Category Archives: GHSA Basketball

Freshman of the Year Jacques Holmes to put Clinch County on the Map

Sophomore Jacques Holmes quietly turned heads as a freshman at Clinch County High School in south Georgia. Clinch County, home of less than 500 students and a part of the Class A-Public field, hasn’t won a state championship in basketball since the years of 1987 and 1989. A program that hasn’t seen that type of success in years, the Panthers aren’t one of the most publicized programs in the state, but after a freshman season which saw Holmes average 13.7 points per game and lead the Panthers in scoring, the playmaking guard hopes to put Clinch County back on the map.

Holmes was named HoopSeen Class-A Freshman of the Year after his play helped the Panthers increase their win total by four games and finish the season 9-11. For those who haven’t heard of Holmes yet or don’t know his style of play, Jacques or his nickname pronounced “Joc”, gave me the inside scoop.

“I like to push the tempo and penetrate the defense and get my big men open. I like to reward my big men for running. I pass a lot, but I’m a pretty good shooter,” explained Holmes. “I’m really an all-around player.”

To build on his rookie season success, Holmes stayed in the gym to fine tune his game.

“I played AAU. I did a lot of staying after school doing drills, just constantly working.”

Playing for a team out of Brunswick called Elite, Jacques is ready to translate his summer circuit progress into the high school season. Recalling how he felt about being named the Freshman of the Year, Holmes said, “It wasn’t really a surprise, but it was kind of. Coming in as a freshman I didn’t think I was going to start or get the minutes that I got, but I worked hard.”

Panthers On The Prowl

With its leading scorer another year older with a full-year of playing experience under his belt, Clinch County has high expectations this season to compete for a top seed in the region tournament and scrap for a state playoff berth. Holmes says that the team has put an emphasis on improving their defense and feels like their blend of size and speed can give opposing teams trouble.

Junior Jerrod Jones will be one of Clinch County’s leading scorers to compliment Holmes’ abilities. He averaged over 10 points and 6 rebounds a game while handing out nearly 3 assists per night.

“He’s a pretty good player. He’s very unselfish,” said Holmes of his teammate.

In the halfcourt offense, Holmes and Jones should thrive in Coach Terrence George’s five-out pass-and-cut offense. The constant movement and ball-screens allow Holmes to drive and dish or finish at the basket.

Hitting The Headlines

Playing at such a small school, I wondered what it was like and if it is difficult to get noticed by college scouts.

“It is kind of. If you’re not playing AAU down here or if you’re not getting out of the city to play ball, you can get recognized, but you got to be a great player.”

One great player that Jacques looks forward to matching up with is Tamarrion Terry of the defending three-time Region 2-A champion, Turner County (25-4, 16-0). At his forward position, Terry garnered All-State Honorable Mention after averaging 17.1 points and 11.5 rebounds per contest.

“I just watch film on him a lot…If we can just play good perimeter defense, him being 6’4”, it’s pretty hard to stop him, he’s pretty quick, but if we just play good perimeter defense on him we’ll be okay.”

Becoming A Leader

Coach George has taken the young Holmes under his wing and has helped mold him into the player he is now becoming.

“He’s taught me a lot of things. The main thing he’s taught me is how to deal with certain situations, game situations,” he said.

One part of the growing process has been being able to keep a level head during the rebuilding process that Clinch County has been undergoing. It has been a fight for the Panthers to reach .500.

“I get frustrated a little bit, but I know I can’t be frustrated. I know being the best player on the team I have to motivate my guys to just get better at the next practice and next game. Just go out and be better.”

Leadership is something he has taken serious and wants to improve on over the next three years of his career.

“I’m going to be a bigger leader this year; I should have been last year, but I didn’t know everything that I know now. I plan on being the biggest leader I can be.”

Experience Reigns as Miller Grove Storms Past East Jackson


5ANo. 1 Miller Grove 94,  3ANo. 4 East Jackson 68

*Contributed by Colin Hubbard (@__Chubs__)

HOSCHTON — The No. 1 Miller Grove Wolverines made the 72-mile trip up I-85 to take on the No. 4 East Jackson Eagles in a scrimmage that had everyone around the state of Georgia buzzing.

The Eagles had a very tough task coming into the game, but they weren’t going to let that get to them.

The  Wolverines had won six consecutive state titles before falling in the quarterfinals to Warner Robins last season, but the Eagles have built one of the best backcourts in the state led by sophomores Drue Drinnon, Travis Anderson II and Lamont Smith.

