Monday, March 10, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Finally, Kendrick is state champ. After five consecutive trips to the semis, the Lady Cherokees broke through with a 79-67 win over Carrollton.
The Lady Trojans were a game opponent and Velicia Bell gave KHS’ vaunted full court press major problems in the first half, helping Carrollton jump out to a surprising 15-8 lead.
But KHS senior guard Mukia Myrick would not let her team lose. She took over in the third quarter, and scored 25 points en route to the victory. The Lady Cherokees also had too much depth for CHS, as you could see fatigue slowly creeping up on Carrollton the entire second half. Meanwhile, Sterling Hicks’ team was firing on all cylinders.
After the final buzzer, it was hard not to feel good for Kendrick. They have suffered so much heartbreak in the past five years. In the final minute of the game, and the result no longer in doubt, tears of joy began to stream down the face of senior Ashlee Barley. Her senior class will leave a great legacy at Kendrick, mow they can add a state title to that legacy.
It was a David vs. Goliath matchup with super-talented Glenn Hills taking on Cinderella story Carver-Columbus. But in the end, the talent and superior execution proved the difference in a 64-57 victory for GH.
Spartan point guard Reggie Middleton (Winthrop commit) controlled the tempo as Glenn Hills picked their game up in the second half. Shawn Allen was also huge off the bench, dropping 18 points.
The surprising Tigers fought hard for the duration, and even lead early on. But a lack of offensive execution cost them dearly. They turned the ball over countless times in transition and fired up too many bad shots in their half court offense.
Even though the game was being played at GH’s pace, Carver was able to hang around thanks to their athleticism. And a layup from Carlos Ross pulled the Tigers within four with just over one minute remaining. But Glenn Hills hit big free throws, and Carver couldn’t convert the rest of the way. Jarvis Jones proved he can play with the big boys, scoring 23 points for Carver.
Overall, it was a decent matchup and game. But Glenn Hills deserved the win, congratulations to them on their first state championship in boys basketball.
Sometimes it pays to be wrong. Up until the finals, I had professed the lack of close games throughout the 1A basketball tournament. However, it seemed once the calendar turned to March, the madness invariably ensued. In the boys final, the biggest challenge for Turner County was how they were going to stop Hancock Central’s Kammeon Holsey. They did a good job in the first half as they kept Holsey from establishing himself on the inside and only trailed 22-20 at the half. Turner then started the second half with a bang, running a set play to Demetreius Ewing in which he dunked the ball on an alley-oop from Marquis Jackson. When that happened, I really thought Turner had gotten over the hump and they would take the title. But give Hancock credit, as they were finally able to establish Holsey inside. Doing so helped build a four-point lead with 30 seconds to go, a lead they did their best to give away. After two Turner free throws cut the lead to two, Hancock through the ball away on a turnover leaving Turner’s Todd Lawson wide open for a 3-pointer to win the game, which hit the back iron and fell safely to the court. Hancock wins 49-45.
It was much of the same excitement in the girls final between Calvary Day and Terrell County. In pre-game, Terrell seemingly had a huge advantage as they outsized the girls from Calvary all along the interior, however, Calvary used their speed and agility to their advantage late to get open shots. Calvary’s Natalie Paris was the best example, as she hit three 3-pointers from NBA range. For Terrell, it was once again the Monshay Thomas Show as she scored 26 of her team’s 48 points. It was the defense that really did Terrell in, however. They switched from man to zone throughout the game but Calvary was still able to move the ball and find open spots, which usually were behind the arc. Calvary wins 57-48.
Jason Boral can be reached at email@example.com.
A first title for one program, old hat for another. Friday afternoon was magical for two teams at Gwinnett Arena as the Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers and the Columbia Eagles each defeated a Fayette County team to win a state basketball title. In the first matchup, Charenee Stephens showed the world why she is headed for South Carolina to star as a Gamecock. She grabbed rebound after rebound and put back shot after shot as the Lady Panthers claimed the program’s first title. The Panthers were at it from the start as the team held an early 12-7 lead and then watched it grow throughout the half. By the third quarter, the lead was 19, and though Fayette County, behind Tessah Holt, made a late charge, it was not to be as Stephens and the rest of the Lady Panthers gave head coach Kathy Richey-Walton the 2008 AAAA state championship. The final score was 62-46, but the game was never in doubt after the first quarter.
Then it was the boys’ turn as the Columbia Eagles made their third straight appearance in the title game. The Eagles captured the crown in 2006, only to lose to Tucker in 2007. In 2008, the team would have to overcome an early deficit, but ultimately claimed the crown. Fayette County’s Brandon Boykin and Cuincy Carruthers made up for leading scorer Noel Johnson’s absence in the first half, keeping the Tigers to within seven despite letting Eagle senior Kenny Mitchell score 12 first half points. In the second half, Carruthers caught fire as he finished with 25 points, but it was not to be as Travis Leslie and Darrius Morrow led the Eagles to victory. The score was close with three minutes to go and the Tigers had a chance to seize the lead with a minute to play, but the ball couldn’t go through the hoop and the Eagles danced to a 69-63 win. Fayette County, which started the day with a shot at two titles, left Gwinnett Arena without one.
Fletcher Proctor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After losing in the semifinals in three consecutive years, the dominant group of girls from Stephenson finally put it all together in '08, defeating Redan 58-43 in Friday's State Championship showdown. Leading the way for Stephenson was senior Jylisa Williams with 15 points, while Yasheeka Jones and Hiydaayh Williams each scored 10 of their own. In the end, the Stephenson size and athleticism made the difference, as Redan simply could not keep up in the physical matchup. Another significant factor in the Stephenson win: The girls had more blocks against Redan than I have ever seen in a girls basketball game. In fact, LSU signee Taylor Turnbow blocked nine shots all on her own. And despite the final 15-point deferential, Stephenson's fluid team basketball and overall athletic play made the girls 5A Finals an exciting event to witness.
