Category Archives: Girls Basketball

UGA Girls Team Camp Standouts

Ashlee Austin2019 6-2 F Ashlee Austin (Northview) is no stranger when it comes to GHSA basketball fans, opposing coaches and national scouting agencies. Austin picked up where she left off last season, leading Northview to a 1-0-1 start to open camp. She dumped in 23 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals against GAC before wrecking Hillgrove’s frontline for 25 points, 18 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks. Her size and touch were on full display, stepping out to hit three threes on the day. Austin is a physical rebounder that can score through contact. She went 9-for-9 total from the foul line. The UGA coaching staff had a hawk’s eye on her throughout camp.

2019 5-8 SG Chellia Watson (Winder-Barrow) will have to carry the Lady Doggs offense her senior season. While losing an All-American and a D-I signee obviously hurts, Winder-Barrow will still be competitive on the back of Watson. She ignited the action, drilling five threes in the first game of the day. Watson was able to create her own shot off the dribble. She has a strong build which allows her to get into the paint and finish against bigger defenders. Watson finished with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 blocks.

Caroline Martin2020 5-8 CG Caroline Martin (North Forsyth) dropped in 22 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in a come from behind win against Winder-Barrow. Martin’s three-point shot opened up driving lanes. She nailed three three-pointers and weaved through traffic to get to the hole. She had a meaningful first step that was quick enough to put defenders in the dust. Martin is a well-polished guard that knows how to win games.

Michelle Smith2019 5-8 CG Michelle Smith (Hillgrove) was the biggest eye-opener at UGA. Smith is an athlete with tight movements and a silky-smooth jump shot. Hillgrove was at their best when she had the ball in her hands. She was a playmaker, getting the ball in the right spots. Northview was never able to fluster her. Smith was in complete control with a strong handle. She posted 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 steals and 1 block. It would behoove Hillgrove to run the offense through Smith and let her create her own offense or find shooters Logan Van Arsdale and Breah McGrady on the perimeter. Smith was a Second Team All-Region 3-AAAAAAA selection last season. In Athens, she looked like a future D-I player.

Deasia Merrill, Georgia Stockton
Deasia Merrill & Georgia Stockton

2019 6-2 F Deasia Merrill (Villa Rica) is rolling in D-I offers with Clemson and Duke the latest to pop. More are coming for the extremely skilled big. Merrill has a wide base and knows how to use it to her advantage, whether shielding defenders away or getting in position to rebound. Her court awareness is as high as anyone’s in the state. She is a great passer and truly makes everyone on her team better. Her hands are outstanding on defense and when rebounding. While defenses will do everything in their power to slow her down, Merrill can still affect games in other ways than just scoring. She posted 10 points, 19 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks in a dominating performance against Rabun County.

2019 5-8 CG Georgia Stockton (Rabun County) provided a spark for the Lady Cats in their duel with Villa Rica. Stockton started slow, but the Presbyterian-commit got hot, drilling four three-pointers to get Rabun County back in the game. The Region 8-AA Player of the Year pumped in 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 7 steals. Stockton is a leader on the floor and an extension of Coach DeeDee Dillard. Her attitude and play on both ends of the floor is infectious.

2018-19 GHSA Girls Basketball Transfer List

Here is a rundown of some transfers I have heard through the grapevine and a summary of what the additions mean. If you know of anymore or any that are incorrect, please shoot me a tweet @KyleSandy355, leave a comment or email kylesandy355@gmail.com

Thanks!

Class AAAAAAA

SR Alea Spears – 5’6″ – (Mountain View to Brookwood)
JR Malia Grace – 6’2″ – (Brookwood to Grayson)
JR Jalyn Bell – 5’8″ – (Brookwood to Parkview)

Class AAAAAA

SR Markiema Lancaster – 5’10” – (Johns Creek to Northview)

Class AAAAA

Class AAAA

Class AAA

SR Maddie Thomas – 5’11” – (Banks County to Cherokee Bluff)

Class AA

Class A

SR India Bellamy – 6’1” – (Dutchtown to ELCA)
SO Keslynn Oxendine – 5’7″ – (Woodland-Stockbridge to ELCA)
JR Taylor Greene – 5’7″ – (Taylor County to Marion County)
SO Ali Rumpel – 6’0″ – (Starr’s Mill to Athens Academy)
JR Alanni Brown – 5’9″ – (North Gwinnett to Wesleyan)

Out-of-GHSA

JR Kemia Ward – 6’1 – (McEachern to Holy Spirit Prep)

Class 7A

Alea Spears brings help at the guard position for Brookwood, coming in from Mountain View where she was a Region 6-AAAAAAA Second Team selection. The 5-foot-6 ball handler averaged 10.6 points, 3.8 assists and 2.2 steals per game.

6-foot-2 junior Malia Grace transfers from Brookwood to Grayson.  Grace is an imposing figure inside with a physical frame. She averaged 9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game with the Broncos.

2020 5-foot-8 point guard Jalyn Bell departs Brookwood for bitter rival Parkview. Bell, an athletic defensive specialist, will look to provide ball handler and some scoring in the backcourt for a Parkview team with a young and talented front court. As a sophomore, Bell averaged 1.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

Class 6A

The addition of Second Team All-Region selection Markiema Lancaster from Johns Creek to reigning Region 7 champion and back-to-back state semifinalist Northview gives the Titans one of the best starting fives on paper in the classification. At 5-foot-10, Lancaster brings a much needed extra ball handler to the roster. A versatile piece with the length and quickness reminiscent to that of former Northview star and current Mercer Bear Shannon Titus, Lancaster can ignite her own fast breaks off the glass and will chip in defensively. Lancaster needs to keep her head up while dribbling. She can tend to have her eyes down when pushing the ball up the court, but once her focus is in front, she has a nice passing touch.

