Tag Archives: Brent Bowman

Hadaway’s 43 and Barber’s big fourth lift No. 6 LaFayette over No. 10 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe

PRO Movement

No. 6 LaFayette 82, No. 10 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 69

The Elite Eight has been the ceiling for LaFayette the past two years losing at home to Cross Creek twice, the eventual state champion a season ago. The gap has been closing in Region 6-3A with Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe hard charging to challenge the Ramblers. On Tuesday, the Warriors hosted the two-time defending region champs with a chance to make a statement and seize early control of the region as both teams put Top 10 rankings and undefeated records on the line. In a game that saw explosive performances from star players, in the end it was the role players of the Ramblers that hit shots late to keep LaFayette atop the region as the team to beat.

In front of a packed house, No. 6 LaFayette (14-0) jumped out to an 11-3 lead as 6-foot-8 Ohio-signee Aidan Hadaway set the tone early with seven quick points. His dominance continued throughout the night, helping the Ramblers build a 20-10 lead after one quarter.

Struggling to defend Hadaway inside, No. 10 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (14-1) had to find mismatches of their own. The talented junior backcourt of Jamichael Davis and Brent Bowman got into a groove in the second quarter, Davis spurred by transition opportunities and Bowman by creative isolation takes from the perimeter.

Davis trimmed into the lead at the 6:42 mark with a coast-to-coast take after an errant fastbreak lob to Hadaway making it 20-14.

But as Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe began to climb back into the game, LaFayette still had a trump card with Hadaway. He scored on an isolation from the wing, spinning his way into the lane for a lefty floater before attacking again from the perimeter, getting to the paint and scoring on a patient step-through to hold a 28-22 lead with 2:52 to play in the second quarter.

Behind 11 points apiece from Davis and Bowman in the period, the Warriors won the quarter 24-14 to head into the half tied at 34. Davis and Bowman with 16 each while Hadaway had piled in 28 points, unstoppable around the rim.

The second half opened with a bang for the Warriors, Bowman catching fire hitting his first five shots, three pull-up jumpers and two three-pointers to push LFO ahead 46-40 at the 4:39 mark of the third. With the gym rocking, Junior Barber helped stem momentum with a drive to knot the game at 46.

The Warriors would carry a 56-51 lead into the fourth quarter after a 16-point explosion from Bowman and a manageable seven points from Hadaway, but as the third quarter winded down so did the life left in Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe’s legs.

Nursing a 59-54 lead early in the fourth quarter, the heavy lifting from the previous three quarters started to take a toll on each team’s star player especially Bowman, who couldn’t get the same lift on his jump shot as he did earlier. Bowman finished with a team-high 34 points and 5 rebounds but went cold with two points in the fourth quarter.

On the other end, Barber came to life for the Ramblers. The senior hit a pair of threes to trim the LFO lead to 61-57 at the 6:18 mark. Less than a minute later, Zach Barrett scored his only points of the game on a three and Barber scored on a put-back to edge LaFayette ahead 62-61. The Ramblers would close a 12-4 run with consecutive buckets from Hadaway to maintain a 66-63 advantage with 4:21 to play, the lefty’s first two buckets of the fourth quarter.

A Barber drive signified the beginning of the end for Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, giving the Ramblers the lead for good at the 3:16 mark, igniting a 16-2 run to close the game. Barber, who had six points over the first three quarters, poured in 19 in the fourth keyed by three three-pointers to finish with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals. Barber and Hadaway connected on back-to-back threes to stretch the lead to 74-69 with 2:15 remaining. Another Barber drive pushed the lead to eight points with 89 seconds left, all but putting the game out of reach.

Hadaway put the finishing touches on a monster night with a late free throw, capping his performance with 43 points, 18 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 blocks. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe received 27 points and 12 rebounds from Davis who scored seven of the Warriors’ 13 fourth quarter points.

