Tag Archives: Harrison

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. Ashley 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.


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.


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.


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.

6A No. 2 Harrison controls tempo, but 7A No. 2 Collins Hill grinds out 42-39 win

Contributed by Rob Grubbs  (@RCGJr226070)

Sponsored by:   @sportalspace

7ANo. 2 Collins Hill 42, 6ANo. 2 Harrison 39

Harrison was able to neutralize Collins Hill’s size advantage for most of the game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. – In men’s basketball, most games are won with athleticism and skill, the tallest players and those that leap the highest usually determine the outcome.  But the ladies game has more room for diversity of style, it can be more of a tactical match of wits and the ability for the head coach to relate and motivate his team.  In the nightcap of the Queens of the Hardwood Classic, two of the best teams in the state faced off with completely different roster styles. The Harrison Lady Hoyas (7-2), who lost the state championship last season to Mays by one point, are currently ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAAA while Collins Hill (9-1) is ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAAAA. Harrison has a small quick line-up, they start four guards and a forward, while Collins Hill is exactly the opposite, they start four forwards and one guard. The game was a low scoring affair as the Lady Hoyas dictated the pace, but the Lady Eagles held on for the 42-39 win.

Collins Hill has All-State forward 6-foot-2 Jada Rice (NC State) and University of Georgia-commit 6-foot-3 Jayvn Nicholson and as Head Coach Brian Harmon said, “We prefer to work our offense inside and which opens up our outside shots.”

That is how the game started, Nicholson scored the first basket in the paint for Collins Hill to set the tone early. The Lady Hoyas prefer to run a motion offense with multiple passes and controlling the ball for long periods of time. Their typical possession contained up to 15 passes as they looked for the open shot, with the entire team working in orchestrated precision that resembles synchronized swimming in some instances. You could sense that the Lady Eagles’ height inside was affecting Harrison, as most of their shots had a much higher arch than normal and at the halfway mark of the first quarter, the Lady Hoyas still had not scored a point. Senior Harper Vick finally broke the ice with a three at 3:34 mark in opening quarter to tie the game at 3.

The change of pace from Harrison caused frustration for Collins Hill, with the Lady Hoyas controlling offensive possessions for long periods of time, they effectively took away what the Lady Eagles do best. The patience was paying off for Harrison as they jumped out to a 10-8 lead after the initial quarter.

With their post players effectively neutralized, Collins Hill showed that to be a champion you must adapt, and junior guard Bria Harmon (Purdue) took control of the Lady Eagle offense, hitting a runner early in the second quarter to tie the game up. Harmon, who is a Gwinnett Daily Post Super 6 pick (along with Nicholson) and Coach Harmon’s daughter, continued to look for scoring opportunities throughout the game.

Coach Harmon called upon junior Katherine Fourie off the bench to supplement the scoring and she came up big. She entered the game with the Lady Hoyas up 16-14 and scored six points in less than two minutes, including a three to push Collins Hill to a 22-16 halftime lead.

Coach Harmon said, “Katherine can provide instant offense for us, which we needed, I just had to figure the right moments to get her in there.”

When he put her in, she came through, as she led all scorers with 15 points, all of them clutch.

Harrison continued the game plan in the third but behind Harmon, the Lady Eagles were slowly growing the lead behind Harmon and with the clock clicking down in the third quarter, Lady Hoya senior guard Sarah Woghiren hit a three at the buzzer to turn a 9-point deficit into a more manageable 31-25 game entering the fourth.

After a Jaron Stallworth basket, the Lady Eagles were up 37-30 with 4 minutes remaining, but Harrison head coach Steve Lenahan, in his 10th season, saw his plan coming into focus as the Lady Hoyas scored six unanswered to pull within one point with two minutes left.

Harrison had two possessions to take the lead but could not convert on either one and then “instant offense” Fourie hit a three-pointer with 1:13 remaining that seemed to ice the game at 40-36.

