100 trials and the girls winning 48.4 of 100. Washington County also has a fair shot at a sweep, with the boys winning 15.86 of 100 and the girls winning 12.85 of 100.

The odds are based on team strength, but also the difficulty of each team’s draw.

Here’s a definition of terms:

Rating = Strength of the team.

Draw = Strength of opponents this team might face. (Low number means a favorable draw.)

Wins=Number of times team would win out championship in 100 tries.

Odds = Chances of this team winning the title.

Here are the odds for other classifications:







1. Buford Rating: 84.76 Draw: 74.42 Wins: 18.8 Odds: 4.32

2. Washington County Rating: 84.35 Draw: 74.67 Wins: 15.86 Odds: 5.3

3. Thomson Rating: 81.42 Draw: …

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Basketball: First-round playoff games in all classifications

First-round matchups are unofficial. If you notice errors, please point them out.

Girls first-round games will be played Tuesday. Boys first-round games will be played Wednesday. Schools that have home games for both their boys and girls teams may schedule double-headers, putting both games on Tuesday or Wednesday, if the opposing schools agree.



(R3-#4) Douglas County at (R2-#1) Druid Hills

(R4-#3) Campbell at (R1-#2) Brunswick

(R2-#4) Luella at (R3-#1) Tri-Cities

(R1-#3) Valdosta at (R4-#2) Hillgrove

(R5-#4) Walton at (R8-#1) Shiloh

(R6-#3) Centennial at (R7-#2) Peachtree Ridge

(R8-#4) Dacula at (R5-#1) Wheeler

(R7-#3) Meadowcreek at (R6-#2) Chattahoochee

(R4-#4) McEachern at (R1-#1) Tift County

(R3-#3) Westlake at (R2-#2) Rockdale County

(R1-#4) Coffee at (R4-#1) North Cobb

(R2-#3) Morrow at (R3-#2) Newnan

(R6-#4) Lambert at (R7-#1) Norcross

(R5-#3) Cherokee at (R8-#2) Archer

(R7-#4) Collins Hill at (R6-#1) Alpharetta

(R8-#3) Berkmar (R5-#2) Roswell


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Region 6-AAA boys: Woodward 46, St. Pius 41

The Woodward Academy boys made only one basket in the fourth quarter, but it was a strong defensive effort that made the difference at the end.

No. 8 Woodward Academy won its first region title since the 1996-97 season, when current coach Anthony Thomas played on the team as junior. The War Eagles turned back St. Pius 46-41 in the final of the Region 6-AAA championship game Friday at Decatur High School.

Woodward (23-5) led 37-27 after an 8-1 run, but Pius clawed its way back into the game and drew to within two points at 41-38 when Nick Harris converted a three-point play with 2:11 left. But Woodward’s cool guard Benji Russell came down and answered with a basket to stop the momentum and allow the War Eagles to prevail.

“That changed the momentum of the game. It changed it up,” Russell said. “This was a huge for our school and huge for us. I’m a senior and I had to step up.”

Russell finished with eight points. Woodward got 11 from Christian Harrison. St. Pius was led by …

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Region 6-AAA girls: St. Pius 51, Decatur 35

Before the Region 6-AAA girls championship game, St. Pius coach Kyle Snipes wore a worried look. His Golden Lions had seemed a step slow in the semifinals the previous night and were preparing to play a team they had already beaten twice.

It took no time for those concerns to be allayed. St. Pius scored the first 12 points of the game and easily went on to beat Decatur 51-35 to win the region title.

“At the walk-through they came in with a more business-like approach and it carried into the game,” said Snipes, whose team had already beaten Decatur by 13 and 14 points during the regular season. “This validates their hard work.”

The No. 3-ranked Golden Lions (25-3) got a tremendous offensive effort from Jasmine Carter, who scored 24 points, including four 3-pointers. Asia Durr added 13 points, including a buzzer-beater from well past midcourt to end the first half.

But Durr’s main contribution was on defense, where she spearheaded the effort to stop Decatur standout Jordan …

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Report: Kaela Davis treated for inner-ear disease

Kaela Davis, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball signee who left her Buford high school team last week, is being treated for an inner-ear disease that causes hearing loss and vertigo, according to a report by ESPN.

Buford has Meniere’s disease and has lost 90 percent of her hearing in her left ear.

“Now we’re concerned about her other ear,” her father, former NBA player Antonio Davis, told ESPN’s Walter Villa. “This is something we’ve never discussed publicly before. We don’t want pity for our daughter. But we felt it was something we had to address now because of the decision to pull her from the team.”

The decision to take Davis off the team was her parents’ decision, according to the story. Davis suffers from spells of dizziness and nausea, her father said.

“Her health is the most important thing,” Antonio Davis said. “I don’t want her to deal with this for the rest of her life. This is something we need to address now.”

Davis helped lead Norcross to a state championship in …

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