New addition Travis Anderson
New addition Travis Anderson

East Jackson head coach David Boyd is no stranger to top competition after leading Milton High School to several state title games in the last few years and has quickly turned East Jackson into an unlikely high school basketball powerhouse on the rise.

Miller Grove on the other hand was looking forward to taking on a team built on tempo and was excited to see how they would be able to handle a hostile road environment.

Things didn’t start off great for the high flying Eagles as they found themselves in 5-0 hole after three turnovers.

The Wolverines extended their lead to 14-7 with 3:56 remaining in the first quarter, but Anderson and the Eagles would not go away.

Anderson drained two three pointers late in the first quarter to cut the lead to 21-17 heading into the second quarter.

Midway through the second quarter, the Wolverines built a 10-point lead after an Alterique Gilbert three-pointer, but Drinnon answered back with a three of his own.

Drue Drinnon streaking past Aaron Augustin
Drue Drinnon streaking past Aaron Augustin

The Eagles matched the Wolverines shot-for-shot from that point on and trailed Miller Grove 44-37 at halftime.

Gilbert led all scorers with 14 points at the break while Drinnon and Anderson each had 13, respectively.

Anderson nailed a three-pointer to start the third quarter to cut the lead to just four points, but the Wolverines answered with a three of their own to bring the lead back to seven points, 47-40.

Miller Grove extended their lead to nine after a quick layup, but back-to-back Drinnon field-goals cut the lead back to six points midway through the third quarter.

After Drinnon split a pair of free throws, Miller Grove’s advantage was at five, but that would be the closest the Eagles would get the rest of the way.

Miller Grove's size inside hurt the Eagles
Miller Grove’s size inside hurt the Eagles

Miller Grove went on a 9-2 run to give the Wolverines a 58-42 lead that would eventually settle at 69-55 entering the final frame.

The experienced Wolverines wore down East Jackson and outscored the Eagles 25-13 in the fourth quarter en route to a 94-68 victory.

Post-Game Thoughts:

The story of the night was rebounds and turnovers. The Wolverines out-hustled and out-rebounded the Eagles all game long.

Despite 42 percent shooting from the field for East Jackson, the Eagles turned the ball over 22 times and managed just 28 rebounds on the night.

“Our rebounding has got to improve tremendously moving forward and we have to grow up fast because we’re young but I thought we competed well, especially in the first half and didn’t quit so I’m pleased with the effort,” Boyd said.

“We hope to get into a transition game and pick up the pace during games but the way you do that is great defense so there is a lot of work for us to do on the defensive side.”

East Jackson’s top three scorers were all sophomores and now have just one game under their belt as teammates.

Both Drinnon and Anderson praised one another for what they can bring to the table which has both players extremely excited to see where they can go.

“We don’t both have to score and I’m able to take some of the pressure he had last year off and make it easier for each of us to play better,” Anderson said.

“I’m really happy to have Travis here this year,” Drinnon said. “It’s just another scorer to work with and help me play better as well.”

Turning Point: After a great first half by both teams, the Eagles were unable to keep up with the Wolverines in the second half. East Jackson was outscored 50-31 in the second half despite shooting 44 percent from the field.

Colin’s Take: It’s safe to say that both teams will be extremely successful this season. East Jackson has an extremely loaded back court with three to four players who can all score 20 plus points a game, but none of that will matter unless they can take care of the ball and crash the boards. Coach David Boyd, Drue Drinnon and Travis Anderson all made it a point of emphasis to improve their rebounding in the coming weeks. Miller Grove on the other hand has a very balanced team. UConn-commit Alterique Gilbert is the leader of the team and will need to put the team on his back at times, especially on offense. There is a reason why the Wolverines had won six consecutive state titles. Look for them to be in the mix for another one this year.

Top Performers:

Miller Grove
Alterique Gilbert – 24 points
Tae Hardy – 17 points
Aaron Augustin – 14 points, 7 assists, 5 steals
Colin Young – 12 points, 10 rebounds

East Jackson
Drue Drinnon – 27 points (9-20 FG)
Travis Anderson – 21 points (4-8 3PT)
Lamont Smith – 10 points

 

GHSA Master Schedule of Must See Games

 