The Lady Hoyas didn’t bring the word quit with them on the bus from Kennesaw and when Vick converted a free throw to complete a three-point play to bring the game to 40-39 with 37 seconds, they were just a turnover away from another chance to snatch a win. However, Collins Hill broke the press and Nicholson hit two free throws to ice the game for the 42-39 win.

Coach Harmon was frustrated but pleased with the outcome. He closed with, “We have to do a better job of forcing our tempo instead of just allowing ourselves to play our opponents game, that is the lesson that we learned tonight.”

He had a classroom-style chat with the team on the bench for about ten minutes before they headed home.  Hopefully, it is a lesson his team learned, as the head coach of their next opponent was in the building to observe and scout.

Great teams separate themselves from the good teams by the way they adjust, Collins Hill has the roster, it us up to them to learn from tonight and move forward.

Rob’s Takeaways

  1. Junior Bria Harmon is a three-year starter at point guard and usually has the take of setting up the post players down low, but tonight, she took on more scoring responsibility and kept the Lady Eagles in the game throughout. She played excellent defense, and has extremely quick hands and feet. Being the head coach’s daughter can bring its own set of challenges, but she saw the direction the game took and understood it was her responsibility to score.
  2. I was excited to see Jada Rice and Jayvn Nicholson work inside and was disappointed they were regulated to a spectator role for much of the time. They will need to adapt, as several coaches from other top high school programs were in attendance for the game and took notes on how to neutralize their presence.
  3. The Players of the Game, as determined by the teams’ head coaches were UAB-signee Audrey Jordan for Harrison and Bria Harmon for Collins Hill.
  4. Coach Harmon had excellent utilization of Katherine Fourie, he brought her into situation when the Lady Eagles needed points and she delivered.
  5. As the region slate heats up, Harrison needs to find a consistent scorer to depend on, will that be Harper Vick, Sarah Woghiren, Audrey Jordan? Who will take the shots with the game on the line?
  6. Does Collins Hill get maximum exposure from “instant offense” Katherine Fourie off the bench or would she be better suited for the starting five? Coach Harmon will have to continue playing his hunch here as the region and playoff games get more important down the road.
  7. Up next – for Harrison, they face Lambert on Thursday night at the Hawks-Naismith Classic. Collins Hill plays Buford in the same tournament.

Top Performers

Collins Hill
Katherine Fourie – 15 points, 4 assists, 2 steals
Bria Harmon – 14 points, 4 rebounds
Javyn Nicholson – 6 points, 8 rebounds
Jaron Stallworth – 5 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks

Amara Newsom – 10 points, 2 rebounds
Audrey Jordan – 8 points, 7 rebounds
Harper Vick – 7 points, 3 assists

Georgia Tech Girls Team Camp Notes

By Bre Singleton (@bre_singleton)

Daishai Almond
Daishai Almond

Reigning Class 6A State Champion Mays faced Peach County in what ended up being a battle. Down by just two points at the half, Peach County had a few bigger guards on the roster to help combat Mays’ quickness. One player in particular stood out. Daishai Almond, a 5’9” point-forward is a baller. On several occasions, she snagged a rebound and pushed it the length of the floor for a smooth bucket. Almond has recently gotten interest from the host team, Georgia Tech to go along with offers from Louisville and Kennesaw State. Whether she chooses to stay in-state, or to take her talents elsewhere, I’m confident that Almond will be able to step in and immediately bring scoring and versatility to any program.

Life after Kamiyah Street will be difficult for Mays but Natoria Hill will look to step up and run the point guard position. Hill, a 5’8” junior, has the length to be a pesky defender and the aggression to get to the rim. With a little more work on her mid-range game, I think she has the potential to be a very solid player. Chardae Bell also contributed with a scrappiness on defense that would frustrate many. Much like Hill, the addition of an outside jumper to Bell’s game would really help her stretch the floor in that Raider offense.