The boys final featured the two best teams in the State of Georgia, as Norcross defeated Wheeler 57-54 in what turned into an epic battle. For the most part, the game was played above the rim, with ferocious dunks numbering in the double digits. The victory also represented the third-straight championship for the Blue Devils. For Wheeler, Miami commitment, Dequan Jones, along with Ari Stewart kept the Wildcats in the game. Stewart led all scorers with 18 points, while Jones converted on a number of memorable dunks and played physical defense down low against Norcross star Al-Farouq Aminu, who with 17 points was held six below his season average. In the end, however, Aminu's physical all-around play made the difference, as the all-american also recorded six blocked shots. Forgetting about the outcome, the final quarter of play displayed two immensely talented teams playing basketball at a phenomenal level rarely seen in the high school game. And what a joy it was to watch that kind of play.
Scott Janovitz can be reached at SJanovitz@scoreatl.com
Saturday, March 8, 2008
That was a wild one. Carver fought hard, but they just didn't have it tonight. You could see why they made it here because of their athleticism, but they weren't able to execute at crucial times. They just couldn't ever get it down to a one-score game. What a tourney run they had though, they have no reason to hang their heads. Look out for them next season as Jones returns alongside plenty more firepower.
Meanwhile, Glenn Hills are state champs. And they deserve it, they were the better team on the floor tonight. They've flown uner the radar, but they are as talented as anyone out there. And they showed it tonight with fantastic performances from Reggie Middleton and and Chris Reynolds.
I hope you enjoyed our coverage over the past two days, and the whole tournament here on GPB. It's been a great basketball season, and I enjoyed being a part of it with you today. See you all next year!
IT's over. Glenn Hills are champions. Congratulations Spartans!
Ross had an open look from the corner to pull Carver within 2 but missed it. Middleton going to the line with 8 seconds to play and Glenn Hills holding a 62-57 lead
It's not over yet, GH just lost the ball out of bounds.
WHAT A PUT BACK DUNK by Ross for Carver off a missed three pointer. It may be too little too late though. Just 15 seconds to play and GH with the lead
REynolds to the line for GH, Hawkins has fouled out. 39 seconds left. He makes one of 2
Hawkins throws it away, that might do it.
Allen makes both FTs
That last offensive possesion was an opportunity missed for Carver. They really need Allen to help them out here and miss one or both of these FT's.
Charge on Carver, that looked like a flop to me. Allen is going to the line with 0:49 seconds left as Jones was forced to commit his fifth foul.
TURNOVER GLENN HILLS. Curry steps out of bounds in the backcourt. 1:02 to play now
Ross gets the 2, its a 4 point game
Carver have not shot the 3 well all game, but they will probably try to set up an outside shot here to make this a one-score game.
Carver can't convert on the next possesion. But Jones gets the ball back after a scrum under the basket. He hit the deck hard diving for the loose ball and got the timeout. 1:25 to play and the Spartans lead 59-53
Looks like that play worked, Jones with the lay up off the inbounds pass and it's back to five. But once again, Carver's pressure D results in a foul. Reggie Middleton hits 1, and it's a 6 point lead for GH with 2 minutes to play
Just a quick note, both teams are in the double bonus
Carver timeout with the ball and 2:29 to play and a 57-51 lead for GH. This is a crucial posession for the Tigers.
1 of 2 from Hawkins and its a 56-61 game. But Fortson fouls out on a bad foul in the backcourt. Patrick Willis will play the rest of the way because of his disqualifcation. 2:46 to go
Martin takes a bad shot, but Hawkins gets the board and gets fouled by McCloud. That's 5 on McCloud and he's finsihed. Demetrius Curry, who started the game but hasn't had much of an impact, will replace him.
GH throw it away with 3:03 to play, Carver have a chance to finally get closer than 6 here.
Great take by Hawkins and its back down to 6 with 3:10 to go.
Fortson gets the call this time as he draws foul #4 on McCloud. He converts on 1 of 2 and it's 56-48
Jarmon Fortson needs to stay under control. He provides great energy but is losing his cool with regards to the referees. If doesn't watch out he will get a T.
Carver just can't seem to get closer than six. They're down 55-47 with White going to the line for Glenn Hills. Timeout for Carver with 3:49 to play.
Stephenson just fouled out on a charge. That could be big. It was a good call. 4:53 to play
Jones is already making his presence known, as hie scores with a putback to make it 53-47 with just over 5 minutes left
Johnson just committed his fifth foul for Carver, and here comes Jones to take his place.
It will be interesting to see when Coach Beulah comes back with Jones, who is currently sitting on the bench with 4 fouls.
Carlos Ross makes good on the FT's this time, and it's a 6 point game with 6:20 to go
Shawn Allen wiht another big bucket to stretch the lead to 8. He has been huge tonight for the Spartans.
Reynolds jut missed an easy one for GH, but he got the rebound and put it back in. Meanwhile, Carver are shooting 1-and-1 after Emilio Johnson draws the 4th foul against Stephenson. But he fails to convert the 1-and-1.
Jones with an offensive board and score after a steal and its down to 4 right away.
Fouth quarter is just started with GH inbounding at half court.
A tip-in with 5 seconds to play for Carver, and it's just a 47-41 game heading to the final quarter. Stay tuned...
Despite that three from Reynolds, Glenn Hills are losing the momentum. They just turned it over, and Wallace calls a full timeout with 1:01 to play and GH leading 47-39.