                                              November
11/14 – No. 5 SWAC1A vs. No. 8 Heritage-Conyers5A (SWD Showdown II)
11/14 – No. 8 Henry County4A vs. No. 9 Jones County5A (SWD Showdown II)
11/14 – Tucker6A at No. 10 Cedar Shoals5A
11/17 – No. 9 Lakeview Academy1A at No. 4 GAC2A
11/17 – No. 6 Holy Innocents’2A at Riverwood5A
11/20 – No. 10 Rabun County2A at Dawson County3A
11/20 – North Atlanta5A at No. 10 South Atlanta3A
11/20 – No. 10 Columbia4A at No. 1 Lithonia4A
11/21 – Westminster3A vs. No. 5 Sandy Creek4A
11/21 – Cedar Grove3A at No. 2 St. Francis1A
11/21 – Buford4A at Tift County6A
11/21 – No. 8 Henry County4A at No. 9 Newton6A
11/21 – No. 8 Berkmar6A vs. No. 8 Heritage-Conyers5A (Run N’ Shoot Classic)

11/21 – Langston Hughes6A vs. Alpharetta6A

11/21 – No. 1 Greenforest1A vs. Peachtree Ridge6A (Jared Cook Classic)
11/21 – Sequoyah5A vs. Dacula6A (Jared Cook Classic)
11/23 – Buford4A vs. Sequoyah5A (Jared Cook Classic)
11/23 – No. 9 Lakeview Academy1A vs. Stephens County4A (Piedmont College Classic)
11/24 – No. 2 St. Francis1A vs. No. 3 Gainesville5A (Jared Cook Classic)
11/24 – No. 8 Berkmar6A vs. Duluth6A (Jared Cook Classic)
11/24 – No. 4 Whitefield Academy1A vs. Hillgrove6A (Thanksgiving Showcase)
11/24 – No. 4 East Jackson3A at No. 3 Westlake6A
11/24 – No. 7 Warner Robins5A at Perry4A
11/24 – Americus-Sumter4A at No. 4 Allatoona5A
11/24 – No. 6 LaGrange5A at Mundy’s Mill5A
11/27 – No. 2 Jonesboro4A vs. No. 2 Norcross6A
11/27 –No. 2 McIntosh5A vs. Douglas County6A (Holiday Hoopsgiving)
11/27 – No. 6 Holy Innocents’2A vs. Duluth6A (Holiday Hoopsgiving)
11/27 –No. 1 Greenforest1A vs. No. 6 Pebblebrook6A (Holiday Hoopsgiving)
11/28 – No. 2 Norcross6A vs. No. 1 Greenforest1A (Holiday Hoopsgiving)
11/28 – No. 3 Westlake6A vs. No. 2 Pace Academy2A (Holiday Hoopsgiving)
11/28 – Langston Hughes6A at No. 10 Lambert6A (On the Radar Hoops Showcase)
11/28 – Douglas County6A vs. Dacula6A (On the Radar Hoops Showcase)
11/28 – No. 8 Berkmar6A vs. No. 9 Newton6A (On the Radar Hoops Showcase)
11/28 – No. 1 Shiloh6A vs. No. 6 Pebblebrook6A (On the Radar Hoops Showcase)
11/28 – No. 4 East Jackson3A vs. Grayson6A (On the Radar Hoops Showcase)
11/28 – No. 2 St. Francis1A at No. 5 Milton6A (Dai-Jon Parker Classic)
11/28 – No. 1 Lithonia4A vs. No. 3 Morgan County3A (Hardwood Jam Fest)
11/28 – Cairo4A at No. 5 Thomasville2A
11/28 – Riverwood5A at No. 6 Blessed Trinity3A
 
