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CLASS AA-AAA PREVIEW 

Today, we preview the Class AA and Class AAA state championships. Class AA boasts an undefeated team in both the boys and girls games and Buford will be represented in both Class AAA finals.
 


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In This Issue
Trivia
Finals Schedule
Falcons Moms Clinic
Girls AAA preview
Boys AAA Preview
Girls AA Preview
Boys AA Preview
Unsigned Expo
Score Poll
Top Stories
Trivia
Question: 
How many points did Asia Durr and Jasmine Carter combine to score in St. Pius X's 51-38 win over Morgan County in the quarterfinals? 
 
Today's answer can  
be found in the newsletter!

 

Tuesday's answer:

Whitefield Academy senior Eric Lockett signed with George Mason.

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

 

Thursday, March 6

 

Class A-Public

Girls

Mitchell County vs. Randolph-Clay (3 pm)

 

Class A-Public

Boys

Wilkinson County vs. Turner County (4:45 pm)

 

Class AAAA

Girls

Columbus vs. Redan (7 pm)

 

Class AAAA

Boys

Jonesboro vs. Columbia (8:45 pm)

 

 

Friday, March 7

 

 

AAASP Wheelchair

Henry County vs. Houston County (12 pm)

 

Class AA

Girls

Kendrick vs. Wesleyan (3 pm)

 

Class AA

Boys

Calhoun vs. GAC (4:45 pm)

 

Class AAAAA

Girls

Tucker vs. SW DeKalb (7 pm)

 

Class AAAAA

Boys

Warner Robins vs. Miller Grove (8:45 pm)

 

 

Saturday, March 8

 

Class A-Private

Girls

SW Atlanta Christian vs. Holy Innocents' (11 am)

 

Class A-Private 

Boys

Whitefield Academy vs. St. Francis (12:45 pm)

 

Class AAA

Girls

Buford vs. St. Pius X (3 pm)

 

Class AAA

Boys

Buford vs. Morgan County (4:45 pm)

 

Class AAAAAA

Girls

McEachern vs. Archer (7 pm)

 

Class AAAAAA

Boys

Wheeler vs. Tift County (8:45 pm)






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Wednesday, March 5, 2014


FALCONS FOOTBALL MOMS CLINIC



Information Session: March 18 | 7-9 PM
 
Register here:
 

COLLEGE LACROSSE AT RIVERWOOD
Tech-Auburn lacrosse will meet Friday at Riverwood High 

Men's College Lacrosse returns to Riverwood High School's Hoskyn Stadium this Friday as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will face the Auburn Tigers at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance/$15 at the gate. Advance tickets available from any member of the Raider Boys Lacrosse Program or through Atlanta Youth Soccer, Play it Again Sports by clicking HERE. Riverwood alums Skyler Cassidy and Brian Yoon (both Class of 2012) are members of the Auburn team. Proceeds from the event benefit the Riverwood's Boys Lacrosse program. 

GIRLS CLASS AAA FINALS PREVIEW
By Stephen Black
Defending champs face tough test with Wolves 

 

ST. PIUS X

29-3, REGION 6
The St. Pius X Golden Lions are a traditional power in the state of Georgia. The program has won four state championships, the last of which came in 2013.

 

Photo by Ty Freeman

The previous three came in 2004, 2006 and 2007. With a win in the finals, St. Pius X will finish with the same record it had last season. Coach Kyle Snipes is now 126-27 in five seasons at the Atlanta private Catholic school. Prior to being at St. Pius X, the Wake Forest University graduate coached with Dave Odom at his alma mater. Snipes was an assistant coach on women's teams at Georgia State, Georgia Tech and UNC-Wilmington. 

 

The Golden Lions are led by guards Asia Durr and Jasmine Carter. The former is one of the top players in the nation in the Class of 2015. She is a 5-foot-10 left-handed combo guard who can do pretty much every-thing well, and is ranked by ESPN.com as the top prospect in the 2015 class. 

 
Durr scored 34 in the semifinals win over Beach. Durr averages 24 points per game along with 7.1 rebounds and 2.5 steals. Carter, a senior, is committed to the Georgia Bulldogs. The 5-foot-8 guard shares ball-handling duties with Durr and the two backcourt sensations share the scoring load as well. Carter scores 13.5 points per game and averages five rebounds and a team-best 2.6 steals. 
 
Carter and Durr form one of the toughest duos in the nation in the backcourt due to their height and prowess on the court. In the quarterfinals win over Morgan County, Carter and Durr combined to score all but two of the Golden Lions' 51 points. Carter was 10-for-10 from the free throw line and Durr led the team in rebounds with 10. St. Pius X plays almost strictly man-to-man defense, which causes matchup problems at guard where Snipes' club is uniquely talented.
 