GH responds with a three of they own from Reynolds. But Carver come back down the floor and Carolos Ross gets to the line. He splits a pair.
Hawkins for three and its down to 44-38.
Carver have been better offensively, but they need to make the extra pass. They just took an off balance shot rather than finding a wide open Martin in the corner. GH leads 44-35
Jones is having some trouble for Carver. It looks like he's being bothered by an injury and GH are bringing the double-team whenever he touches the ball in the paint.
Stephenson just came through with a fantastic three-point-play. GH now lead by 10 with 3:20 to go
Carver may be in the bonus before we reach the 3rd quarter. As Glenn Hills already have 5 team fouls.
I'm a little surprised to see Martin exit the game here with 4:45 to go in the quarter. He has been a big reason for Carver's offensive resurgence although it hasn't shown on the stat sheet. Immediately after he exits Carver turns the ball over and loses Emilio Johnson for a while as he commits his fourth foul on the ensuing breakaway. He probably should have just let GH's Jihad McCloud get the layup rather than going for the big time block. Media timeout from Macon, Glenn Hills with the 36-30 lead
Charles Martin has been handling the bal more for Carver in this half. He's done a nice job so far. Nice shot drive by Emilio Johnson to make the score 35-30 in favor of Genn Hills
Hawkins with the J and Carver have the momentum, they trail 33-28
We've got three team fouls on GH just 40 seconds into the quarter. That could loom large down the line.
BIG PLAY from Marcel Hawkins as he draws the third foul for Stephenson just 10 seconds in. Jones with the bucket soon after and Carver are down 7 in the opening minute
Third quarter is underway, Carver ball.
Under 1 minute before we start the second half. Jarvis Jones has 3 fouls for Carver, keep an eye on that. I'd expect the Spartans to go right at him in this third quarter and try to draw number 4.
HALFTIME- Glenn Hills 33-24 Carver.
You could see why no one expected Carver to get this far. I don't even want to think about how many turnovers (many of them unforced) they had in the second quarter. Jarmon Fortson lost control of the tempo as Middleton began to dictate the pace of the game. This clearly frustrated the Tigers, and they fell apart on offense. Rather than slowing things down, they tried to make up the growing deficit all at once by launching ill-advised jump shots. A lot of their turnovers came in transition, with the quick and long combo of Stephenson and Reynolds getting into passing lanes.
For Glenn Hills, they have a 9 point lead without playing their best game. They started to calm down towards the end of the half, with Middleton taking control and Stephenson/Reynolds becoming more involved. They also benifited from some great bench play with White and Shawn Allen providing an excelent spark. If they play the way they did in the final few minutes of the quarter, they should come out on top.
I'm going to get a quick breather. But I'll be back with all the second half action.
It's halftime and Glenn Hills hold a 33-24 lead.
Another bad shot for Carver as Marcel Hawkins fires up a contested trey with 30 seconds to go. Carver should have held for the last shot, instead Andre White is heading to the line for GH
Fortson with the offensive rebound on a FT miss, he lays it in and it's 28-24. But Reggie Middleton is headed back to the line after being fouled in the backcourt with 1:17 to play
Carver are a mess offensively right now. They have only taken a handful of quality shots this quarter.
Nice reverse from Allen, he has six off the bench and GH lead 26-21 with 2 minutes to go. Soon after, Marcel Hawkins throws up a shot thats as good as a turnover. Warren Beulah needs to get his team under control, they can't afford to play this poorly against a team like Glenn Hills.
Turnovers on four consecutive possesions. This has been the most poorly executed season I've seen all year.
This game is turning into a track meet. And it's been ugly for both teams with countless turnovers.
Timeout with 4:16 to go in the quarter. Glenn Hills have had the edge recently, but they need to start converting on their opportunities offensively. Reynolds and Middleton have played well in this quarter. Carver need PG Jarmon Fortson to play better, he has been erratic in this quarter and it has cost them dearly.
It seems like it's been 23-19 for an eternity. Both teams are missing a ton of shots.
Carver are no longer controlling the tempo. Which could be very dangerous against a talented team like Glenn Hills.
Glenn Hills have really brought the defense in this quarter. Carver have three turnovers by my count with just two minutes played. Meanwhile, Middleton is starting to dominate.
Reynolds is starting ot assert himself. What a pass to Andrea White under the basket who drew the foul. He sinks both from the line to give the Spartans the 19-17 lead
We've got a Chris Reynolds sighting. He's at the line after grabbing an offensive board. He splits a pair at the line to tie the game at 15.
Second quarter is underway, GH ball
Carver go in front on a nice spot up three from Martin with 10 seconds to go. After one quarter of play, Carver leads 15-14.
Allen with another bucket, he has been a major spark off the bench for the Spartans
Stephenson has 2 fouls after he was just called for a block. That's smoething to keep an eye on.
Middleton is startng to find his groove. He just found Shawn Allen for an open layup to make it a 1 point game
Middleton comes out of the TO and hits a three. 8-5
TV timeout with 4:25 to go. Carver lead 8-2. Coach Wallace does not look happy with the effort from his Glenn Hills team. They have not executed their gameplan early.
Yet another turnover for the Spartans as Middleton loses the ball out of bounds. If Carver can hit a few shots here they could get out to a nice lead.
Glenn Hills with another turnover on a backcourt violation and Wallace calls for time. GH seem to be nervous which is common in a state title game. But Carver have come out poised and executing their game.
Glenn Hills are a little out of control early. Stephenson jsut threw an ill-advised pass out of bounds. 7-2 Carver leads
You can see why Carver gave Dunwoody prolems. They can get up and down the floor in no time.
Middleton gets GH on the board with 6:30 to go in the quarter.
Jones muscles his way down low and notches a three point play. 5-0 to Carver.