My Take

Basketball in Northwest Georgia in Class 3A traditionally isn’t very strong compared to the rest of the state, so it was nice to see two legitimate powers finally test each other. LaFayette has big game experience. They are only challenged come February and haven’t played a road playoff game in over two years so Tuesday’s atmosphere was the toughest they’ve played in in years. Ohio-signee Aidan Hadaway is everything for the Ramblers. He’s the best forward in Georgia and is truly unstoppable in Region 6. The lefty went 18-30 from the field with seven misses coming from the three-point line. His motor and athleticism have long made him the best rebounder in the state but the way he has refined his offensive game has made him special. Hadaway is a mismatch with how he can attack off the dribble and get into the lane with ease. He has such a soft touch in the paint, scoring on step throughs, floaters and 10-foot jumpers. Hadaway has elevated his game even more from last season and likely is the best player Class 3A has to offer. For the Ramblers to get over the hump and make a Final Four or potentially a state title game, it comes down to their supporting cast. Hadaway can’t score 28 out of his team’s first 34 points every night. Someone needs to step up and take some sort of scoring burden off his shoulders. Junior Barber was that guy on Tuesday. In the fourth quarter, Barber looked like the freshest player on the floor. A strong athlete, Barber was aggressive and confident down the stretch. His contested pull-up three early in the frame was the beginning of a 19-point fourth quarter avalanche. If Barber is the consistent second option, a third is still needed. Jaylon Ramsey added 7 points while Jordan Kennerly collected 4 points and 8 rebounds. Maybe the biggest shot of the night came from junior guard Zach Barrett who was not a scoring threat the entire game. His three midway through the quarter brought the Ramblers to within one, right before Barber gave them the lead for good. It’s a shame the rest of the state doesn’t get to watch LaFayette play. Their only chance will be during the state tournament if the Ramblers lose a coin flip in the Elite Eight or make it to the Final Four or beyond, which is possible with Hadaway leading the charge.

Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe is on the verge of something special with their junior class. The Warriors should run the table next year in their region. As far as this year goes, they will be a threat come state tournament time. If they are unable to clip LaFayette, they will be a formidable two-seed if they don’t stumble. Their lack of size hurt them when trying to slow down Aidan Hadaway. While they had no answers for the All-State forward, LFO managed to present problems of their own with their dynamic backcourt. It was two vs. one the vast majority of the game with Jamichael Davis and Brent Bowman tag-teaming the scoring duties. With a combined 61 points between them, Davis and Bowman form the best backcourt in Northwest Georgia by far and one of the best 2023 guard tandems in the entire state. Davis, who has an Auburn offer, is an elite athlete that thrives in transition. He’s a habitual stat sheet stuffer that has added a reliable three-point shot to his game. Bowman is a special shooter. The show he put on in the third quarter was remarkable. His footwork in isolation settings, able to get to his spots consistently was out of this world. He hit contested jumper after contested jumper. Of his team-high 34 points, Bowman sank four threes and hit seven mid-range jumpers. Last year when I watched him vs. Sonoraville, he was off his game with four points. Tuesday, he looked like a future no-brainer at the D-I level making it clear why UMKC has already offered. Much like LaFayette, supporting cast production will be important come playoff time. Already an undersized lineup, finding points and rebounds will be imperative. Outside of Davis and Bowman, the rest of the roster managed just 8 points and 6 rebounds combined. It will be hard to sustain success against high level opponents with such limited help, but even if a third scorer or a helpful rebounder doesn’t emerge, it will be difficult for teams to slow down both Davis and Bowman for the full 32 minutes. 6-foot-3 junior Amari Burnett could play a big factor down the stretch after tearing his ACL when I saw him play last season. He’s a big body with some skill, able to rebound, score inside and stretch the floor with his jumper.