BUFORD

30-2, REGION 7

As in most sports, Buford is a power in girls basketball. The Wolves won three straight state titles from 2009-2011 and are one game away from adding their fourth trophy to the crowded cases in the halls of the Gwinnett County school. A win this year, however, would give the Wolves a Class AAA title for the first time. 

 

Coach Gene Durden has been the guy behind the Buford program, leading the Wolves to new heights of consistency and excellence in his nine years at the helm. Prior to coming to Buford, Durden coached at Dade County for 14 years. There, his teams won seven region titles and made three semifinals appearances. This year's Buford bunch is led by Camille Anderson, Bree Horrocks and Corey Staples. Anderson, an N.C. State commitment, leads the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game and was named Region 7-AAA player of the year. Anderson led the Wolves with 20 points, five assists and four rebounds in the semifinals win over Pike County. 

 

Horrocks is a 6-foot-5 center whom is committed to Purdue. In addition to the height advantage she holds over much of her opponents, Horrocks also has outstanding athleticism, as she also stars in volleyball and track and field. This season, Horrocks averages nine points per game and leads the team with 6.5 rebounds. The third member of the trio is Staples, a junior guard who averages 11 points per game. Staples missed five games before returning to the lineup for the quarterfinals game against Woodward Academy. 

 

Buford began the season with a loss to Morgan County and did not lose again until Jan. 25, when the Wolves lost to Class AA-power Wesleyan. The Wolves have not allowed 50 points or more since a 76-50 win over Fannin County on Jan. 3.   

BOYS CLASS AAA FINALS PREVIEW
By Brian Jones
Buford, Morgan County eye first-ever state titles

 

BUFORD

27-5, REGION 7

 Buford has been always known for its football program as it has won a total of 10 state titles since 1978. However, the boys basketball team is not bad either and the Wolves are one win away from winning their first state crown in program history. Head coach Allen Whitehart took over the program back in 2011 after spending four seasons as the head coach at Centennial. Whitehart has installed a blue-collar work ethic and a team-first mentality to the program which has led the Wolves to 20 or more wins in each of the last two seasons. 

 

This season,

Photo by Ty Freeman

the Wolves were battled tested early with losses to Miller Grove, Tift County, North Gwinnett and their state championship game opponent, Morgan County. But once January arrived, the losses to higher classification teams paid off because the Wolves have not lost a game since.Why have the Wolves been successful? One of the reasons is the play of senior forward Rakim Lubin, who will play for UConn next year. Lubin has been huge for the Wolves in the playoffs, scoring 37 points in the semifinals against Callaway. Lubin also had 12 rebounds and four blocked shots in the win. 

 

Before the season began, Lubin, who is a transfer from Gadsden City (Ala.) and averaged 19 points last year, was expected to do big things this season according to Whitehart. Another player to watch for is sophomore guard D'Marcus Simonds who scored 30 points in the Callaway game and pulled down 13 rebounds and blocked three shots. Both Lubin and Simonds have exchanged big games all season long. Whitehart said the team goes as far as Lubin and Simonds takes them and that's why they are in the position to win a state crown for the first time in Wolves history.   

 

 

MORGAN COUNTY

25-5, REGION 8

 When the 2012-13 state tournament began, Morgan County was one of the favorites to win the state title because the Bulldogs were outscoring their opponents by 20 points per game. However, the Bulldogs' dream of winning their first state title was cut short in the second round by North Hall. Head coach Charlemagne Gibbons thought the loss to North Hall was a good thing because it helped this year's team be more focused during the regular season and the playoffs. What's amazing about the Bulldogs making it to the state championship is they lost six seniors from last year's team. But they have two key players that have helped the Bulldogs win 25 games. 

 

Senior forward C.J. Turman scored 13 points in the semifinals and has averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds per game this season. He will play college basketball at Tennessee. Junior guard Tookie Brown has averaged 25 points per game and scored 26 points in the semifinal game against Johnson-Savannah. Brown has verbally committed to Mississippi State. Turman and Brown have been able to lead the Bulldogs to the finals, but the role players are another reason they Bulldogs are in position to be on top of Class AAA. 

 

Senior guard Davon Gibbs has also provided leadership while some of the young players like sophomore forward Jailyn Ingram and sophomore guard Dee Dee Reynolds have been matchup problems for opponents all season long. Gibbons said after the semifinal win that Gibbs is one of the best defensive players in the state. Gibbons also said that more people should recognize Brown as one of the best players in the state. Morgan County will be playing in its first state title game since 1990. That year, the Bulldogs lost to Mitchell-Baker at the Macon Coliseum.  