Nice J from Martin to open up the scoring
Carver wins the tip and we're underway in the final game of the day
Starting lineup for Carver: Jones, Johnson, Fortson, Martin, Hawkins
For Glenn Hills: Middleton, Stephenson, Reynolds, Curry, McCloud
Previewing this one, I've got to say that Glenn Hills are big favorites. They have three guys that have signed D-1 scholarships in Reggie Middleton, Jerel Stephenson, and Chris Reynolds. I'll be honest, I was expecting this to be a star-studded matchup between Dunwoody and GH. But Carver shocked everyone by easily beating the 'Cats in the semis. Carver rely a lot on Jarvis Jones, a big time football prospect. Just from looking at both teams, it's safe to guess he's going to be the strongest guy on the floor.
I'm expecting a high scoring game, as both of these squads feature a ton of athleticism. But in the end, I predict Glenn Hills to come out on top. We're just 3 minutes away from tip off, stay tuned for my updates from Macon.
We're just about 10 minutes away from the boys game between a very talented Glenn Hills squad and one a great Cinderella Story in Carver. I'll be here for the duration with updates. Until then, keep up to date with my pregame thoughts. And as always, if you have any questions or comments shoot me an email at JoshB914@gmail.com
I hate to see one of these teams lose, they both showed incredible heart for the full 32 minutes. For Carrollton, Velicia Bell was absolutely fantastic. She's one of the best leaders I've seen in any classification or gender this season. She lead her team to take the runner-up trophy, and was already consoling her teammates. That's a true leader right there.
Meanwhile, the Lady Cherokees are finally state champions. It's been a long time coming for this senior class. They've come so close in season's past, it's hard not to feel good for them after their victory. Mukia Myrick just wouldn't let her squad lose tonight. She's my player of the game with Bell a close second.
Overall, I felt it was a decent game. Both teams made too many mistakes but KHS didn't make any when it mattered most. The senior leadership of Janae McKinney, Ashlee Barley, Myrick, Keondra Barnes, and Lacee Hollis was definetely on display as they took over the game in the second half. That group would leaves left quite a legacy at Kendrick, now they can add a state title to that legacy as well.
GAME OVER. Final score Kendrick 79-67 Carrollton. Congratulations to Kendrick, the Class AAA Girls Champs.
Bell consoles her teammate Janyce Ealey at mid-court as Kendrick empty their bench. Just 4 seconds to play now with High at the line.
Barley is tearing up at mid-court, she can feel a state title. Carrollton are still fouling, Myrick to the line now with the Lady Cherokees holding a 76-67 lead.
Barley with two more clutch FT's, I hear a fat lady singing somewhere.
Bell air balls a three pointer, that should do it.
Barley hits both FT's
Timeout CHS as they will try to ice Barley, :49 to play
Wiley gets to the line for two shots with a nice drive. Both FT's are good at it's down to 7 with Barley headed the line again for KHS.
Barley misses both. CHS aren't done yet
Bell is back into the game with her best Willis Reed imitation. You've gotta love the heart this girl has. She drives the lane for the layup after to Myrick FT's. Now Barley heads to the line with 1:02 to go, KHS lead by 9.
Carrollton trail by 9 with 1:13 to play and Myrick on the line. This could be a very long 1:13.
Bell is in a lot of pain on the bench, they're stretching out her leg so it could just be a cramp.
The trainers had to carry Bell to the bench, looks like she's done for the night. I'll keep you guys posted if I hear anything about her injury.
I didn't see what happened, but Velicia Bell is in a lot of pain on the floor. Looks like it is an ankle injury but I don't know for sure.
Myrick with another nice drive and layup, Kendrick now lead by 68-56 with 1:46 to play. Looks like the Lady Cherokees are finally headed for a state title win.
Kendrick aren't going to shoot. And Bell has to foul Myrick with 2:18 to play. She makes both and KHS are up 10.
Bell is trying to will her team back. She just hit a three to close within 64-56. Under 3 minutes to go
Kendrick are trying to slow things down here, but McKinney just turned it over with a travel. The Kendrick fans dont like it, but it appeared to be the correct call.
Bell splits a pair of FT's and Carrollton now trail 64-53 with 3:43 remaining
Bell isn't controlling the ball like she was earlier in the game, another sign that she is fatigued.
It's going to take a monumental effort for the Lady Trojans tto get back in this thing. Wiley hopes to start a comeback with a basketb to make it 64-52.
Carrollton bringing the half court trap now on defense. It didn't stop Merrick from driving to the bucket and scoring, 64-50 Kendrick lead. Timeout Carrolton with under 5 minutes to go.
CHS within 9 after a nice post up from Prothro. 5:40 to play
KHS are on the board first with a layup from Barnes, but Bell storms back down the floor and finds the open Trojan for the layup. 58-47 is the score
And the fouth quarter is underway...
Bell looks a little gassed for CHS. She sat for the last minute of the third quarter and is already back on the floor. If fatigue is a factor for her, that is BIG trouble for the Lady Trojans.
Three quarters played now, and it's KHS holding a 56-45 lead. Sterling Hicks' team slowly took control of the game in that quarter. Carrollton need to slow the game down if they want to get back into it, and Bell will probably have to take over.
ANOTHER "and 1" for Myrick as she drives to the hoop and makes the basket before missing the free throws. It's 56-43 now, but Carrollton are at the line now as KHS have 8 team fouls.
The Lady Cherokee fans are really starting to make some noise now. Carrollton are slowly losing control of this game.
McKinney gets the lays it in, then steals the inbounds pass and makes another layup. Just like that, Kendrick lead 54-42 with 40 seconds to play in the quarter.