Class 5A

Class 4A

Class 3A

New program Cherokee Bluff will look to build a tradition with the help of Maddie Thomas, a big time winner while at Banks County where she was an All-Region Honorable Mention selection. Thomas will provide outside shooting and length on defense for the Bears.

Class 2A

Class 1A

India Bellamy returns to ELCA after spending a year at Dutchtown where she earned Class 5A All-State Second Team Honors after averaging 14.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3 steals per game. She now joins forces with international sensation Weronika Hipp, who averaged over 24 points per game as a freshman. The duo should become one of the best inside-out punches in the state and instantly boost ELCA into becoming a legit Final Four contender.

Taylor Greene provides some much needed outside shooting to Marion County. Greene should see good looks throughout the season as defenses key in on stopping the Eagles’ dominant post play.

Sophomore Ali Rumpel will provide a physical low block presence that can score around the rim and protect the paint at Athens Academy. Rumpel, 6-foot, was named Region 3-AAAAA Freshman of the Year at Starr’s Mill after averaging 10.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. She will pair up with fellow 2021 forward 5-foot-10 Rose Bone to form a strong, talented, bruising frontcourt.

Wesleyan’s annual reload starts with Alanni Brown of North Gwinnett. Brown, 5-foot-9, was a Region 6-AAAAAAA Honorable Mention selection her sophomore season after averaging 12 points per game.

Out-of-GHSA

The transfer market bites McEachern for once as 6-foot-1 post Kemia Ward transfers to Holy Spirit Prep. Ward will head to the GISA with freshman sister Kaela. Kemia reclasses to 2020 after seeing her season end short with an injury. Ward is a physical and athletic rim protector which will be sorely missed at McEachern.

2017-18 GHSA All-State Girls Basketball Honors

All-Georgia

Sandy’s Spiel Mrs. Basketball: Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Winder-Barrow, Sr.

FIRST TEAM
G – Tory Ozment, Buford, Sr.
F – Morgan Jones, Our Lady of Mercy, Sr.
F – De’Sha Benjamin, Laney, Sr.
C – Victaria Saxton, Model, Sr.
C – Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Winder-Barrow, Sr.

SECOND TEAM
G – Jenna Brown, Lovett, Sr.
G – Amaya Register, Wesleyan, Sr.
G – Cameron Swartz, Fellowship Christian, Sr.
G – Brittany Davis, Greenville, Sr.
C – Jessika Carter, Harris County, Sr.

Honorable Mention
G – Morgan Robinson-Nwagwu, Norcross, Jr.
G – Genesis Bryant, Lovejoy, So.
G – Anaya Boyd, Lovejoy, So.
G – Kaila Hubbard, Holy Innocents’, Sr.
G – Jasmine Carson, McEachern, Sr.
G – Brooke Moore, Henry County, Sr.
F – Taniyah Worth, Flowery Branch, Sr.
F – Amari Robinson, Douglas County, Jr.
F – Taylor Hosendove, Westlake, Sr.
F – Deasia Merrill, Villa Rica, Jr.
F – AC Carter, Wesleyan, So.

Class AAAAAAA

Coach of the Year: Hilda Hankerson, Westlake
Player of the Year:  Morgan Robinson-Nwagwu, Norcross, Jr.

FIRST TEAM
G – Lexii Chatman, Newton, Sr.
G – Morgan Robinson-Nwagwu, Norcross, Jr.
G – Jasmine Carson, McEachern, Sr.
F – Jaron Stallworth, Collins Hill, Sr.
F – Taylor Hosendove, Westlake, Sr.

SECOND TEAM
G – Raven Johnson, Westlake, Fr.
G – Lacie McCoy, Cherokee, Jr.
G – Catherine Shope, North Forsyth, Sr.
F – Javyn Nicholson, Collins Hill, Jr.
F – Lillian Kennedy, Mountain View, Sr.

Honorable Mention
G – Anastasia Warren, Westlake, Sr.
G – Jurnee Smith, Newton, Sr.
G – Bria Harmon, Collins Hill, Jr.
G – Diamond Hall, Colquitt County, Sr.
G – Victoria Agyin, McEachern, Sr.
G – Taylor Smith, Marietta, Sr.
F – Asia McCoy, Archer, Sr.
F – Cassie Markle, North Forsyth, Sr.
F – Kierra Adams, Brookwood, Jr.
F – Jazmine Robinson, Grayson, Jr.
F – Devyn Wilson, Norcross, Sr.

Class AAAAAA

Coach of the Year: Cedric King, Lovejoy
Player of the Year: Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Winder-Barrow, Sr.

FIRST TEAM
G – Genesis Bryant, Lovejoy, So.
G – Anaya Boyd, Lovejoy, So.
F – Amari Robinson, Douglas County, Jr.
F – Ashlee Austin, Northview, Jr.
C – Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Winder-Barrow, Sr.

SECOND TEAM
G – Sydnie Ward, Alpharetta, Sr.
G – Savannah Samuel, River Ridge, So.
G – Azhana Maxwell, ML King, Sr.
G – Chellia Watson, Winder-Barrow, Jr.
F – Audrey Jordan, Harrison, Sr.