                                                December
12/1 – No. 2 Hancock Central2A at No. 3 Crawford County2A
12/1 – No. 2 McIntosh5A at Mundy’s Mill5A
12/1 – No. 6 Holy Innocents’2A at No. 5 SWAC1A
12/1 – No. 4 Whitefield Academy2A at Houston County5A
12/1 – No. 6 St. Pius4A at No. 9 Grady4A
12/1 – Richmond Hill5A at No. 3 Liberty County4A
12/1 – Dawson County3A at No. 10 Rabun County2A
12/1 – No. 8 Vidalia2A at No. 9 Swainsboro2A
12/1 – No. 3 Gainesville5A at No. 8 Heritage-Conyers5A
12/4 – No. 7 Warner Robins5A at Tift County6A
12/4 – South Paulding5A at No. 4 Allatoona5A
12/4 – No. 7 Callaway3A at No. 7 Greenville1A
12/4 – No. 2 St. Francis1A at No. 4 Whitefield Academy2A
12/4 – No. 8 Stratford Academy1A at Northside-Warner Robins5A
12/4 – No. 2 Hancock Central1A at No. 4 Wilkinson County1A
12/4 – No. 7 St. Anne-Pacelli1A at No. 8 Dooly County1A
12/4 – No. 4 Bainbridge4A at No. 1 Seminole County2A
12/4 – No. 4 GAC2A at No. 6 Holy Innocents’2A
12/4 – No. 3 Morgan County3A at No. 1 Laney3A
12/4 – No. 6 Blessed Trinity3A at No. 10 South Atlanta3A
12/4 – No. 9 Central-Macon3A at Westside-Macon3A
12/4 – No. 10 Columbia4A at No. 6 St. Pius4A
12/5 – Duluth6A at No. 9 Newton6A
12/5 – No. 6 Pebblebrook6A vs. No. 2 St. Francis1A(Basketball Xplosion)
12/5 – Buford4A at No. 3 Morgan County3A
12/5 – No. 1 Greenforest1A vs. No. 2 Pace Academy2A (Basketball Xplosion)
12/5 – No. 3 North Cobb Christian1A at No. 6 Landmark Christian1A
12/5 – No. 9 Grady4A at No. 4 Whitefield Academy1A
12/5 – Mt. Vernon Presbyterian1A at No. 8 Stratford Academy1A
12/5 – No. 1 Calhoun County1A at No. 7 Early County2A
12/5 – No. 2 Hancock Central1A at Greene County2A
12/5 – Southwest DeKalb5A at No. 1 Miller Grove5A
12/8 – No. 3 Gainesville5A at No. 10 Cedar Shoals5A
12/8 – Buford4A at No. 2 St. Francis1A
12/8 – No. 2 Norcross6A at No. 7 Collins Hill6A
12/8 – Georgia Military1A at No. 4 Wilkinson County1A
12/8 – No. 4 GAC2A at No. 2 Pace Academy2A
12/8 – No. 10 Rabun County2A at Stephens County4A
12/8 – No. 3 Morgan County3A at No. 4 East Jackson3A
12/8 – Dawson County3A at No. 8 East Hall3A
12/8 – Cedar Grove3A at No. 10 South Atlanta3A
12/8 – No. 7 Greenville1A at No. 8 Dooly County1A
12/8 – No. 6 Pebblebrook6A at Langston Hughes6A
12/11 – Douglas County6A at Langston Hughes6A
12/11 – No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy1A at No. 7 St. Anne-Pacelli1A
12/11 – Banks County3A at No. 8 East Hall3A
12/11 – Northside-Warner Robins5A at No. 9 Central-Macon3A
12/11 – No. 4 Bainbridge4A at Westover4A
12/11 – No. 9 Grady4A at No. 1 Lithonia4A
12/12 – No. 1 Lithonia4A at No. 6 St. Pius4A
12/12 – No. 7 Worth County4A at No. 4 Bainbridge4A
12/12 – No. 8 Henry County4A at No. 8 East Hall3A
12/12 – No. 2 Jenkins3A vs. No. 8 Berkmar6A (Valhalla Classic)
12/12 – No. 6 LaGrange5A at No. 7 Callaway3A
12/12 – No. 1 Calhoun County1A at No. 6 Randolph-Clay1A
12/15 – No. 7 Early County2A at No. 1 Seminole County2A
12/15 – No. 9 Newton6A at Tucker6A
12/15 – No. 7 Callaway3A at No. 6 LaGrange5A
12/15 – No. 6 Pebblebrook6A at Douglas County6A
12/18 – Apalachee5A at No. 8 Heritage-Conyers5A
12/18 – Stephens County4A at No. 10 Rabun County2A
12/18 – No. 6 Landmark Christian1A at No. 7 St. Anne-Pacelli1A
12/18 – No. 8 Dooly County1A at No. 1 Calhoun County1A
12/18 – No. 5 Turner County1A at No. 7 Greenville1A
12/18 – No. 3 Treutlen1A at No. 9 Portal1A
12/18 – No. 2 Hancock Central1A at Thomson4A
12/19 – No. 5 Thomasville2A at No. 4 Bainbridge4A
12/19 – No. 7 Greenville1A at No. 1 Calhoun County1A
12/19 – No. 5 SWAC1A at No. 2 St. Francis1A
12/19 – No. 6 Blessed Trinity3A vs. South Paulding5A
12/19 – No. 2 McIntosh5A at No. 5 Sandy Creek4A
12/19 – No. 10 Cedar Shoals5A vs. No. 9 Newton6A (Classic City Shootout)
12/19 – McEachern6A vs. Dacula6A (SEBA Hoopfest)
12/21 – No. 10 South Atlanta3A vs. No. 6 LaGrange5A (War Eagle Classic)
12/22 – No. 10 South Atlanta3A vs. Buford4A (War Eagles Classic)
12/22 – No. 1 Calhoun County1A at No. 1 Seminole County2A
12/22 – No. 8 Dooly County1A at No. 8 Stratford Academy1A
12/22 – No. 4 GAC2A at No. 6 St. Pius4A
12/22 – Northside-Warner Robins5A at No. 3 Crawford County2A
12/28 – No. 2 Jenkins3A vs. Buford4A (Grayson Ram Classic)
12/29 – No. 6 Randolph-Clay1A at No. 8 Dooly County1A
12/29 – Thomson4A at No. 1 Laney3A
12/30 – No. 2 Jenkins3A vs. Kennesaw Mountain6A (Grayson Ram Classic)
12/30 – Perry4A at No. 8 Dooly County1A
 