Myrick with the steal on the ensuing play, her steal sets up two FT's for Simone High and KHS lead by 8.
Myrick with another fantastic play as she drives to the hoop, gets fouled, and hits the reverse layup. She has been unreal tonight. 48-42 KHS lead
Carrollton hit yet another three from the corner as Wiley pulls them with three.
2:20 to go in the quarter and KHS have a 45-39 lead. The next 2 minutes will be crucial, as KHS can stretch the lead to double-digits, or we could see a cose game heading into the fourth.
Bell with a three pointer and its 43-39 with 320 to go.
Tierra Prothro is hobbling for CHS. But it looks like she's going to play through it. These Lady Trojans have shown a lot of guts.
A couple of FT's for Bell make it 42-36. Then Stamps throws it away on the next play, the Lady Trojans just won't go away.
Velicia Bell has been the best player on the court, but Kendrick's bigs are starting to take control in the paint. Carrollton need to be careful or they will be looking at an uphill battle in the final quarter.
Janae McKinney with the bucket and the foul. Kendrick are really starting to dominate inside.
Looks like the timeout worked for the time being. Wiley just scored on a put-back to make it 40-34.
BIG TROUBLE for Carrollton. Kendrick just nailed a three and they lead 40-32. Shon Thomaston wants to talk it over as the Lady Trojans call time out.
Bell draws the 2nd team foul on Kendrick, fouls could be a problem again for the Lady Cherokees. That was third foul on Bonita Harris.
Much like the first half, the second half opens up very sloppy. Velicia Bell has already had an impact as she just stole the ball on her own end and drew the foul on the other. Both FT's are pure and it's 33-32 KHS leading early on in the 3rd.
Third quarter is underway from the Macon Centreplex with Carrollton inbounding at mid-court.
HALFTIME- Kendrick 33-30 Carrollton.
Carrollton really missed some opportunities from the charity stripe late in the quarter. Bell got KHS into trouble with team fouls with some fantastic moves to beat the full court press, and the Lady Cherokees looked a little shocked that she was beating their D so easily. If Carrolton made their free throws they are leading right now. Neither team looked very poised, a lot of wide open shots missed and turnovers.
Overall, it was a wide open half with both teams running up and down the floor. Even I'm a little out of breath right now, usually that only happens after I've ran at least 50 yards.
Props to the soundtrack people here at the Centreplex for coming through with "Ms. Jackson" by Outkast. If you've been keeping up with our coverage all day, I'm sure you've read Alex's comments on some of the music that's been played. I was starting to think I was in 7th grade for a moment there.
I'll be back with more updates in the second half.
It's halftime with Kendrick holding a 33-30 lead after closing the half on a 6-0 run.
CHS are really struggling from the line, Boykin just missed two more.
Great pump fake by Myrick to get her defender up in the air, then she drives to the cup for the easy basket. But once again, KHS foul on the press sending Boykin to the line again.
McKinney gives Kendrick the 31-30 lead. But once again the press is coming back to haunt the Lady Cherokees as they foul Boykin in the backcourt and CHS are in the double-bonus.
Kymberli STamps misss a layup for Kendrick. They have missed wayyy too many easy shots early. Carrolton leading 30-29 with 1 minute to go.
If you aren't keeping count back home, Carrollton are now in the bonus. IT seems to be be compromising the Lady Cherokees' press, they just fouled Wiley in the backcourt but she missed the 1-and-1.
Ealey just got fouled HARD (but clean), she showed some real guts by sinking both FT's to give Carrollton the 30-27 lead.
Barnes just had a wide open lay up for Kendrick, but travelled before the shot.
Wiley is back in, and immediately nails a 3 to make to bring the Lady Trojans within 27-26
So much for that press not working. It's forced a few turnovers in this quarter and just forced Bell to waste a timeout. Kendrick have the lead 27-23 after a nice jumper from Myrick.
There's a vicious collison between to CHS players and we've got a Lady Trojan in pain. It's Brittany Wiley, but she appears to be okay as she walks to the bench.
So much for KHS having momentum, Janyce Ealey with a nice lay-in and the foul for CHS. She makes the FT and its tied at 23.
Three pointer form the corner for Myrick and Kendrick lead by three. Carrolton throw it away thanks to the full court press soon after. Looks like the Lady Cherokees are getting the momentum back.
Just over a minute played in the quarter and we're tied at 20.
McKinney scraps for an offensive board and makes it 20-18. But once again Bell draws another foul on Kendrick as they bring the press. That's 6 team fouls already on Kendrick.
Second quarter is underway and it's Kendrick ball.
In between quarters here, and in my opinion Kendrick are lucky to be down just 4. Bell has been plowing through their press and finding the open girl for three's and layups. If I'm KHS coach Sterling Hicks I might consider scrapping the full court press.
Kendrick close out the quarter with a lay up from Barley. Carrollton lead 20-16 after one.
Bonita Garris came off the bench and couldn't stop Bell, she's out of the game with two fouls.
Under a minute to go in the first now. No change in the score.
Once again Carrollton break the press and hit a three. Then Bell gets a steal but turns it over on the break. CHS are dominating the pace of this game and lead 20-12.
Velicia Bell breaks the press and finds Prothro for the easy bucket. 17-12 Carrollton leads.
Merrick with a great hustle play as she dives for a loose ball in her own end and gets the timeout. Bell is back in for Carrollton.
Velicia Bell has not had much trouble breaking this Kendrick press. But she just came out of the game here to get a rest. It will be interesting to see how Carrolton handle the pressure D without her.
This game is fast and furious, a lot of turnovers from both sides. It's 12-8 after a trey from Kendrick with 3:05 to go.