Honorable Mention
G – Harper Vick, Harrison, Sr.
G – Kassidy Broussard, Stephenson, So.
G – Kennedy Cater, Creekview, Sr.
G – Latrice Perkins, Winder-Barrow, Sr.
G – Jamyah Montissol, Lanier, Sr.
G – Asjah Inniss, Northview, So.
F – Shekinah Guthrie, Centennial, Sr.
F – Ayana Collins, Grovetown, Sr.
C – Kayla Brown, Lovejoy, Sr.
C – Sania Feagin, Forest Park, Fr.
C – Destiny Thomas, Tri-Cities, Jr.

Class AAAAA

Coach of the Year: Gene Durden, Buford
Player of the Year:
 Tory Ozment, Buford, Sr.

FIRST TEAM
G – Tory Ozment, Buford, Sr.
G – Nadia Marshall, Bainbridge, Sr.
F – Taniyah Worth, Flowery Branch, Sr.
F – Deasia Merrill, Villa Rica, Jr.
C – Jessika Carter, Harris County, Sr.

SECOND TEAM
G – Ashley Foster, Eagle’s Landing, Sr.
G – Zamiya Passmore, Locust Grove, Jr.
G – Keshuna Patterson, Miller Grove, Sr.
G – Iyanna McMillan, Arabia Mountain, Sr.
C – India Bellamy, Dutchtown, Jr.

Honorable Mention
G – Shamyia Johnson, Banneker, Sr.
G – Caroline Wysocki, Flowery Branch, Jr.
G – Audrey Weiner, Buford, Sr.
G – Maegan Barkley, Fayette County, Sr.
G – Tamara White, Maynard Jackson, Sr.
F – Shynia Jackson, Warner Robins, Sr.
F – Jada Claude, Whitewater, Jr.
C – Elexus Bell, Carrollton, Sr.
C – Taya Gibson, Rome, Sr.
C – Taziha Fanning, Harris County, Jr.
C – Shondell Vickers, Ware County, Sr.

Class AAAA

Coach of the Year: Tykira Gilbert, Spalding
Player of the Year:
Brooke Moore, Henry County, Sr.

FIRST TEAM
G – Anna McKendree, West Hall, Sr.
G – Tyler Collins, Woodward Academy, Sr.
G – Brooke Moore, Henry County, Sr.
F – Corriana Evans, Spalding, So.
C – Oliva Cochran, Carver-Columbus, So.

SECOND TEAM
G – Jy’Kiera Long, Americus-Sumter, Sr.
G – Kamya Hollingshed, Luella, Sr.
G – Mariah Igus, Carver-Columbus, Sr.
G – Diarra Oden, Marist, Sr.
F – Jordan Bailey, Madison County, Jr.

Honorable Mention
G – Aryan Dozier, LaGrange, Sr.
G – Zaria Bankston, Luella, Sr.
G – Crystal Corley, Baldwin, Jr.
G – Janya Love-Hill, Carver-Columbus, Jr.
G – Adryana Maxwell, Madison County, Sr.
F – Kiana Banks, Spalding, Sr.
F – Keely Brown, Luella, So.
F – Jazmin Allen, Jefferson, Sr.
C – Daija Powell, Sandy Creek, So.
C – Brittany Reeves, Howard, Sr.
C – Jada Griffin, Northwest Whitfield, Jr.

Class AAA

Coach of the Year: Brandon Lindsey, Johnson-Savannah
Player of the Year:
 Jenna Brown, Lovett, Sr.

FIRST TEAM
G – Jenna Brown, Lovett, Sr.
G – Bubbles Williams, Johnson-Savannah, Sr.
G – Carly Winters, East Hall, Sr.
G – Mya Jones, Franklin County, Sr.
G – Taylor Sutton, GAC, Sr.

SECOND TEAM
G – Alexis Boykin, Haralson County, Sr.
G – Torrion Starks, Hart County, Jr.
G – J’Mya Cutter, Johnson-Savannah, Jr.
F – Caria Reynolds, GAC, Sr.
C – Jada Clowers, Central-Macon, Sr.

Honorable Mention
G – Lou Reid, Morgan County, Jr.
G – Kaylee Sticker, Dawson County, Jr.
G – Tatiannya Morris, Beach, Sr.
G – Macey Gregg, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, Jr.
G – Da’Nasia Shaw, Peach County, Jr.
G – Kashay Hankerson, Tattnall County, Sr.
G – Kennedi Williams, GAC, Jr.
F – Jabreika Bass, Beach, Sr.
F – Mary Martha Turner, GAC, Sr.
F – Jasmine Thompson, Johnson-Savannah, Jr.
C – Giana Copeland, Johnson-Savannah, Sr.

Class AA

Coach of the Year: Otis Smart, Laney
Player of the Year: De’Sha Benjamin, Laney, Sr.

FIRST TEAM
G – Dynesha Brown, Swainsboro, Jr.
G – Jhesskya Williams, Laney, Sr.
G – Georgia Stockton, Rabun County, Jr.
F – De’Sha Benjamin, Laney, Sr.
C – Victaria Saxton, Model, Sr.

SECOND TEAM
G – Kirstin Crook, Fitzgerald, Sr.
F – Allison Smith, Banks County, Sr.
F – Rykia Pennamon, Putnam County, Sr.
F – Tykedra Rolland, Josey, Jr.
C – Makayla Timpson, Early County, Fr.