GIRLS CLASS AA FINALS PREVIEW
By Ricky Dimon
Wesleyan looks for record seventh straight title

   

WESLEYAN

27-3, REGION 6


To say this is nothing new for the Wesleyan girls would be a gross understatement. They have won state titles in 10 of the last 12 seasons and they are

Photo by Ty Freeman

in their 13th final in the past 14 years. The Wolves have won six consecutive state championships-bookend Class AA triumphs in 2008 and 2013 and four in Class A in between. Their dynasty coincided with the 2001 arrival of head coach Jan Azar, who has more than 400 career wins and was inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. 

 

Azar appears to have another Hall of Fame team on her hands. Wesleyan's only two in-state losses this season have come to Holy Innocents', an undefeated squad in Class A-Private, and Greater Atlanta Christian. The Wolves avenged the latter defeat by beating the Spartans 55-52 in the region championship. This is one of Azar's youngest rosters, but Wesleyan always reloads as opposed to rebuilding. Among the key contributors is a freshmen trio of guard Riley Casey, guard Mikayla Coombs and forward Natalie Armstrong

 

One of two Wesleyan players averaging double-figures, Coombs is scoring 11.8 points per game. Point-guard duties are shared by freshman Devyn Lowe and sophomore Cairo Booker, the team's top two assist leaders. Azar also touts Booker as the team's defensive leader. Experience comes in the form of senior forward Keevana Edwards and junior guard Nikki McDonald. Edwards is averaging 6.8 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds per outing, while McDonald is recording more than 14 points and seven rebounds per game. The Wolves like to run up and down the floor and they are not afraid to use a press defense. They work an inside-outside game on offense, with Edwards looking to establish herself down low to free up outside shooters. Wesleyan has drained 161 three-pointers this season. 

 

 

KENDRICK

30-0, REGION 5  

Kendrick is one of the top programs in girls basketball. It is a 30-0 juggernaut that has been pulverizing the opposition almost without exception. Only three opponents have come within single digits of Kendrick, including Greater Atlanta Christian in a 65-62 overtime thriller in the quarterfinals. The Cherokees have won their other three state playoffgames by an average of 43.3 points. 

 

Among their 28 victories are margins of 105-28, 103-26, 110-18, 91-11 and 99-20. They have advanced one round further than last year (lost to Laney in the semis) and are one win from a second state title (2008). Kendrick's offense is clearly dangerous, but the team's defense is actually a huge reason for so many points being scored. Head coach Sterling Hicks implements a press defense early and often and his rotation goes as many as 15 girls deep to keep all five players on thefloor fresh and eager to ball-hawk on the defensive end. Junior forward Taylor Farley and junior guard Angela Jones are especially active on defense. 

 

The Cherokees' undisputed best player is 5-foot-8 senior guard Kahlia Lawrence. In just three seasons, she has exceeded the 2000-point mark for her career and is the school's all-time leading scorer. 

 

Lawrence is averaging 27 points per game during the 2013-14 campaign. Her supporting cast, however, is more than capable and it proved as much after Lawrence fouled out with more than seven minutes left in regulation against Greater Atlanta Christian. A bulk of Kendrick's scoring comes from in or near the paint, in part thanks to Deja Cheatham

 

The senior forward is averaging 16 points per contest and she scored five in over-time alone against the Spartans. Donivan Dyson, another senior forward, delivered in the clutch by scoring 10 of her 12 points in the fourth quarter to help force the overtime period.  

 


BOYS CLASS AA FINALS PREVIEW
By Ricky Dimon
GAC eyes perfection in Class AA title game

 

GREATER ATLANTA CHRISTIAN

31-0, REGION 6

Greater Atlanta Christian may be in one of the state's smaller classifications, 

Photo by Ty Freeman

but it also may be the best team in the entire business. Jefferson head coach Bolling DuBose, whose team lost to the Spartans in last week's quarterfinals, expressed that sentiment and said he had not talked to anyone who thought dif-ferently. 

 

And who's to disagree? Greater Atlanta Christian is a perfect 31-0, with victories against multiple Class AAAAAA opponents plus wins over schools from five different states and the Bahamas. 

 

It won its first three state playoff games by double-digits before beating Laney by eight points, its narrowest margin of victory since a Jan. 20 defeat of Hillgrove. The Spartans have plenty of experience as they attempt to successfully defend their 2013 Class AA title. Forward Justin Lewis, guard Troy Morrison and forward Isaiah Wilkins are all seniors. They have been key contributors from start to finish this season and each one scored in double-figures against Laney. 