BEAUTIFUL spin move on the breakaway from Velicia Bell for the layup. She has easily been the best player on the floor thus far. 9-5, CHS.
Nice pull-up J from Janae McKinney and the Lady Cherokees are on the board.
Three team fouls on Kendrick already with 6 minutes to go. That could be a prolem for them later in the half. Score is still 4-0.
Kendrick look a little nervous here early. They've missed a couple of easy shots. Timeout with 6:23 to go in the first and a 4-0 lead for the Lady Trojans.
It's a little sloppy here early. With four turnovers in under a minute of play. CHS has the 2-0 lead on a layup from Tierra Prothro.
Carrolton wins the etip and we're underway..
Both student sections are getting it done. This building has been electric all day.
Starting lineups have been announced. It's Bell, Riley, Ealey, Boykin and Prothro for Carrolton.
For Kendrick: Stamps, Matthews, Myrick, Barley, and Barnes
More great basketball to come here this evening with the girls and boys Class AAA Finals. I'm Josh Bagriansky, your man on the scene for the remainder of the evening. We open it up with Kendrick and Carrollton in what figures to be an interesting matchup. The Lady Cherokees are looking to get the "monkey off of their back" as they have been deep in the state tourney in year's past, but never winning the title. Don't count out the Lady Trojans, as they were defeated by East Hall (last year's state champs) in the quarters last season. Tip off is just over 10 minutes away now, I'll do my best to keep you all up to date.
In an effort to suck every ounce of energy possible out of the building, the Centreplex is continuing with their assortment of awful 90's music. Wesleyan took their championship photos with Britney Spears blaring in the background, which was followed by everyone's favorite Backstreet Boys song, "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely." I learned one thing from all of this, Wesleyan's Tanner Smith knows most of the words to "Oops I Did it Again" as he sang it with great enthusiasm as he celebrated the Wolves' state title win. I guess we can let it slide after his unreal performance.
One more thing, if you have any questions about what's going on here feel free to drop me a line at JoshB914@gmail.com. I'll answer some of the questions right here, or just email you back.
The Trojans fans have been the most vocal thus far. I've already heard a couple of "Lets go Trojans" chants. Seems they may be the louder of the two cheering sections, as Kendrick's fans have been less noisy.
Two minutes to tip now, are you ready for some basketball?
What an exciting set up games. In the first you had the girls of Calvary hold off the star from Terrell County, Monshay Thomas, to win the title. Then in game two Hancock Central struggled to get their star in the game, but in the end he stepped up like all-stars do. He played strong on the glass and in the paint. It was a great start to the day and we're just getting started.
Apparently Hancock wanted as much excitement in this one as possible. With six seconds left the in bounds man threw the ball up in the air only 28 feet from the basket. Lawson got an open shot for the three, but it bounced off the back of the rim. Time expired after two Fluellen free throws. Hancock Central wins the title 49-40
Down two it's going to be tough for Turner to pull this one out. If Hancock can make their free throws the game is in the books.
Burgess drove the ball, then passed it to Spikes in the corner. Spikes fakes the three then tried for the easy two, but missed it. Hancock grabbed the rebound and drained one free throw on the other end. Hancock 47-45 :06
Down three with 21 seconds to go Turner has the ball. A great finish to close out 1A championship round. Jackson has been the best shooter for Turner. If he can get open he is the most viable option here. Look for them to set a screen for him at the otp of the key.
Jontarius Stanton at the line for 1 & 1, he makes the first. And the second.
Jeremy Lawrence misses the first of a 1 & 1 for Hancock. Then fouls out of the game, but Turner misses the free throw. Hancock 44-43 :30.
An easy layup for Kenny Moore backfires after he loses the ball. Turner comes back and drains a three in the corner by Marquis Jackson. Hancock 44-43 1:09.
Their triple teaming of Holsey is beginning to backfire. Holsey passes the ball to James Watkins who is open for a jumper just inside the arc. Hancock 44-40 .
Hancock gets a steal after a bad pass from Turner’s Champ Spikes. Their defense ahs been the key to this turnaround.
With four Turner defenders around him
Two straight turnovers for Hancock, Coach Holland has to be happy with his team’s defense. He also brings in more height off the bench. Turner 33-29
Since going small Turner has struggled on offense. They are sporting two players around 6’5” with everyone else hovering around 6 feet even. They are forced to only take jump shots, and at this point they aren’t falling.
Turner has begun to triple team Holsey, but he is still getting the ball and got fouled for the second straight possession. Makes both free throws. Turner 30-29 .
Turner is forcing the bigs of Hancock to get the ball at the top of the key, somewhere they aren’t as comfortable. However on this possession Holsey demonstrates his inside out game, making a baby hook and getting fouled. Turner 30-27 .
Marquis Jackson just drove down the court on a secondary fast break, and danced his way through the Hancock’s bigs, scoring a layup. He has played outstanding in the 2nd half. Media Timeout Turner 27-24.
Hancock is going to get open looks in this second half. Turner is doubling down on Holsey when he gets the ball, leaving the perimeter players open. If they can knock those down this game will be Hancock’s for the taking.
Turner’s defense however has really picked up. Turner gets a steal and a shot attempt, before being fouled after implementing a full court press. Turner 25-24
Hancock already has two team fouls one minute into the 3rd. They can’t get lazy defensively, they need to keep their feet moving.
Turner starts with the ball here in the 2nd half down by two. Wonder if Turner’s deep bench will work to their advantage in the second.
It has been an extremely sloppy first half from both teams. That pace has to favor Turner who would much rather play a game in the fifties rather than the seventies. Remember in their last game Turner held the defending state champions to their lowest point total in three years, this game is on pace to follow the same trend.
Expect lots of changes in the second half, while Turner will look to take advantage of their speed and Hancock will look to find ways to get their offense on track. Defensively each team is doing a great job of disrupting the game. Hancock is clogging the paint with their bigs, making life difficult on the rebounding side for Turner, while Turner has utilized their speed to keep the ball out of the paint and out of Holsey’s hands.
Before we get back to game action I must compliment the Turner coach in his attire. He looks like Bruce Pearl, sporting the orange sports jacket, Turner’s primary color, with a black bow tie. Hancock’s coach isn’t too shabby himsel
18 seconds left and Hancock is looking to extend their two point lead before half, but the ball gets away and a scrum begins. Halftime Hancock 22-20.
Two big misses by Holsey at the foul line with one minute left in the quarter. Turner is now in the bonus. Turner is faster along the perimeter than Hancock and that has lead to a tied game at 20. with 40 secs. left.
For a big guy Holsey handles the ball outstandingly, as Turner picks up a full court press. Hancock 20-18 .
With very little success getting the ball to Holsey Hancock is moving him on the perimeter to free up the lane for drives by Fluellen.
Holsey took advantage of an offensive board right out of that timeout, and also almost got a steal flashing out on defense. Hancock 20-16 .
The game has been sloppy throughout as both teams are trying to beat their opponents off the dribble. If either team can slow down the page of the game and get better looks at the basket that is the team that will prevail. Early Holsey has yet to get clean looks and Turner has not suffered from their lack of height. Hancock 18-14
Each team suffering from early game jitters as neither team’s offense has been able to get in sync. Holsey scores the first basket off an offensive rebound, HC 5 - TC 0.
The battle between Turner and Hancock Central will be an intriguing one as the two teams bring two very different styles to the court. Hancock’s Kammeon Holsey is a beast inside at 6’8”, while Turner’s lineup features much shorter players, with their starting center standing at 6’5”.
Another turnover forced by Hewett of Calvary. After shoring up that rebounding problem they have excelled.
Someone should tell Natalie Paris that you get 3 points from the closer black line too. For the second time in the game she hit 3 pointer from beyond the NBA line. Time out Terrell. 5:26 CD 44-40.
Best Terrell possession of the day, they patiently took the ball inside, waiting for the double team on Thomas and passing out of it, leaving Timnah Hendry with an easy bucket. Covington hits 2 ft's on the other side. CD 41-38 6:17
Sarah Hewett now doing damage offensively hitting the wide open jumper from about 12 feet away. CD 39-36.
Well it looks like everyone is awake now and the Centreplex here in Macon is about half full. We start, Calvary with the ball and up by one, the final eight minutes left.
In the waning seconds Thomas goes coast to coast to lay in a shot. The quarter ends with the star of the quarter Calvary's Natalie Paris, scored two threes, missing a shot at the buzzer. Calvary takes a one point lead into the fourth, 37-36.
Thomas again is responsible for bringing the ball up, and she scores on a back door cut after passing the ball off. A veteran move by an excellent player. Coming back Natalie Paris of Calvary hits an NBA three to tie the game at 30.
Calvary has been able to keep Terrel's defense moving in the second half, getting better looks at the basket. Covington has carried the team offensively but the second half star has to go to Sarah Hewett. She just hit 1 of 2 ft's but defensively she has made life difficult for Thomas, with her only points coming on a fast break opportunity. Media Time out 4:32 TC 28 - CD 27
Covington drives and gets fouled, 1 of 2 FTs. Coming back the other way Thomas again brings the ball up and Terrell gets another offensive rebound. Then comes back after a block gets a layup and is fouled. TC 28 - CD 26
Again a Terrell press leads to open Covington shot, this time for three. 6:07 CD 25 - TC 24
Give Sarah Hewett of Calvary credit. She is guarding Thomas and is jumping out making it difficult to get her the ball. As a result she caused Thomas to mishandle the ball for a Terrell turnover.
After a miss by Thomas, Terrell implements a full court press which Calvary and Covington beat for a lay-up. 7:01 TC 24- CD 22
Terrell starts with the ball and the ball slips out of the hands of the Calvary defender, leaving the ball with Terrell.
The teams have switched ends and we're ready for the final 16 minutes of action here in Macon.
Score: Terrell 24 Calvary Day 20
It looks like Coach Hamilton's philosophy for keeping Terrell off the glass includes tapping the ball out of the block allowing for Calvary's guards to fight for the ball. Offensively Calvary has been able to catch Terrell over pursuing in their zone, and that's probably the most effective they've been able to be on offense. Katie Covington has kept them in the game scoring nine points.
For Terrell as usual the story begins and ends with Monshay Thomas. She was kept to four points in the first, but in the second she went off scoring nine bringing her total to 12. In my opinion, Terrell hasn't taken full advantage of their size inside except when it came to offensive rebounds. Defensively Terrell has utilized their size blocking multiple shots by Calvary.
With that the girls are back on the court.
Well the 2nd ended much like the first quarter. Let's all take a deep breath and relax, it's too early to keep up with all of this excitement. As we speak the boys of Hancock Central have hit the quart to warm up, along with the boys from Turner County.
Surprisingly Calvary has remained in this game even while lacking an inside presence. They have been successful hassling the guards and getting their hands up when the ball goes to the post. On the other side Terrell's height allows them to make open shots difficult for Calvary. TC 24 CD 20
Good Idea: Pass Thomas the ball when she's open.