Top Performers

Aidan Hadaway – 43 points (18-30 FG), 18 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 blocks
Junior Barber – 25 points (19 in 4Q), 10 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block

Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe
Brent Bowman – 34 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Jamichael Davis – 27 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals, 1 block

Phoenix rise up to edge Warriors in The Furnace

Free Preview Week

No. 10 Sonoraville 55, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 51

In a season that has felt anything but normal, Friday night harkened back to the age of COVID-free basketball as No. 10 Sonoraville (16-0, 10-0) hosted Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (9-4, 7-3) in an important Region 6-3A battle. The Furnace was packed as the heat of the crowd helped spur the Phoenix to a 55-51 win continuing Sonoraville’s best start in the school’s 15-year history as they approach their record 23 wins behind a senior-laden group.

Coming off a statement win over No. 6 LaFayette 65-40, the Phoenix took to the floor for their third game in five days against a talented young Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe team. Sonoraville, who starts five seniors that have seen the good, the bad and the ugly over the course of their career, has risen from the ashes of irrelevancy to be the best team in Northwest Georgia this season enjoying a magical run. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe on the other hand, is led by a trio of talented sophomores that turned the Warriors from a 12-14 team to a burgeoning 23-5 power a season ago.

Led by Kevin Morrison and Orry Darnell, Sonoraville got off to a good start. Darnell, a 5-foot-11 point guard, scored from the mid-range to knot the game at 5 early on before Morrison sank a long jumper to make it 8-8 at the 2:41 mark.

Morrison hit a pair of threes and scored eight of his 12 points in the quarter to give the Phoenix a boost, but the Warriors answered with three three-pointers and entered the second quarter trailing 15-11.

Super sophomore 6-foot-1 point guard Jamichael Davis got loose in the second quarter for LFO getting a slam dunk to spark him and then taking his man off the dribble to keep the Warriors within reach at 21-17 mid-way through the quarter.

While Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe looked to speed the game up and take advantage of their athleticism, Sonoraville was comfortable playing at their own pace and following the lead of Darnell, who would finish with a game-high 19 points and 5 assists. He would score on a lefty finish and then net a mid-range jumper to help keep the Phoenix in front 27-24 at the half.

The Warriors came out of halftime with purpose, turning to a 2-2-1 press to try and speed up Sonoraville and force some live ball turnovers. Davis thrived in transition and helped the Warriors gain momentum. He would finish with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 steals and 1 block and set up Amari Burnett for a layup on the break to edge ahead 32-31.

Up 36-33 with 3:31 remaining in the third quarter and things starting to go LFO’s way, the tide turned on a game-changing play. Sonoraville had a fast break opportunity and Burnett hustled down the floor to clean up a potential miss, but his right knee buckled before he could go up for the rebound and he tumbled into a heap. Burnett would be helped off the floor and have ice applied, ending his day prematurely after leading all scorers at the time with 14 points, scoring inside and out and giving Sonoraville fits with his versatility and physicality.

With Burnett injured, 6-foot-2 forward Murray Somers started to take over. He would net nine of his 16 points in the quarter and finish with 10 rebounds. Somers got busy on the glass and hit a three at the buzzer to push Sonoraville to a 42-38 lead after three, closing on a 9-2 run after the loss of Burnett.

Without one of their most important pieces, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe continued to fight and nip away at the Sonoraville lead. Davis broke free for a transition slam to ignite a 5-0 run that would put the Warriors ahead 43-42, but Darnell and Somers hooked up for an And-1 to regain control at 45-43 with 3:57 remaining following Somers’ bucket and free throw.

In crunch time, it was Darnell and Somers’ time to shine. Sonoraville took the lead for good with 2:07 left on a Darnell three before Morrison got a putback with 1:58 remaining to extend the lead to 50-45.

Without a bucket in almost two minutes and scrambling for points, instead of a much-needed hoop, the Warriors saw Darnell come away with a steal with just 37.2 seconds to play. Following a pair of free throws, Cameron Gregg drilled a three to cut into the lead with 23.7 seconds left at 52-48. From there, Somers helped ice the game going 3-4 from the line to secure the 55-51 win.