Honorable Mention
G – Tomiyah Alford, Lamar County, Jr.
G – Nekiyah Thompson, Douglass, Jr.
G – Ashanti Cobb, South Atlanta, So.
G – Jashanti Simmons, Putnam County, So.
G – Mercedes Coleman, Gordon Central, Fr.
G – Destanee Wright, Dodge County, Jr.
G – Europe Brown, Dodge County, Jr.
F – Nijeria Jordan, Washington County, Sr.
F – Jahnaria Brown, Bleckley County, Sr.
F – Keyarah Berry, Rockmart, Fr.
C – Shatara Goodman, Coretta Scott King, Sr.

Class A-Private

Coach of the Year: Jan Azar, Wesleyan
Player of the Year: Morgan Jones, Our Lady of Mercy, Sr.

FIRST TEAM
G – Amaya Register, Wesleyan, Sr.
G – Kaila Hubbard, Holy Innocents’, Sr.
G – Cameron Swartz, Fellowship Christian, Sr.
F – Morgan Jones, Our Lady of Mercy, Sr.
F – AC Carter, Wesleyan, So.

SECOND TEAM
G – Elizabeth Gibbs, Landmark Christian, Jr.
G – Weronika Hipp, ELCA, Fr.
F – Sutton West, Wesleyan, Sr.
F – Kennedy Suttle, Holy Innocents’, Sr.
C – Jillian Hollingshead, Holy Innocents’, Fr.

Honorable Mention
G – Kai Carter, Paideia, Jr.
G – Alex Widener, Calvary Day, Sr.
G – Ansley Hall, Prince Avenue, So.
G – Paige Aronhalt, Landmark Christian, Jr.
G – Regina Metz, Pinecrest Academy, Sr.
G – Jada Farrell, Holy Innocents’, So.
G – Nadia Reese, Stratford Academy, So.
G – Mia Moore, St. Francis, Fr.
F – Jordan Isaacs, St. Francis, Jr.
F – Arynn Eady, St. Francis, Sr.
C – Aminata Ly, Greenforest, Jr.

Class A-Public

Coach of the Year: Waqueisha Tenney, Greenville
Player of the Year: Brittany Davis, Greenville, Sr.

FIRST TEAM
G – Brittany Davis, Greenville, Sr.
G – India Wells, Telfair County, Jr.
G – Mahogany Randall, Pelham, Sr.
F – Jamiya McDaniel, Terrell County, Sr.
C – Trajata Colbert, Wilcox County, Sr.

SECOND TEAM
G – Jasmine Larry, Macon County, Sr.
G – Maci Holloway, Bowdon, Sr.
G – Miya Byrd, Turner County, So.
F – Zakiyah Office, Turner County, Sr.
C – Ansley Whitley, Marion County, Jr.

Honorable Mention
G – Brianna Hinton, Wheeler County, Sr.
G – Ny’Asia Howard, Telfair County, Sr.
G – Ty’Shemia Ceaser, Quitman County, Sr.
G – Gracie Brunel, Lanier County, Jr.
G – Natera Perkins, Wheeler County, Jr.
F – Angel McCrae, Clinch County, Fr.
F – Cire Foston, Georgia Military, Jr.
F – Torri Myers, Marion County, Sr.
C – Rylee Robinson, Bowdon, Sr.
C – Erykah Skinner, Macon County, Sr.
C – Tykira Campbell, Manchester, Jr.

Final 2017-18 Girls Rankings

Class AAAAAAA

  1. Westlake (30-1)
  2. Newton (27-4)
  3. McEachern (21-6)
  4. North Forsyth (28-3)
  5. Norcross (26-4)
  6. Collins Hill (26-3)
  7. Cherokee (26-3)
  8. Hillgrove (19-8)
  9. South Gwinnett (23-4)
  10. Lambert (18-10) 

Class AAAAAA

  1. Lovejoy (32-1)
  2. Harrison (26-5)
  3. Winder-Barrow (22-5)
  4. Douglas County (24-7)
  5. Northview (24-7)
  6. Tucker (19-11)
  7. Valdosta (22-8)
  8. Coffee (18-10)
  9. Creekview (19-9)
  10. Lanier (22-7) 

Class AAAAA

  1. Buford (29-3)
  2. Flowery Branch (26-7)
  3. Villa Rica (26-2)
  4. Harris County (28-3)
  5. Eagle’s Landing (23-7)
  6. Carrollton (24-7)
  7. Arabia Mountain (21-3)
  8. Dutchtown (23-6)
  9. Fayette County (22-7)
  10. Ware County (26-3)

Class AAAA

  1. Spalding (28-2)
  2. Henry County (29-2)
  3. Carver-Columbus (29-2)
  4. Americus-Sumter (24-8)
  5. Madison County (22-7)
  6. Jefferson (23-7)
  7. Marist (23-3)
  8. Luella (22-6)
  9. Northwest Whitfield (25-4)
  10. Baldwin (25-4) 

Class AAA

  1. Johnson-Savannah (23-6)
  2. Greater Atlanta Christian (25-5)
  3. Franklin County (30-1)
  4. Tattnall County (25-6)
  5. Beach (27-3)
  6. Lovett (25-5)
  7. Haralson County (27-3)
  8. Peach County (22-8)
  9. Central-Macon (23-5)
  10. Pierce County (21-8) 

Class AA

  1. Laney (32-0)
  2. Josey (28-5)
  3. Model (25-4)
  4. Fitzgerald (17-6)
  5. Banks County (25-6)
  6. Dodge County (24-5)
  7. Rabun County (24-7)
  8. Swainsboro (23-5)
  9. Douglass (18-7)
  10. Washington County (20-8) 