Bad Idea: Leave her open for a transition three. 2:37 TC 22-CD 18
To try and get the ball in the hands of their best player Terrell is now having Thomas bring the ball up. Calvary is doing a great job of stopping the ball handler just as she crosses half court. 5:03 TC 16-CD 14
Okay so the nerves might be in Calvary's head. For the second time they have shot a three pointer from the NBA range, instead of the high school/ college range. There are two lines on the court here in Macon, probably not a great idea, but Calvary just needs to make sure they're behind the right line. Terrell back in man-to-man. TC 14- CD 12
Monshay Thomas is so quick, taking advantage of the slightest edge she's given on the baseline. Calvary living and dying by the three early, 2-4. On the other end Thomas is being flustered by the physical defense Calvary is using against her.
Calvary should be happy they've kept Thomas to only four points in the first quarter. However their struggles rebounding the ball has given Terrell too many extra opportunities. Calvary played with greater intensity early and caused a plethora of turnovers, but were unable to keep the lead. If Calvary keeps up the intensity on Thomas and improves the rebounding they'll have a good shot. TC 12 - CD 9 Calvary starts with the ball.
The 1st quarter closes with a flurry of points. Calvary is able to get an offensive rebound off a three for an easy basket and with 1 second left Shaylia Jester gets an offensive rebd. for Terrell scoring just as the buzzer sounded making the score Terrell 12 - 9.
Terrell's big advantage will come inside if they can get the ball past the pesky defenders from Calvary. They have a height advantage and should be able to use that for a rebounding edge. Three offensive rbds. in one possession.
Calvary has had the ball for over a minute, trying to find gaps in the zone. They are catching Terrell over pursuing and drain a three. 2:06 CD 7 TC 6
The zone has Calvary a bit flustered. However it has lead to some offensive rebounds. Terrell calls a timeout with 3:52 to go. Just to recap some early action. Terrell is funneling their offense through Thomas who has all their points. As for Calvary their are perfectly happy to play on the perimeter with the zone in the game. They don't have a dominating inside prescence and are willing to challenge Terrell with their speed. 3:56 TC 4 - CD 4
The play has been very physical early, reminding me of a Big Ten basketball game. Points and rebounds are going to be tough to come by. Early Monshay Thomas is putting Terrell on her back with all of her teams points. 5:56 TC 4 - CD 2
Terrell opens in a zone to keep Calvary out of the paint, but it's lead to two quick fouls and two Calvary points. 6:50 CD2 - TC0
Terrell wins the tip and begins the ball but a steal by Calvary sets up their first offensive possession.
Well the competition has begun even before tip-off as the "Lets Go Greenwaves" and "Let's Go Calvary" have tried to out done by each team's opposing fans.
A few stray thoughts before tip-off:
Just a reminder, I will try and keep a track of individual point totals, but they are by no means official, just my running tally. So lets get ready for some basketball!
The clock says three minutes to go till tip. Fan support looks about split as each team has the immediate section behind their bench filled with supporters. The starters have removed their warmups and tip-off is just around the corner.
Just finished with the playing of our National Anthem and the girls of Calvary Day and Terrell County continue their final shots in warm up. Just by where each team is shooting from in warmups you expect Terrell to take advantage of their size inside while Calvary will rely on their jump shot from the top of the key.
10 minutes to go and both teams have headed back to their benches and the pre game festivities begin.
Luckily both these teams have already played one contest in this arena. One of the most difficult things to get used to is the changed depth perception when you are out of a close knit gym you see in area high schools.
Right as the horn sounded the Calvary Day players came out on the court to the cheers of their fans. Not to be out done the Greenwaves appeared immediately following. The teams have begun shoot around and Terrell looks like the looser of the two teams, joking and chatting while the Calvary Day squad is fairly quiet. Don't let that be deceiving however, one thing I remember the late George Morris say about Coach Dodd is he always preached saving one's energy during warm up so to be ready when the game is on the line. We'll see which philosophy works today.
Thirty minutes before game time and their is an excitement as fans wait for the players to hit the court. As I type the chants and cheers of the Terrell County players can be heard from the hallway so expect them to hit the court soon. They are the favorite as the #1 team from Region 1 and looking for their second title in four years, so they'll be playing the role of the favorite. We'll see how they respond.
If you haven't checked it out I suggest reading the previews put together by my fellow SCORE-Atlanta writers. If you have yet to check out the 1A preview I'll give you the cliff notes. As mentioned Terrell County is led by Monshay Thomas. On the other side Calvary Day has a much more balanced scoring, although you wouldn't have known that seeing their semi-final match in which Katie Covington went off scoring 29 points.
50 minutes until tip-off and the fans are beginning to file into the Macon Coliseum. Don't know how loud things will be with most people still waiting for the caffeine from their coffee to kick in. Can't quite tell who's bringing more fans at this point as most people have their coats over their school gear. However one kid is brave enough to wear his Calvary Day t-shirt and mesh shorts in this weather, so I'll give the Cavaliers the early advantage in terms of fan support.
Driving in this morning from Atlanta made this trip extremely interesting as I woke to snow pelting me in the face. Atlanta weather is some of the most unstable I have ever experienced. One day after enjoying the sun in sorts and a t-shirt, I was bundling up for my travel. Reminds of the famous slogan about Boston weather, "If you enjoy the weather, stay a few hours." But back to basketball, I am extremely excited to see Monshay Thomas in person of Terrell County. She's a prolific scorer who knows how to control the tempo of the game. Calvary Day will have to use a swarming defense to try and stop her. It's something we'll follow throughout the day
Good morning ladies and gentleman, my name is Jason Boral and I will be giving you live updates of the 2008 1A Championship Finals live from here in Macon, GA. The weather in the Atlanta-metro area is pretty nasty, I'll get to that later, so sit down relax, grab a cup of joe maybe a bagel or two and enjoy as I give you analysis updates and my personal thoughts on the game. Feel free to leave comments or e-mail me at email@example.com. We're about an hour fifteen away from opening tip of the women's game at 11:00 am.