My Take

While they may not be a state title favorite, Sonoraville will still be a tough out in the state tournament. Region 6-3A traditionally hasn’t been a juggernaut come playoff time, but there are a handful of solid teams. Sonoraville and Murray County are senior-heavy teams while Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe has the best young backcourt in the pocket of the state and LaFayette has big-game experience in February and has a star in 6-foot-7 Aidan Hadaway. With that being said, Sonoraville hasn’t compiled the resume that LaFayette has, who has won every game by double digits, but the Phoenix’s 65-40 destruction of the Ramblers speaks volumes. Aside from that win, Sonoraville has won games close and sometimes ugly. Out of their 16 wins, seven have come by 7 points or less. Their experience in tight games and their ability to know how to win when the game is on the line bodes well for a veteran group on the verge of making history. Orry Darnell is the head of the snake. The point guard plays with poise and very little flash. He orchestrates the offense and doesn’t need the extra razzle-dazzle to be effective. He excelled at getting to his spots in the mid-range and finding the open man. His timely play makes him the go-to guy when the game hangs in the balance capable of either being a scorer or facilitator. I thought Murray Somers was crucial down the stretch and is a versatile X-Factor. Listed at 6-foot-2, with his strong college-ready body and nose for the ball, Somers plays bigger than his size and can hurt teams inside and out. He was instrumental in helping shutdown Hadaway in their rout of LaFayette and on Friday, it was his 15 second half points that carried the Phoenix during stretches. Kevin Morrison stands 6-foot-4 and provides a similar inside-out diversity. He hit two early threes and crashed the glass inside.  Sonoraville is a team that plays hard and understands where their strengths and weaknesses lie. There is a synergy between the players and the staff led by Coach Brent Mashburn that helps the Phoenix when facing adversity. On the hunt for their first ever win in the state playoffs, if Sonoraville can secure home court advantage the Phoenix will be tough to beat in The Furnace.

Even with the loss and sitting at 7-3 in region play, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe is a scary team that no one will want to play come region tournament time. 6-foot-1 sophomore Jamichael Davis is a budding star. His electric athleticism and all-around floor game make him a complete guard. He can get to the rim with the best of them and can outjump anyone in the region. He will have to improve his outside shot, but few are better than Davis in transition. He and Dee Calhoun caused problems with their bounce and length. Calhoun is a solid role player that can chip in on the glass and defend multiple spots. The loss of Amari Burnett changed the game. At 6-foot-3, the wide-chested sophomore is a problem for opponents. The lefty can help stretch the floor and has nice footwork inside. He drained two threes before injuring his knee. If he is out for an extended period of time, it will hurt LFO’s chances of locking down a favorable seed. It was an off night for shooters Cameron Gregg and Brent Bowman. Bowman could never get into a flow, as he sat on the bench for long periods of time presumably with foul trouble. He started the game with a three-pointer and had some nice moves with the ball in his hands, but he could never consistently find his offense finishing with 4 points and 3 assists. Bowman has a lot of skill and when he’s on, he’s a three-level scorer that can torch defenses. The 2023 trio of he, Davis and Burnett should win many games and has the potential to be a major threat come state tournament time. I think those three could go toe-to-toe with many in Class 3A by the time they are seniors. Gregg, a senior, will be key down the stretch for LFO. His ability to stretch the floor alongside Bowman will give Davis plenty of drive and kick opportunities. Give credit to the Sonoraville defense to holding Gregg and Bowman to a combined 7 points, well below their combined 25.2 point-per-game average. I foresee bounce back games for both of them in the very near future.

Top Performers

Orry Darnell – 19 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals
Murray Somers – 16 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals
Kevin Morrison – 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal

Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe
Jamichael Davis – 17 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 steals, 1 block
Amari Burnett – 14 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 block
Dee Calhoun – 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals