Archive for the ‘3ABlog’ Category

Three girls teams remain unbeaten

There are still three unbeaten girls basketball teams in Class AAA: Beach, Washington County and Southwest Macon.

No. 2 Washington County (10-0) hammered Baldwin 71-53 in its first game back from the holidays. Nia Johnson scored 20 and Tiarra Wicker and Shon Kitchens each scored 14 in that game.  Washington County will get a test on Jan. 17 when it travels to Eastman to play No. 8 Dodge County.

No. 3 Beach (14-0) remains the powerhouse in Region 1-AAA.  Their most recent win was a 75-32 victory over Appling County in which three girls were in double figures: Erica Hicks with 15 point, Ilyn Spann with 13 points and DyManee Royal with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Beach has a return match with No. 6 Tattnall County on Jan. 17; Beach won the first game 59-54 in Reidsville. The Tattnall girls have won six straight games, including their own Christmas tournament. The Trojans are 9-3, with Kendra Green leading the way with 12.8 points and 8.7 rebounds. She is the only player in …

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Washington County plays pretty good basketball, too

The fact probably got lost in Washington County’s undefeated regular season and run to the state title game in football, but they play pretty good basketball in Sandersville, too. So far the gymnasium has been a House of Pain for opponents this year.

The Washington County girls have been particularly good. The Golden Hawks have won the first nine games of the season, including the Colquitt County Invitational.

The Golden Hawks beat Madison County of Florida, Fitzgerald and Brunswick, which entered the tournament finale with an undefeated record.  Shon Kitchens scored 21 points and Nia Johnson added 13 in the 68-66 win over Brunswick in the final game.

Washington County is led by Kitchens, who averages 18 points, and Daknequa White, who averages 12.1 points. Johnson averages 10.6 to give the Hawks three players in double figures.

Central Carroll girls win Christmas Classic

The Central Carroll girls won the Carroll Country Christmas Classic and stretched its season-opening …

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Dodge girls and other assorted hoops news

The Dodge County girls will be favored in the Brewton Parker College Christmas Tournament. The Indians are off to a 7-0 start, which includes three victories over Class AAAAA competition. Their best win was a 43-38 victory over Warner Robins. Dodge hasn’t played since Dec. 13, a 57-33 win over Jones County.

Dodge is led by 6-foot-2 Rachel Selph, a junior post who averages 14 points, 11 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. Junior Keyria  Gordon adds 10.2 points and six rebounds and senior guard Markesha McCloud adds 9.1 points per game.

Blue Jackets head to North Carolina: Savannah will play in the sixth annual Upward Classic at the Gaston Day School in Charlotte, N.C. The major regional tournament is Dec. 27-30. The Blue Jackets will open the tournament on Friday at 9 p.m. against Kennedy Charter of Charlotte.

Savannah (6-1) is coming off a 58-57 loss to Class AAAAAA Tift County in the Battle of the South. Branielus Ross scored 15 points, Jamal Norman added 11 and Chris Cokley tallied …

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Cedar Grove boys race to fast start

The Cedar Grove boys take an undefeated record and high expectations to Albany this weekend for the U-Save-It Tournament, which should provide the Saints with an idea of where they stand going into the second half of the season.

The Saints are 6-0 with impressive wins over St. Pius and Woodward Academy, the team teams that played for the Region 6-AAA title a year ago. Cedar Grove features a typical James Martin-coached team, one that plays hard on defense to the very end.

“We try to play hard and we try to play great defense,” the veteran coach said. “And everybody knows pretty much what’s going to happen when we walk in the gym.”

Cedar Grove’s top two returners are juniors Kenneth Lewis, who averages 15.2 points, and Christopher Frederick, who averages 8.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 2.2 assists. Fredrick is still rounding into shape after playing football.

The Saints also get contributions from sophomore Jacari Cross (10.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.2 …

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Savannah wins Round 1 vs. Johnson

The first round of the Class AAA heavyweight championship went to Savannah. The Blue Jackets won the first of two regular-season meetings against arch-rival Johnson on Saturday, 58-51.

UAB-commitment Chris Cokley, Branielus Ross and Jermaine Williams scored 14 points each, while Savannah State commit Jamal Norman scored 13 for Savannah (4-0). Johnson (5-2) was led by Antwan Maxwell with 16 points. Rico Bonds knocked down three 3-pointers and scored nine points for the Atom Smashers.