After picking up the win over Peach County, Mays had a state championship rematch with Harrison, who I had the chance to watch a week or so ago and Georgia State’s team camp. I profiled Harper Vick at GSU, but Sarah Woghiren had a command over the court on Saturday for the Lady Hoyas. She put up 17 points and pulled six boards against the defending champs on their way to a win. Woghiren is strong and finishes well at the rim. If you’re going to foul her, you’ve got to make sure she doesn’t get the shot up at all, because if she does, there’s a good chance she’s getting the and-one.

Vick did not disappoint either. Her quickness led to easy leak-outs as Mays defenders had a hard time keeping track of her on the court. Finally for the Hoyas, Mae Willis had a solid game, getting to the free throw line early and often. Willis turns defense into offense for Harrison, coming up with steals and forcing the issue on the break.

Duluth leans on upperclassmen 

The last game of the day that I was able to catch was Duluth vs. Hardaway out of Columbus. As Endia Banks gets settled into college life in Miami, the Wildcats will have some work to do to replace her and Brianna Dixon in the backcourt. Victoria Oglesby is still looking very strong, coming off of several great performances in the state tournament. She was aggressive, getting to the line at will. She’ll look to decide on a school either later this month or early in July after re-opening her recruitment.

Zaniaya Williams is also on top of her game this summer. She pounded the boards hard for Duluth and had several putbacks for scores. Torey Walker, a 5’10” point-forward also looks promising going into her junior year. She seems to be getting more comfortable with her game which ought to bode well for the Wildcats. The only problem that stood out for Duluth was its inability to score. Oglesby broke Hardaway’s pressure but Duluth couldn’t seem to put the ball into the basket very much in the second half. Hardaway on the other hand attacked the basket and finished more often than not. It’ll be interesting to see how Duluth’s rotation shakes out when the GHSA season rolls around. They’ll need to address the backcourt to keep up with the likes of Collins Hill in Region 6-AAAAAAA.

Sandy’s Spiel Super Sleepers (Update 1/6/15)




2015-16: Harrison: (7-7, 2-3)
2014-15: Harrison: (10-17, 4-10) 

The Hoyas have played well and are right in the thick of things in Region 4, battling for a top four seed heading into the region tournament. DJ Rowe was expected to be a big piece of the puzzle this year at the guard position, but he is no longer with the program. Juniors Juwan Owens and Tate Coston have played exceptionally well in his absence. In Tuesday’s 61-59 overtime win over North Cobb, Owens finished with 23 points. The heart and soul of the Hoyas however is senior forward Austin York. The big man has manufactured buckets inside and has shown touch from the perimeter. He posted 15 points and 11 rebounds in the win. The Hoyas have the bulk of their region schedule ahead including two meetings with No. 6 McEachern. Harrison should be in-line to capture a state playoff berth, but if they aren’t able to, expect them to play the role of spoiler down the stretch.



2015-16: Houston County: (5-7, 0-1)
2014-15: Houston County: (10-16, 0-7)

Houston County has played a challenging non-region schedule to get ready for 2016. The Bears have seen 5-star forward Khavon Moore and Westside-Macon three times this season and took 1-of-3. A 55-50 overtime loss to 1A-Private No. 8 Whitefield Academy early in the season was a promising sign that the Bears have enough talent to stick with anyone. Their best win of the season came against 9-3 Dublin, 88-77. The Bears have a balanced attack which is spearheaded by DL Hall, Jaylon Golds and Amari Colbert. Kolbey Singleton, Marquis Traylor, Javion Johnson and Zion Johnson also get the lion’s share of minutes. In Region 2B, the Bears are stuck with No.10 Warner Robins, Jones County and Northside-Warner Robins. They will need to play good ball to get into the postseason, but they have more than enough talent to get the job done.

Class AAAA


2015-16: Stephens County: (12-4, 1-0)
2014-15: Stephens County: (8-19, 3-7) 

At 12-4, the Indians are off to the best start of any Super Sleeper and have already surpassed last year’s win total. Stephens County won the Apple Classic in Walhalla, South Carolina and will enter region play with good momentum even after a 68-58 loss to Hart County. Nunu Walker, DeUndra Singleton and Ty Nails have played well for the young team that features just three seniors. Walker is a junior guard, while Singleton is a 6-foot-7, 240-pound sophomore and Nails a 6-foot-4 freshman. Stephens County’s best wins have come against 10-4 Madison County, 69-66 and 8-7 Jackson County, 50-46. Region 8 is wide open this year with Madison County, North Hall, White County, Buford and Monroe Area all contenders.