                                               January
1/2 – Taylor County1A at No. 3 Crawford County2A
1/2 – No. 7 Early County2A at No. 1 Calhoun County1A
1/2 – No. 7 Callaway3A at Harris County5A
1/5 – No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy1A at No. 4 Wilkinson County1A
1/5 – No. 4 Bainbridge4A at No. 5 Thomasville2A
1/5 – No. 2 Pace Academy2A at No. 6 Holy Innocents’2A
1/5 – No. 5 Thomasville2A at No. 4 Bainbridge4A
1/5 – Westover4A at No. 7 Worth County4A
1/5 – No. 7 Collins Hill6A at Duluth6A
1/5 – Douglas County6A at No. 3 Westlake6A
1/6 – Douglas County6A at No. 6 Pebblebrook6A
1/8 – Langston Hughes6A at No. 3 Westlake6A
1/8 – No. 5 SWAC1A at No. 1 Greenforest1A
1/8 – No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy1A at No. 8 Stratford Academy1A
1/8 – No. 10 Terrell County1A at No. 1 Calhoun County1A
1/8 – No. 5 Thomasville2A at No. 7 Early County2A
1/8 – Bryan County2A at No. 8 Vidalia2A
1/8 – Westminster3A at No. 6 Blessed Trinity3A
1/9 – No. 1 Laney3A at No. 3 Morgan County3A
1/9 – No. 5 Thomasville2A at No. 1 Seminole County2A
1/9 – No. 3 Crawford County2A at Taylor County1A
1/9 – No. 1 Calhoun County1A at No. 5 Turner County1A
1/9 – No. 4 Whitefield Academy1A at No. 6 Landmark Christian1A
1/9 – No. 2 Jonesboro4A at No. 8 Henry County4A
1/9 – North Atlanta5A at No. 9 Grady4A
1/9 – No. 4 Wilkinson County1A at No. 2 Hancock Central1A
1/9 – No. 4 Wheeler6A at No. 5 Milton6A
1/9 – No. 6 LaGrange5A at Carver-Columbus5A
1/12 – No. 1 Seminole County2A at No. 4 Bainbridge4A
1/12 – Cedar Grove3A at No. 6 Blessed Trinity3A
1/12 – Westside-Macon3A at No. 9 Central-Macon3A
1/12 – No. 1 Lithonia4A at. No. 10 Columbia4A
1/12 – No. 1 Seminole County2A at No. 4 Bainbridge4A
1/12 – No. 3 Liberty County4A at Richmond Hill5A
1/12 – No. 3 Westlake6A at No. 6 Pebblebrook6A
1/12 – No. 1 Shiloh6A at No. 8 Berkmar6A
1/15 – No. 9 Grady4A at No. 6 St. Pius4A
1/15 – No. 6 Holy Innocents’2A at No. 4 GAC2A
1/15 – No. 4 East Jackson3A at No. 3 Morgan County3A
1/15 – No. 4 Allatoona5A at South Paulding5A
1/15 – No. 10 Cedar Shoals5A at No. 8 Heritage-Conyers5A
1/16 – No. 6 Blessed Trinity3A at No. 6 St. Pius4A
1/16 – No. 3 Crawford County2A at Northside-Warner Robins5A
1/16 – Tift County6A at Buford4A
1/16 – Greene County2A at No. 10 Rabun County2A
1/16 – North Cobb6A at No. 3 North Cobb Christian2A
1/16 – No. 8 Dooly County1A at No. 7 St. Anne-Pacelli1A
1/16 – No. 1 Shiloh6A at Dacula6A
1/18 – No. 1 Greenforest1A vs. No. 10 South Atlanta3A (BCB MLK Classic)
1/18 – No. 5 Calhoun3A vs. Buford4A (BCB MLK Classic)
1/18 – No. 3 Westlake6A vs. Columbia4A (BCB MLK Classic)
1/18 – Sequoyah5A vs. No. 8 Berkmar6A (BCB MLK Classic)
1/18 – No. 9 Grady4A vs. North Atlanta5A
1/19 – No. 7 Collins Hill6A at No. 2 Norcross6A
1/19 – No. 6 LaGrange5A at Northside-Columbus5A
1/19 – No. 6 St. Pius4A at No. 10 Columbia4A
1/19 – No. 7 Worth County4A at Westover4A
1/19 – No. 7 Callaway3A at Rockmart3A
1/19 – No. 4 Whitefield Academy1A at No. 2 St. Francis1A
1/19 – No. 2 Hancock Central1A at Aquinas1A
1/19 – Hebron Christian1A at No. 9 Lakeview Academy1A
1/19 – No. 2 Pace Academy2A at No. 4 GAC2A
1/19 – No. 8 East Hall3A at Banks County3A
1/22 – No. 4 Wilkinson County1A at No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy1A
1/22 – No. 8 Dooly County1A at No. 7 Greenville1A
1/22 – No. 2 Jenkins3A at Johnson-Savannah3A
1/22 – No. 9 Jones County5A vs. Houston County5A
1/22 – Langston Hughes6A at No. 6 Pebblebrook6A
1/23 – No. 1 Lithonia4A at No. 1 Miller Grove5A
1/23 – No. 1 Calhoun County1A vs. No. 3 Treutlen1A
1/23 – No. 5 Thomasville2A at Cairo4A
1/23 – No. 9 Swainsboro2A at No. 8 Vidalia2A
1/23 – No. 3 Morgan County3A at Buford4A
1/23 – No. 3 Liberty County4A at Burke County2A
1/23 – Dacula6A at No. 1 Shiloh6A
1/26 – Langston Hughes6A at Douglas County6A
1/26 – No. 1 Lithonia4A at No. 9 Grady4A
1/26 – No. 6 Holy Innocents’2A at No. 2 Pace Academy2A
1/26 – No. 5 SWAC1A at No. 6 Landmark Christian1A
1/26 – No. 8 Stratford Academy1A at No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy1A
1/26 – No. 3 Morgan County3A at Jefferson3A
1/29 – No. 7 Early County2A at No. 5 Thomasville2A
1/29 – No. 3 Liberty County4A at Thomson4A
1/29 – No. 4 Bainbridge4A at No. 7 Worth County4A
1/29 – No. 7 Warner Robins5A at Houston County5A
1/29 – Duluth6A at No. 7 Collins Hill6A
1/29 – No. 3 Westlake6A at Douglas County6A
1/29 – No. 6 St. Pius4A at No. 1 Lithonia4A
1/30 – No. 6 Landmark Christian1A at No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy1A
1/30 – No. 1 Calhoun County1A at No. 10 Terrell County1A
 