 

Wilkins, the stepson of former Atlanta Hawks' great Dominique Wilkins, has signed with the University of Virginia. Greater Atlanta Christian uses its unrivaled size to dominate inside and its big men are complimented perfectly by the slick shooting of junior guard Cam Boyd. The team's defensive paint presence forces opponents' to score from the perimeter, often a difficult proposition. The Spartans have allowed more than 60 points in a game only five times this season and they have limited teams to 35 points or fewer eight times. A title would be nothing new for either the school or head coach Eddie Martin. In his fifth season at the helm, Martin has already captured three state championships with Greater Atlanta Christian. He also won three in a row of the Class AAAAA variety with Norcross from 2006 through 2008. Overall, the Spartans are bidding for their sixth boys basketball championship in school history. 

 

CALHOUN

26-2, REGION 7

Calhoun is in the final for the first time since 2001 and it is bidding for its first-ever title in either boys or girls basketball. The Yellow Jackets' appearance in this game did not seem likely when they fell twice to Class AA competition in an 11-day span (to Dade County in quadruple overtime and to Model), but they have not lost since Jan. 14. Their best and biggest win in the current hot streak came last week in the semifinals. Vidalia was one win away from setting up what would have been a Class AA championship showdown between the only two undefeated boys teams in the entire state. 

  

The Jackets, however, had other ideas. They used a dominant performance down low by senior forward Austin Byrd, who grabbed 24 rebounds, toprevail 54-41.Byrd, also a defensive end who has signed with Kennesaw State, gives Calhoun a formidable inside presence that it will desperately need against Greater Atlanta Christian. The team is not particularly big from top to bottom, but Byrd is 6-foot-3 and fellow senior Keyth Fightmaster is a 6-foot-7 center who also provides valuable experience and size down low. 

  

Senior guard Chandler Curtis can fill it up from the outside and he drained four three-pointers en route to a 20-point performance against Coosa in the quarterfinals. Sophomore guard Jireh Wilson is the shutdown defender on a unit that has allowed more than 50 points in a game only twice since Jan. 21. Calhoun may have an edge in a close game, especially if it is anywhere near striking distance heading into the fourth quarter. The Yellow Jackets have been absolutely unbelievable in the final frame of play during these state playoffs. They have outscored their four opponents by a whopping combined fourth-quarter score of 90-43, a 47-point margin or an average of 11.8 points for those counting.   


UNSIGNED SENIOR EXPO

 

In an effort to aid Student-Athletes with their dream to play college football, XL212 is hosting an Unsigned Senior Expo in Metro-Atlanta. Unsigned Seniors and Underclassmen are invited to showcase their skills for college coaches and scouts from across the country. The expo will be held on Saturday March 8th at McEachern High School from 1:00-4:00pm. Student-Athletes will be measured with Fully Automated Timing Systems (F.A.T.S) so the data received will be accurate. Testing will consist of: 40-yard dash, height, weight, broad jump, vertical jump, 5-10-5 drill, L-Drill, and powerball toss. Participants will also receive an XL212 Certified player-profile sheet that can be sent to any college coach the player desires, and online exposure in the XL212 database.

 

Every year, thousands of talented High School football players get overlooked by college scouts based on lack of exposure. Many Student-Athletes attend expos to gain more exposure and increase their opportunity to play at the next level. In fact, Student-Athletes that participated in similar football combines in Texas and California have earned millions of dollars in scholarship money and grants to play college football.

 

Location:

McEachern HS:

2400 New Macland Road
Powder Springs, GA 30127

Date: Saturday March 8th, 2014

Register online: www.xl212.com

Cost: $49

 

For more info and questions please call XL212 at 678-509-5212 or email Nate Peterson at: nate.peterson@XL212.com.


 


ATLANTA FALCONS UPDATE


 

Dear Coach,

We wanted to provide an update regarding the 2014 Atlanta Falcons Coaches Clinic hosted by Head Coach Mike Smith. Due to the NFL Draft which is now in May and required commitments, the next Coaches Clinic will be held in March 2015. Please save the date for the Atlanta Falcons Salute to High School Football reception for Georgia high school football head coaches on Saturday, December 13 at the Georgia Dome. 

 

Please save the date for the Atlanta Falcons Salute to High School Football reception for Georgia high school football head coaches on Saturday, December 13 at the Georgia Dome. 

 

For other Atlanta Falcons youth and prep football program information, please visit atlantafalcons.com/youthfootball or on twitter @AFPlayFootball

 

Thanks so much for your support of the Atlanta Falcons. 

 

All inquiries should be directed to David Quiroga, Youth and Prep Football Coordinator at 770-965-4310 or dquiroga@falcons.nfl.com

 

Sincerely, 

Atlanta Falcons Community Relations Department 

DIRECT PHONE: 770-965-4310  

 

gaoa
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