Johnson had a chance late. The Atom Smashers drew within a point with 31 seconds remaining, the Savannah made 6 of 8 free throws down the stretch to put the game away.

Last year the teams split four meetings. Savannah and Johnson each won a game during the regular season. Savannah won the Region 1-AAA tournament and Johnson won the state championship.

No dropoff for Dawson boys: The Dawson County boys lost most of its firepower from a year ago, but that hasn’t stopped the Tigers from getting off …

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Championship rehash: What we learned from title game

Here are just a few things that we learned from Friday’s state championship football game:

No. 1: No one knew how good the Buford defense really was, particularly against the run, until the last three weeks. It was hard to gauge because Buford was so much better than 90 percent of everyone on its schedule. But neither Carver nor Callaway nor Washington County was able put a dent in Buford’s run defense.

The size and athletic ability of Buford against the run was particularly evident against Washington County. The defensive line and linebackers suffocated any inside attempts and the quickness prevented Waco from hitting the corners. As a result, a Washington County team that entered the game with three 1,000-yard rushers wound up with a total for 42 yards. (Buford did a similar dance on Carver and Callaway the two previous weeks.)

No. 2: Korie Rogers is a tremendous talent and could be an impact player when he arrives at Clemson. Rogers is quick and strong and has a motor that …

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Hoops: Cartersville’s Tobin scores 1000th point

Corey Tobin, a senior at Cartersville, scored his 1,000th career point in last week’s 89-37 win over Cass.

Tobin scored the basket early in the first quarter. Officials stopped the game and presented him the game ball. Tobin went on to score 21 points.

The 6-foot-5 guard began his career at Woodland and was good enough to be named to the all-county team for two years. He transferred to Cartersville when his father, Mike Tobin, took over the program there. As a junior Tobin averaged 14.2 points and 4.7 assists and was named to the all-state team.

The Purple Hurricanes are expected to be among the contenders again this year in Class AAA.

Tougher schedule takes toll

Playing biggest schools is a great way for Class AAA teams to grow their skills and push their abilities. It can also be detrimental to their record, as some learned recently.

The Buford boys, playing without several of their football players, lost to Region 1-AAAAAA Tift County 65-56 in overtime. Buford’s Rakim …

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Icons Buford, Washington County finally meet

It’s hard to believe, but two of the most iconic high school football programs in Georgia have never met. That will change on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome when Buford and Washington County play for the Class AAA championship.

The dream matchup – No. 1 Buford (14-0) vs. No. 3 Washington County (13-0) – came about when both teams took care of their business on Friday night. Buford was taken to the limit by No. 5 Callaway before coming away with a 24-14 win, while Washington County ran over upstart Ringgold 37-0.

Now the two teams, which have combined to win 12 state championships and put nine players in the NFL, will get a chance to earn bragging rights. It promises to be a fun week for the online message boards.

Buford has won nine state championships and will be making its seventh straight appearance in the title game. The Wolves  have won 27 straight games on the field (tossing out two forfeits due to a clerical error) and beat St. Pius in the championship …

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Washington County ready for semifinal shootout

Who’s got the highest-scoring team in Class AAA? Raise your hand and give yourself a gold star if you guessed Washington County. The Golden Hawks are on a torrid pace as they prepare for Friday’s semifinal game against Ringgold at the House of Pain in Sandersville.

Washington County has scored 612 points in 12 games, all victories. The Hawks got cheated out of a game when a massive electrical storm prevented the completion of the season opener against Eagle’s Landing Christian.

That’s an average of 51 points per game and includes games of 62 against Swainsboro and Dodge County. The Hawks have averaged 52.6 points in their three playoff games.

“It’s all because of the extreme unselfishness on the part of the kids,” coach Joel Ingram said.

Washington County is led by junior quarterback A.J. Gray, who has passed for 1,500 yards, rushed for 1,200 yards and accounted for 38 touchdowns. Senior Melvin Hill has rushed for 1,600 yards and senior Danyale Wicker has added …

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Hoops: Don’t overlook St. Pius boys

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 …

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Buford, Washington Co. pass tests … Callaway, Ringgold next

No. 1 Buford and No. 3 Washington County have been on a collision course for the Georgia Dome since the playoff brackets were released. But Callaway and Ringgold are still alive and would like nothing more than to throw a wrench into those plans.

Buford (13-0) won the coin flip and will host No. 5 Callaway (12-1) in one semifinal, while Washington County (12-0) will host Ringgold (11-2) in the other. The winners will meet for the title at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 at the Georgia Dome.

Buford overpowered No. 4 Carver Columbus 36-6, while Callaway eliminated St. Pius 35-21. Washington County had a big second half and eliminated No. 10 Blessed Trinity, 46-17, while Ringgold avenged an earlier loss to Central Carroll with a 35-10 victory in a quarterfinal matchup between two unranked teams.

Buford 36, Carver Columbus 6: Few teams can commit four turnovers and a win a game. But Buford did it against Carver and beat the Tigers for the fourth straight time. The Wolves did it with defense, …

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Once again it’s Carver vs. Buford

It seems like Buford and Carver Columbus have been getting in the way of each other for quite some time. So it makes sense that two of the state’s most consistently good programs should meet again, this time in the Class AAA quarterfinals.

Both teams won region championships: Buford in Region 6, Carver in Region 2. And since both were No. 1 seeds, it took a coin flip to determine the site. Buford won, so the game will be at Tom Riden Stadium in Buford on Friday night.

This will be the fifth meeting between the two schools. Carver won the first time 14-0 during the 2010 regular season and went on to reach the semifinal round, losing to Calhoun. Buford recovered to win the state championship.

Buford won the regular-season rematch 35-7 in 2011, then met the Tigers again in the semifinals and beat them 28-13 in Columbus. In 2012 Buford beat Carver 31-7 in the quarterfinal round in Columbus en route to winning the state championship.

The best players on the field will be …

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Central Carroll, Ringgold crash the quarterfinal party … other big boys roll on

The Central Carroll Lions and Ringgold Tigers have been unranked and underappreciated all year. Now one of them is assured of a spot in the Class AAA semifinals.

Central went on the road and stunned No. 9 Appling County 46-13, while Ringgold stayed home and eliminated Cedar Grove 37-12. The two Cinderellas meet in the quarterfinals next week at a site to be determined. Central won a regular-season meeting between the two teams, 19-15, on Sept. 13 in Ringgold.

Central (10-2) seized the momentum early against Appling. The Lions scored on Curtis Davenport’s 33-yard run and then stunned the Pirates by implementing and recovering and onside kick. That turned into a field goal and the Central defense never allowed Appling to regain its footing. By halftime Central had a 32-7 lead and was making plans to swap films for the quartrerfinal. Central hasn’t reached the quarterfinal round since 1987.

Ringgold (10-2) last week won a playoff game for the first time in school history. …

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Will Cartersville, Carver dodge another bullet?

A couple of the state’s highly ranked teams flirted with disaster last week before they were able to escape. It’s unlikely that No. 2 Cartersville or No. 4 Carver will be able to wriggle off the hook as easily this week.

Cartersville (11-0) kept its season alive when West Hall missed a 41-yard field goal in the closing seconds, allowing the Hurricanes to sneak away with a 28-26 win. Carver (10-1) needed four overtimes and two missed extra points to overcome first-year playoff participant B.E.S.T. Academy 38-32.

This year the big boys can’t play fast and loose with their opponents in the second round. To do so would be a big mistake.

Cartersville plays St. Pius (8-3), which finished second in the state last year. The Golden Lions may be the most physical team that Cartersville has seen this year. St. Pius would love the use its powerful ground game to keep the ball out of the hands of Canes quarterback Brooks Barden.

Cartersville relied heavily on sophomore running back …

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Road to boys basketball title runs through Savannah — again

The Savannah boys basketball team didn’t quite finish the drill last year. The Blue Jackets reached the state championship game, but were tripped up by crosstown rival Johnson in the Class AAA final.

The roles may be reversed this year. Coach Tim Jordan’s team will be the team to beat this year. Savannah and Johnson split during the regular season and Savannah won the Region 1-AAA tournament. Johnson beat Savannah 61-51 in the state title game.

Savannah definitely has the horses coming back to make another run. The Blue Jackets have a pair of Div. I prospects back from last year’s 28-4 team: center Chris Cokley and guard Jamal Norman. Guard Jermaine Williams also returns for his junior season.

Cokley, a 6-foot-8 senior, was a first-team all-state selection last year when he averaged 13.6 points and 7.6 rebounds. Norman averaged 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.9 steals. Cokley has signed with Alabama-Birmingham, while Norman will play for Savannah …

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