                                                February
2/2 – Mt. Vernon Presbyterian1A at No. 6 Landmark Christian1A
2/2 – No. 1 Seminole County2A at No. 5 Thomasville2A
2/2 – No. 6 Blessed Trinity3A at Westminster3A
2/2 – No. 7 Callaway3A at Pepperell3A
2/2 – Mundy’s Mill5A at No. 2 McIntosh5A
2/2 – No. 8 Heritage-Conyers5A at No. 10 Cedar Shoals5A
2/2 – No. 5 Milton6A at No. 4 Wheeler6A
2/2 – No. 8 Berkmar6A at Dacula6A
2/2 – No. 6 Pebblebrook6A at No. 3 Westlake6A
2/5 – No. 3 Westlake6A at Langston Hughes6A
2/5 – Perry4A at No. 7 Warner Robins5A
2/5 – Northside-Columbus5A at No. 6 LaGrange5A
2/5 – No. 1 Seminole County2A at No. 7 Early County2A
2/5 – No. 1 Greenforest1A at No. 6 Landmark Christian1A
2/5 – No. 8 Stratford Academy1A at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian1A
2/5 – No. 9 Lakeview Academy1A at Hebron Christian1A
2/5 – No. 8 Vidalia2A at Bryan County2A
2/5 – No. 10 Rabun County2A at Greene County2A
2/5 – No. 8 Berkmar6A at No. 1 Shiloh6A
2/6 – No. 6 Randolph-Clay1A at No. 1 Calhoun County1A
                                          ***REGION/STATE PLAYOFFS***

Sequoyah Sweeps Preseason Tilt With Langston Hughes

5ASequoyah 78,  6ALangston Hughes 69

Two teams on the precipice of cracking the top ten in their respective classifications met in the War Lodge in a preseason scrimmage. Missed opportunities and runs were the story of the game. Coach Rory Welsh’s 94-feet of pressure defense had the Sequoyah Chiefs on their heels early on, as the Panthers jumped out to an 11-3 lead. Jordan Usher of Sequoyah started out slowly, but found his first points of the game at the 1:41 mark of the first quarter. From that point on, it was all Chiefs.