Class AAA


2015-16: Pepperell: (8-5, 3-0)
2014-15: Pepperell: (11-15, 5-5) 

In teeny-tiny Region 5, the Dragons are emerging as a front-runner to capture a top two seed. In 5B, Rockmart (2-10) and Cedartown (3-7) don’t look like challengers. In 5A, lies No. 8 Callaway (5-3), Central-Carrollton (7-5) and Haralson County (0-14). Malech Wilson, Austin Strickland and Thomas Eddy have led the charge. Coach Skip Matherly sports eight seniors and six sophomores on their roster, giving them a blend of experience and youth. Currently the Dragons are on a six-game winning streak entering the heart of region play. Key tilts on Jan. 15 and Feb. 2 against Callaway will determine how legit Pepperell really is.

 Class AA


2015-16: Social Circle: (6-8, 0-2)
2014-15: Social Circle: (8-14, 4-8) 

Only two teams, Riverside Military (6-5) and Washington-Wilkes (7-5), are above .500 in Region 8. The Redskins are in last place in the region at 0-2, but have plenty of time to catch the three leaders that sit at 2-1. Junior Deion Head continues to be one of the best players in the region. He is averaging 18.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 3.7 steals per game. One area for improvement in order to take his game to the next level would be his three-point shooting. He is an unfathomable 2-of-46 from beyond the arc, good for a miniscule 4%. The Redskins shoot just 21% from deep and will need to find some perimeter threats if they want to make the playoffs. Freshman Nick DeBoer is the team’s best shooter at 36% from three. He is averaging 9.4 points per game. Senior Zae Jackson adds 8.9 while sophomore Antonio Dorsey is posting 7.6 points and 8.0 rebounds on average. Senior Tommy Johnson leads the team in rebounding at 8.1 to go along with his 6.9 points per game.

Class A


2015-16: Pinecrest Academy: (7-7, 1-4)
2014-15: Pinecrest Academy: (10-15, 4-8)

Balance has helped the Paladins get off to a steady start. Three players average double figures with two others scoring over 7 points per night. Seniors Zayne Rice and Adam Rocko have been consistent scorers. Rice averages 12.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals while Rocko goes for 10.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals. Junior John Crone pitches in 10.3 points per game. Seniors Santi Villar and Matt Howell both average over 7 a night. 1A-Private is wide open this season, but Region 6B looks too tight for the Paladins to bust into the playoffs. No. 2 St. Francis and No. 8 Whitefield Academy are among the seven teams ahead of the last-place Paladins in 6B.

12-12 Top Games Preview

IMG_7921No. 1 Lithonia (5-2) at No. 6 St. Pius (5-1)

The No. 1 ranked Bulldogs visit the No. 6 ranked Golden Lions in a crucial Region 6-AAAA showdown. Both teams along with No. 5 Grady have emerged as the front runners to win one of the state’s toughest regions. Grady visits Lithonia on Friday with a chance to extend their lead on the rest of the region after already knocking off St. Pius, 51-50. Even after back-to-back losses to Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC) and 3ANo. 3 Morgan County 44-41, Lithonia has maintained its No. 1 ranking all season. The addition 6-foot-7 forward Jacara Cross from Cedar Grove has seemingly put the Bulldogs over the top as a legitimate state title contender. Cross is coming off a 19-point, 10-rebound performance in an 85-52 blowout victory over Chamblee on Tuesday. His versatility to score inside and out coupled with the rest of a talented senior class makes Lithonia a diverse team that can get stops and get out and run while also being able to score in the half court. Tyheem Freeman scored 22 points on Tuesday while Rodney Chatman finished with 13 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Tyleen Patterson is another important guard and Derious Wimberly is an experienced body inside. St. Pius will counter with leading scorer, senior forward Kerney Lane. The 6-foot-6 southpaw leads the Golden Lions in scoring with over 21 points per game. His ability to drive the lane and hit the open jumper makes him tough to stop. In a 33-30 slugfest victory over Columbia on Dec. 4, Lane drilled a three at the buzzer to secure the victory and fend off the Eagles. He scored 24 of his team’s 33 points and doesn’t shy away from taking big shots. He receives help from another talented forward, Christian Merrill. Inside, 6-foot-7 Jakob Spitzer must play well. He has shown flashes this season of being a threat down low, but consistency is the one aspect he must find in order to take not only his game, but the Golden Lions to the next level. His play inside against Cross will be an important matchup to keep an eye on.