Class A-Private

  1. Wesleyan (27-4)
  2. Holy Innocents’ (29-2)
  3. St. Francis (26-5)
  4. Stratford Academy (26-3)
  5. Paideia (21-10)
  6. Prince Avenue Christian (26-3)
  7. Calvary Day (27-3)
  8. Christian Heritage (22-7)
  9. Our Lady of Mercy (21-4)
  10. Galloway (17-8)

Class A-Public

  1. Greenville (28-2)
  2. Marion County (25-6)
  3. Telfair County (27-3)
  4. Terrell County (25-5)
  5. Pelham (27-3)
  6. Wheeler County (20-5)
  7. Wilcox County (23-6)
  8. Bowdon (23-6)
  9. Macon County (21-6)
  10. Calhoun County (18-11)

GHSA State Championship Recaps

March 7 – Macon Centreplex

Class AA

Laney Wildcats basketball

(G) R4 #1 Laney 63, R4 #2 Josey 40 The Wildcats ripped off a 12-0 run after trailing 16-15 to find the cushion they needed to blow past Josey for a fifth time this season and win their second-straight state title and 62nd game in-a-row. Alabama-signee De’sha Benjamin was unstoppable with 19 of her game-high 26 points in the first half when it mattered most. She finished with 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Laney led 29-20 at the half, holding the Eagles to 22.7% shooting. Jhessyka Williams tacked on 19 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Jaiden Hamilton tallied 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists as the third head of the Wildcat attack. Josey finished just 29.5% from the field and 3-of-14 from deep. Tykedra Rolland (10) and Rhykeria Rolland (7) were held to 17 points total. Ebony Clark led the Eagles with 12 points and 7 rebounds.

Thomasville Bulldogs basketball

(B) R1 #1 Thomasville 66, R2 #3 Vidalia 31 It was a blood bath from the opening tip as the bigger and more athletic Bulldogs ran wild with a 13-0 start. Sloppy Indian ball-handling led to turnovers while lazy transition defense accounted for six Bulldog first half dunks. The Indians shot 4-of-24 from the field (16.7%) and 1-of-14 from deep in the opening half as the Bulldogs led 41-10 at the break. McDonald’s All-American and Mississippi State-bound forward Reggie Perry finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks. Vonterius Woolbright added 17 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds. Titus Wright had 11 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. Vidalia was led by Tahj Jones’ 10 points. The Indians finished 2-of-25 from three. Thomasville outscored Vidalia 40-20 in the paint and had 22 points off turnovers.

Class A-Public

Greenville Lady Patriots basketball

(G#4 Greenville 73, #3 Marion County 52:  While Marion County came out double-teaming reigning Class A-Public Player of the Year and Mississippi State-signee Brittany Davis, the rest of the Lady Patriots picked up the slack, helping Greenville grab a 21-10 first quarter lead and building it to 43-26 at the break. Davis finished with 30 points (5-20 FG; 19-20 FT) 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 1 block in her final game. Freshmen Shabrica Leslie and Jabrika Leslie came up big, Shabrica posting 14 points and 5 rebounds while Jabrika had 12 points. Nuriyah Slaton finished with 8 points, 16 rebounds and 5 steals. The Lady Patriots grabbed 24 offensive rebounds and put up 26 second-chance points. Greenville out-rebounded the bigger Eagles 54-46. Marion County was led by Torriunna Myers’ 15 points. Jameisha Williams chipped in 8 points. Ansley Whitley battled for 7 points, 18 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks.

Wilkinson County Warriors basketball

(B) #3 Wilkinson County 71, #5 Montgomery County 68: The Blue Storm took over the Macon Centreplex again, as the Warriors completed the three-peat, captured their 10th state title in school history and their sixth in the last eight years. Wilkinson County survived a gutsy performance from senior wing Jahleel Wilson who nearly willed the Eagles past the Warriors who are now 10-0 in state title games. Wilson had 27 points, 6 rebounds and 6 blocks as he carried the Eagles. Daveaun Coglin finished with 19 points but shot 7-of-24 from the field while Shaw Robinson, who scored 22 in the Final 4, finished 2-of-11 from the field with 5 points. Wilkinson County showed they could play a fast pace game, running up and down with the Eagles in the first quarter, taking a 21-18 lead after one. The two teams entered the half tied at 38. 6-foot-6 senior center Tylan Grable came off the bench to give Wilkinson County 11 points and 14 rebounds. Montgomery County fell behind 62-54 at the 2:44 mark of the fourth quarter but Wilson powered the team back into it, getting help from Daquan Jackson who netted two late hoops. Robinson came away with a steal and a layup to cut the lead to 67-66 with 29.2 seconds left. Having to foul, the Eagles sent Raequan Smith and Brandon Mayes to the line, who went 4-for-4. With 10.7 seconds left, Coach Christopher Owens drew up a three-point look for Robinson, who struggled all night. The guard that averaged 19 points per game on the season, shot an air-ball, sealing the Eagles’ fate. Wilkinson County was paced by Jaylen Lamar’s efficient night, shooting 9-of-14 from the field for 22 points. Devin Jones chipped in 12 points and 4 assists in the win. Montgomery County out-shot the Warriors 72-to-50, but Wilkinson County sank 50% of their shots while Montgomery connected at a 36.1% clip and just 3-of-18 from three.