Sequoyah would go on a 21-2 run to open up a 28-17 advantage mid-way through the second quarter before Khalil Cuffee would quiet the storm and score 11 of his game-high 27 points in the first half. At the break Sequoyah led 36-30 thanks to big second quarters from Cameron Cox, who announced before tip-off he would play his college ball at Navy, and Usher. At the half Cox led all scorers with 13 points while Usher added 8.

Usher defending Cuffee as Coach Welsh looks on
Usher defending Cuffee as Coach Welsh looks on

After trading offensive fouls to start the second half, Cuffee canned three straight three-pointers to take a 39-38 lead. Hunter Gaddis of Sequoyah fought for an offensive rebound and scored a contested putback at the buzzer to give the home-standing Chiefs a 54-51 advantage heading into the decisive final quarter.

Free throws crushed the Panthers’ hopes of winning as Langston Hughes shot just 6-of-14 from the line in the fourth, featuring key misses from Cuffee and Derrick Cook, who combined to go 3-of-10. Sequoyah converted 12-of-17 free throws in the final frame to stem the tide and hold off the Panthers.

Free throws doomed the Panthers
Free throws doomed the Panthers

Turning Point: Langston Hughes fought back from a 66-57 deficit and had a chance to make it 66-63 with just over 2:30 remaining in regulation, but a blown opportunity at a point-blank look turned into a Chiefs fastbreak layup, making it 68-61 with 2:39 to play.

Highlight of the Night: Jordan Usher and Hunter Gaddis punched in back-to-back slams on the fastbreak to give Sequoyah a 64-56 advantage.

My Take: The guard play did not disappoint. Khalil Cuffee looked extremely smooth and should have Division-I colleges knocking at his door. Cameron Cox stole the show in what was an emotional night, committing to Navy. Cox, like Jordan Usher, rebounded from a slow start and scored his first points of the night on a baseline jam. Role players Levi Biddy and Hunter Gaddis get a lot of credit for the W. Derrick Cook did a little bit of everything for the Panthers. I think the early setback will be a good wakeup call for the Panthers as they enter a gauntlet of a regular season schedule. Coach Welsh’s team showed good discipline, they just could not convert from in close or at the line. Give credit to Sequoyah for not folding after a slow first few minutes and bouncing back to give the Panthers a punch in the mouth and take momentum.

Top Performers:

Sequoyah
Cameron Cox – 26 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals
Jordan Usher – 18 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block
Levi Biddy – 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals
Hunter Gaddis – 10 points, 5 reboundsimage2

Langston Hughes
Khalil Cuffee – 27 points, 3 rebounds
Derrick Cook – 13 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals
Justin Jones – 13 points, 3 reboundsimage1 (3)

Girls

Sequoyah 61, Langston Hughes 43

Two crucial spurts put the Lady Panthers away. Sequoyah led 22-15 at the half and used a 22-to-8 run to gain a 44-23 advantage heading into the fourth. Langston Hughes fought back and cut the Lady Chiefs lead to 49-38 with 3:14 remaining, but a 9-0 run ballooned the lead to 58-38 with 48.8 seconds left ending the comeback bid. Kelley Hartman and the rest of the Sequoyah length hurt the Panthers inside, while Megan Garcia’s three-point shooting and super sophomore Alyssa Cagle’s all-around ball handling and shooting powered the She-Chiefs attack.