IMG_7923No. 9 LaGrange (5-0) at No. 8 Callaway (2-0)

5ANo. 9 LaGrange plays the first of a home-and-away tilt against 3ANo.8 Callaway on the road. LaGrange is still looking to hit its stride under first-year Head Coach Mark Veal. Junior LaPerion Perry was hampered at the beginning of the season due a fractured toe he suffered while playing football, but he has begun to work his way back into shape. He joins Rico Smith, an explosive guard who has produced games of 36 and 31 points already in the early season. In Tuesday’s 55-51 win over Whitewater, he scored a team-high 18 points to keep the Grangers undefeated. Mike Hardy, Qua Epps and Alex Dantzler are all capable scorers in the guard heavy lineup. A pair of 6-foot-6 forwards, Kenan Gray and Bryan Fanning, help balance the offensive attack. Fanning finished with 12 points Tuesday night. Callaway is another team that relies on its quick and feisty guards to harass opponents into turnovers which lead to easy buckets. Last year the Cavs were one of the highest scoring teams in AAA, averaging 79 points per game. Junior combo guard Braylon Sanders paces the attack with 18.5 points per game. Dre Martin has poured in 16 points in both games while 6-foot-4 forward Joe Brown is averaging 14 per game. Earnest Patillo is another dangerous threat and scored 17 points in the Cavs’ 75-62 season opening win against Greenville to lead the team.

IMG_7922Harrison (4-2) vs. Houston County (2-2)

On Nov. 3 I released my Sandy’s Spiel Super Sleepers (https://sandysspiel.com/sandys-spiels-super-sleepers/) for the 2015-16 season, and low and behold, two of them meet at the East Hall Showcase tournament. Harrison has played well this season as they battle for a top four seed out of Region 4-AAAAAA. On Tuesday the Hoyas dropped a close one, 69-68 at Hillgrove. Austin York is the team’s captain and go-to player. He is 6-foot-4 and has good feet inside, showing an ability to score down low with a variety of moves. York also likes to step outside and shoot the three when open, and is a steady defender, always eager to give his body up to draw a charge. Ryan Boler is another hard working post player that does the dirty work inside for Coach Clay Crump. Tate Coston, Chris Brown and Juwan Owens all do nice things from their guard positions and help keep the offense flowing. They will be tested by 2-AAAAA’s Houston County Bears, a dangerous team that continues to grow under Coach Stephen Walls. Zion Johnson, DL Hall, Jaylon Golds and Amari Colbert are all strong guards that can score the ball and defend. They will be put to the test on Friday at No. 8 Warner Robins, but it won’t be their first challenge of the year. After dropping the season opener to the nearly unstoppable Khavon Moore and Westside-Macon 64-41, a week later they quickly rebounded and defeated them at home, 78-75 in overtime. Three days later they fell to 1ANo. 4 Whitefield Academy 55-50. Last Friday the Bears beat Dublin 88-77 behind some big performances. Johnson scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out five assists. Hall went for a team-high 25 points and 12 rebounds while Golds gave Coach Walls another all-around floor game, collecting 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Javion Johnson and Marquis Traylor are two athletic big men that complement the Bears’ strong guard play and make them a complete team.