March 8 – Macon Centreplex

Class AAA

Johnson Atomsmashers girls basketball

(GR3 #2 Johnson-Savannah 62, R7 #1 GAC 50: The Atomsmashers atoned for last year’s state title game flop by locking down the paint and shutting down a potent GAC offense with three D-I commits. 6-foot-5 senior Giana Copeland swatted 7 shots in the first 6-plus minutes of the game and finished with 3 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks total.  GAC shot 1-of-15 in the first quarter and just 22.1% for the entire game.  Down 52-39 in the fourth quarter with 2:27 left, the Spartans finally made their move, sparking a 9-1 run to close to within 53-48 with 1:27 left. But from that point on, Bubbles Williams, J’Mya Cutter and Jasmine Thompson combined to go 9-of-10 from the line to ice it. Cutter finished with 19 points and 6 rebounds while Thompson added 13 points and 8 rebounds. Williams finished her career with 12 points and 4 assists. Caria Reynolds (Hofstra) led GAC with 13 points and 11 rebounds on 3-of-15 shooting. Taylor Sutton (MTSU) scored 12 points on 5-of-15 shooting and Wofford-bound forward Mary Martha Turner had 6 points and 18 rebounds. Kennedi Williams gave the Spartans a spark at guard with 10 points and 7 assists.

Greater Atlanta Christian basketball

(B) R7 #1 GAC 67, R3 #2 Jenkins 53: The Spartans turned a 25-20 halftime deficit into a state title under alumnus David Eaton. Ben Sheppard keyed a 24-point third quarter by sinking two of the Spartans’ four trifectas in the frame. Sheppard scored 8 of his 15 points in the quarter as the Spartans edged ahead with a 44-38 lead and would never trail again, bouncing back from a 15-1 run that gave Jenkins the lead at the half. Hunter McIntosh iced the game from the line in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his game-high 19 points in the final eight minutes including finishing 14-of-19 from the stripe. Michigan football-commit Chris Hinton piled in 12 of his 16 points in the second half and collected 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the process. Roy Dixon scored 13 points to help the cause. Jenkins was led by Sai Fisher’s 12 points and Mye’on Williams’ 11 points and 6 rebounds. Matthew Sams netted 10.

Class AAAAA

Buford Lady Wolves basketball

(G) R8 #1 Buford 60, R8 #2 Flowery Branch 49: Buford defeated Flowery Branch for the fourth time this season and seventh in the past two years as the Lady Wolves repeated as state champs and won their sixth title in school-history. Buford held Flowery Branch under the magic number of 50 — all three of the Wolves’ losses this season coming when they allowed over the half century mark. Michigan State-signee Tory Ozment poured in 15 of her game-high 28 points in the first half to go along with her 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Ebony Grant added 12 points. Flowery Branch was paced Alabama-signee Taniyah Worth who finished her career with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists before fouling out with 1:11 remaining down 60-48.  Caroline Wysocki struggled from the field going 1-of-7 to finish with 10 points.

Warner Robins Demons basketball

(B) R1 #1 Warner Robins 67, R5 #3 Miller Grove 64: In a tug-of-war game to finish a less than competitive week back at the Macon Centreplex, Jacolbey Owens drilled a three with 1.3 seconds left to give Warner Robins their first-ever state championship. Miller Grove got off to a hot start, up 15-6 in the first quarter behind eight quick Lorenzo Anderson points. At the end of one, the Wolverines held a 15-10 lead and kept Georgia State-commit Nelson Phillips scoreless. Phillips scored his first basket at the 5:31 mark with the Demons down 19-14 in the second quarter. At the half, Miller Grove maintained a slim 31-29 lead. While Phillips was 3-of-8 from the field, Jacolbey Owens led the charge with nine points but shot just 3-of-7 from the line. In the third quarter, Phillips flew in from the left baseline corner to throw down a one-handed put-back jam to push the Demon lead to 39-35. A Jaydon Norman layup capped a 12-2 run for Warner Robins, giving them a 43-35 lead at the 2:44 mark. The Demons carried a 51-44 advantage into the final frame, but Miller Grove would not go away. After a quiet third quarter, Anderson scored 8 of his team-high 19 points in the fourth. With 2:33 left on the clock, the Wolverines caught up to the Demons at 60-60. Owens was sent to the line where he was 3-of-10 at the time and as a team, Warner Robins was 18-of-32 at that point. Owens sank both free throws and did the same at the 1:54 mark to make it 64-60. The Demons finished 22-of-36 from the line (61.1%) while the Wolverines didn’t fare much better at 66.7% (16-of-24). Down four, Anderson got to the line and converted both attempts. Less than a minute late, Maurice Harvey, who finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals, did the same, knotting the game up at 64 with 51 seconds remaining. The Demons held for one shot. Instead of getting the ball in the hands of star Nelson Phillips, who finished 6-of-15 for 16 points and 10 rebounds, Coach Jamaal Garman saw Owens control their destiny. Owens went to his left, pump faked, and sailed a three over the outstretched arm of TJ Stargell, drilling it — Warner Robins’ only made three of the game (1-for-11) — sending the crowd into a frenzy. Warner Robins went out to celebrate, but the Wolverines got a second chance at life, as the referees added 1.3 seconds back on the clock. Miller Grove’s final inbound heave was fumbled away, giving the Demons a state championship just 21 miles away from home. Owens finished with 24 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Jaydon Norman added 13 points and 5 rebounds. The Demons collected 18 points off turnovers and out-rebounded the larger Wolverines 43-to-36, grabbing 22 offensive rebounds. Miller Grove received 11 points from Terrence Edwards and 7 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists from TJ Stargell.