1A (Public & Private) Must See Games

Here is a quick rundown on some of the best 1A (Public & Private) matchups between GHSA teams this season:
Class A
11/14 – No. 5 SWAC vs. No. 8 Heritage-Conyers5A (SWD Showdown II)
11/17 – No. 9 Lakeview Academy at No. 4 GAC2A
11/21 – Cedar Grove3A at No. 2 St. Francis
11/21 – No. 1 Greenforest vs. Peachtree Ridge6A (Jared Cook Classic)
11/23 – No. 9 Lakeview Academy vs. Stephens County4A (Piedmont College Classic)
11/24 – No. 2 St. Francis vs. No. 3 Gainesville5A (Jared Cook Classic)
11/24 – No. 4 Whitefield Academy vs. Hillgrove6A (Thanksgiving Showcase)
11/27 –No. 1 Greenforest vs. No. 6 Pebblebrook6A (Holiday Hoopsgiving)
11/28 – No. 1 Greenforest vs. No. 2 Norcross6A (Holiday Hoopsgiving)
11/28 – No. 2 St. Francis at No. 5 Milton6A (Dai-Jon Parker Classic)
12/1 – No. 2 Hancock Central at No. 3 Crawford County2A
12/1 – No. 6 Holy Innocents’2A at No. 5 SWAC
12/1 – No. 4 Whitefield Academy at Houston County5A
12/4 – No. 7 Callaway3A at No. 7 Greenville
12/4 – No. 2 St. Francis at No. 4 Whitefield Academy
12/4 – No. 8 Stratford Academy at Northside-Warner Robins5A
12/4 – No. 2 Hancock Central at No. 4 Wilkinson County
12/4 – No. 7 St. Anne-Pacelli at No. 8 Dooly County
12/5 – No. 1 Greenforest vs. No. 2 Pace Academy2A (Basketball Xplosion)
12/5 – No. 2 St. Francis vs. No. 6 Pebblebrook6A
12/5 – No. 3 North Cobb Christian at No. 6 Landmark Christian
12/5 – No. 9 Grady4A at No. 4 Whitefield Academy
12/5 – Mt. Vernon Presbyterian at No. 8 Stratford Academy
12/5 – No. 1 Calhoun County at No. 7 Early County2A
12/5 – No. 2 Hancock Central at Greene County2A
12/8 – Buford4A at No. 2 St. Francis
12/8 – Georgia Military at No. 4 Wilkinson County
12/8 – No. 7 Greenville at No. 8 Dooly County
12/11 – No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy at No. 7 St. Anne-Pacelli
12/12 – No. 1 Calhoun County at No. 6 Randolph-Clay
12/18 – No. 6 Landmark Christian at No. 7 St. Anne-Pacelli
12/18 – No. 8 Dooly County at No. 1 Calhoun County
12/18 – No. 5 Turner County at No. 7 Greenville
12/18 – No. 3 Treutlen at No. 9 Portal
12/18 – No. 2 Hancock Central at Thomson4A
12/19 – No. 7 Greenville at No. 1 Calhoun County
12/19 – No. 5 SWAC at No. 2 St. Francis
12/22 – No. 1 Calhoun County at No. 1 Seminole County2A
12/22 – No. 8 Dooly County at No. 8 Stratford Academy
12/29 – No. 6 Randolph-Clay at No. 8 Dooly County
12/30 – Perry4A at No. 8 Dooly County
1/2 – Taylor County at No. 3 Crawford County2A
1/2 – No. 7 Early County2A at No. 1 Calhoun County
1/5 – No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy at No. 4 Wilkinson County
1/8 – No. 5 SWAC at No. 1 Greenforest
1/8 – No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy at No. 8 Stratford Academy
1/8 – No. 10 Terrell County at No. 1 Calhoun County
1/9 – No. 3 Crawford County2A at Taylor County
1/9 – No. 1 Calhoun County at No. 5 Turner County
1/9 – No. 4 Whitefield Academy at No. 6 Landmark Christian
1/9 – No. 4 Wilkinson County at No. 2 Hancock Central
1/16 – North Cobb6A at No. 3 North Cobb Christian
1/16 – No. 8 Dooly County at No. 7 St. Anne-Pacelli
1/18 – No. 1 Greenforest vs. No. 10 South Atlanta3A (BCB MLK Showcase)
1/19 – No. 4 Whitefield Academy at No. 2 St. Francis
1/19 – No. 2 Hancock Central at Aquinas
1/19 – Hebron Christian at No. 9 Lakeview Academy
1/22 – No. 4 Wilkinson County at No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy
1/22 – No. 8 Dooly County at No. 7 Greenville
1/23 – No. 1 Calhoun County vs. No. 3 Treutlen
1/26 – No. 5 SWAC at No. 6 Landmark Christian
1/26 – No. 8 Stratford Academy at No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy
1/30 – No. 6 Landmark Christian at No. 10 Tattnall Square Academy
1/30 – No. 1 Calhoun County at No. 10 Terrell County
2/2 – Mt. Vernon Presbyterian at No. 6 Landmark Christian
2/5 – No. 1 Greenforest at No. 6 Landmark Christian
2/5 – No. 8 Stratford Academy at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian
2/5 – No. 9 Lakeview Academy at Hebron Christian
2/6 – No. 6 Randolph-Clay at No. 1 Calhoun County