March 9 – McCamish Pavilion

Class A-Private

Wesleyan Lady Wolves basketball

(G#6 Wesleyan 61, #1 Holy Innocents’ 44  After beating the Wolves three times in the regular season, Holy Innocents’ kryptonite rared its ugly head again on the biggest stage. After blowing a 17-point lead last year in the title game, this time the Golden Bears trailed through out and lost to Wesleyan for the third time in the past four state championships. The Wolves’ repeat was led by Furman-signee Sutton West’s 17 points and 8 rebounds. AC Carter had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Old Dominion-signee Amaya Register scored 12 points and freshman Paige Lyons added 10 points and 6 rebounds. UGA-signee Kaila Hubbard finished her Holy Innocents’ career with 18 points and 4 rebounds.  Jada Farrell  had 13 points and 9 rebounds while freshman Jillian Hollingshead tallied 5 points, 16 rebounds and 3 blocks. Kennedy Suttle, a Penn-signee that had 16 points and 13 rebounds in last year’s final, was held to 4 points and 7 rebounds. As a team, the Golden Bears shot a woeful 27.1% from the field.

(B) #6 Aquinas 65, #4 St. Francis 60: St. Francis missed three three-pointers in the final 33 seconds as Aquinas won their first-ever state title. The Knights led 33-26 at the half, weathering a 12-to-4 foul count and a 13-of-15 free throw shooting effort, but in the third quarter, the game came to a screeching halt. The Irish outscored St. Francis 25-to-9 in the third as both Tre Gomillion and Trent Bowdre scored 8 apiece in the quarter. As a team, the Irish connected on 10-of-12 field goals in the third after shooting 6-of-19 in the first half. Aquinas controlled a 51-42 lead heading into the fourth. Dwon Odom scored nine of his game-high 22 points in the quarter. At the 6:47 mark of the fourth quarter, the Irish held a 55-48 lead. The Knights fought back and cut the deficit to 61-60 after Odom collected a steal and drained a three-pointer in transition with 48.7 remaining. The Knights had Daniel Parrish trapped in the corner on the press, but were called for a foul that sent the South Carolina move-in to the line. Parrish missed the front-end of the one-and-one, giving the Knights one last look with 8.9 seconds showing on the clock. Coach Drew Catlett designed a misdirection play that found CJ Riley open in the corner for a good look, but his three-pointer was off and Parrish secured the rebound, knocked down both free throws and clinched the title. As a team, the Irish went 24-of-27 from the line. St. Francis opened up 15-7 in the first quarter going 4-of-9 from deep, but finished just 6-of-26 for the game. Gomillion led Aquinas with 16 points and 14 rebounds after having just four points at the half. Dajuan Hill added 15 points and 5 rebounds while Parrish (14) and Bowdre (10) each hit double figures. Riley finished with 18 points and 4 assists for the Knights. Chase Ellis was quiet with 10 points.

Class AAAAAA

Lovejoy Lady Wildcats basketball

(G) R4 #1 Lovejoy 57, R6 #1 Harrison 41: Lovejoy used a 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter, outscoring the Lady Hoyas 23-to-5 to gain control and win their first-ever state title. After being held to 1-point in the first half, Genesis Bryant scored nine in the third quarter to spark the Wildcats, but Lovejoy still trailed 36-34. In the fourth quarter, it was fellow sophomore Anaya Boyd’s turn to carry the load. Boyd finished with 20 points and 5 rebounds, scoring nine in the fourth quarter. Bryant finished with 14 points. Avanna Preston scored 8 points while Kayla Brown collected 8 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks. The Wildcats cut down on their turnovers after committing 12 in the first half and finished with 16 on the night. Harrison turned it over 17 times, seven times in the second half. The Lady Hoyas were led by GCSU-signee Harper Vick’s 10 points and 4 assists. Sarah Woghiren had 8 points and 7 rebounds. Eastyn King and Amara Newsom each had 6 points. UAB-signee Audrey Jordan fouled out and was held to just three shot attempts, finishing with 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.

Langston Hughes Panthers Basketball

(B) R5 #1 Langston Hughes 85, R8 #1 Gainesville 78: In front of alumnus Deshaun Watson, Gainesville led by as many as 14 points at 42-28 at the 2:05 mark of the second quarter and carried a 45-38 lead into the half, but the Panthers of Langston Hughes would not be denied, as Coach Rory Welsh and company repeated as state champs. Saddled with foul trouble the entire game, the Red Elephants were able to control the tempo and slice up the Panthers defense in the first half. Kajuan Hale scored 13 of his 15 points in the half while Gainesville made Virginia Tech-signee Landers Nolley work for everything he got, scoring 16 points but also facilitating with five assists. Down seven points, Langston Hughes needed players other than Nolley to step up. Tyrel Morgan scored eight of his 14 points in the first half to provide support, but Tyler Smith was quiet with just three points and two rebounds.  Following a dormant opening 16 minutes, Smith brought a spark, scoring eight points in the third as the Panthers surged past Gainesville to take a 65-59 lead into the fourth. Gainesville’s final lead of the game came at the 2:16 mark of the third quarter up 57-56.  Middle Tennessee State-signee KJ Buffen scored all 13 of his points in the first half but sat in the second with foul trouble, only managing to take two shots in the second half. Not tested since their 83-81 comeback win at Buford on January 20, the Red Elephants faced adversity for the first time in a long time.  At the 1:47 mark of the fourth, Langston Hughes captured their largest lead of the game at 78-67 after a Tyler Smith And-1 and a technical foul on Brent Kelly that gave Nolley a pair of freebies. Instead of rolling over, the Red Elephants fought back in Coach Benjie Wood’s final game on the Gainesville sidelines. Bailey Minor completed a 4-point play, Hale split a pair of free throws and Rafael Rubel finished a layup to make it 78-74 with 1:13 remaining in the blink of an eye. Rubel would then add a three to make it 80-77 with 48 seconds to play, but that would be as close as the Red Elephants would get as Langston Hughes went 8-of-9 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. Nolley finished his illustrious career with three state titles — two in Georgia and three in a row including a sophomore championship campaign at Curie, IL. The future Hokie poured in 34 points (17-of-20 FT), 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Smith added 17 points. Gainesville was led by Minor’s 17 points. Rubel chipped in 12 points.

March 10 – McCamish Pavilion

Class AAAA

Spalding Lady Jaguars basketball

(GR2 #1 Spalding 58, R4 #1 Henry County 46: Sophomore forward Corriana Evans exploded for 19 points and 17 rebounds as the Jaguars raced past Henry County. Kirah Milner scored 9 points and Kiana Banks added 8 points and 9 rebounds. In the loss, Auburn-signee Brooke Moore had 21 points. Amaiya Jackson tallied 10 points and 8 rebounds. As a team, the War Hawks shot 6-of-29 from deep and 26.8% overall.

Upson-Lee basketball

B) R2 #1 Upson-Lee 70, R8 #1 St. Pius X 54: 63-straight. The Knights repeated as state champions, racing past the Golden Lions in the second half after trailing 33-32 at the break. With JaCorey Smith suspended, junior guard Jarrett Adderton stepped up. In his first showdown with the Golden Lions after transferring in from Florida in the off-season, the 6-foot-2 sparkplug provided the Knights with 16 points (7-11 FG) — 10 in the first half — 5 rebounds and 5 assists. St. Pius held their largest lead of the night at 33-25 after back-to-back Everett Lane threes with 1:04 left in the second quarter, but the Knights closed on a 7-0 run, capped by an Adderton block which led to a Tye Fagan layup with two seconds left. The Golden Lions drilled 5-of-14 threes in the first half and got eight points from Troy Stephens. But in the second half, the Knights slammed the door shut, St. Pius going 1-of-9. With the deep ball not dropping, the Golden Lions still harassed the Knights and trailed 44-40 with 1:19 left in the third before a Fagan layup and an Adderton jumper pushed the lead to 48-42 heading into the final quarter. In the fourth, the Knights ran wild as the Golden Lions’ tank was on E. A 14-2 run saw contributions from everyone, growing the lead to 64-47 with 2:49 showing on the clock. Fagan, a MTSU-commit, finished his high school career with 21 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Travon Walker helped the Knights dominate the paint for a second-consecutive time against the Lions, collecting 11 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks as the Knights out-rebounded St. Pius 43-to-28, blocked 11 shots and outscored St. Pius 40-28 in the paint. Zyrice Scott netted 14 points to go with his 4 rebounds and 5 assists. The X-factor in last year’s game, Everett Lane, finished with 11 points to pace the Golden Lions. Cameron Traylor drew the defensive duties and helped keep Lane in check as he took his first shot attempt at the 6:46 mark of the second quarter. Matt Gonzalo had 8 points and 4 assists while Zach Ranson added 9 points. The Golden Lions scored 19 points off 18 Upson-Lee turnovers. The Knights now await a call from the GEICO Nationals.

Class AAAAAAA

Westlake Lady Lions basketball

(GR2 #1 Westlake 60, R8 #1 Newton 45: Westlake led 39-32 at the end of three and pulled away late to claim their first state title. Anastasia Warren poured in 22 points while freshman Raven Johnson had 15 points and 11 rebounds including grabbing her own missed free throw and finishing a bucket inside to put the game out of reach at 50-41 with 1:13 remaining. Taylor Hosendove added 10 points and 6 rebounds. Newton was powered by Jurnee Smith’s 25 points and 6 rebounds. Lexii Chatman added 13 points and 7 rebounds.

Meadowcreek Mustangs basketball

(B) R7 #2 Meadowcreek 56, R7 #1 Norcross 43: For a second straight season, Norcross entered the state title game with momentum and labeled a slight favorite, but again it wasn’t in the cards. After beating Meadowcreek  three times this season, twice on buzzer-beaters, the Blue Devil magic ran out as the Mustangs used a 13-1 run to open the fourth quarter and squeeze Norcross into submission, capturing their first-ever state championship. Dequarius Nicholas scored 10 of his game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, going 5-of-6 from the foul line. Brandon Boston fouled out at the 6:10 mark with Meadowcreek up 38-37. With Boston’s 13 points on the bench, the Mustangs outscored Norcross 18-6 the rest of the way. Kyle Sturdivant finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds, but his late-game heroics never came into play. Meadowcreek pounded the interior all night, outscoring the Blue Devils in the paint 30-to-16. Duquesne-signee Amari Kelly posted 12 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks while Detroit-signee Cory Hightower put up 6 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Meadowcreek closed out the game with a bang at the 1:55 mark as freshman Kedrick Green delivered a behind-the-back pass to Jamir Chaplin for a big slam to make it 46-37.

Chaplin finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds while Green added 5 points. Meadowcreek tallied 12 assists on the night compared to just two for the Blue Devils. As a team, Norcross was held to 31% shooting. UGA-signee JoJo Toppin had 8 points and 7 rebounds while Issa Muhammad managed 4 points and 4 rebounds. Norcross shot 1-of-14 from three.