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FRIDAY RECAP, SATURDAY PREVIEW 

Congrats to the Kendrick girls, GAC boys, Tucker girls and Miller Grove boys on their state championships! You can find those recaps and previews of today's games below in the SHSSN. 
 

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In This Issue
Trivia
Finals Schedule/Scores
Friday Finals Recap
AAAAAA finals previews
Falcons Moms Clinic
Score Poll
Top Stories
Trivia
Question: 
How many consecutive state titles has Miller Grove won?
 
Today's answer can  
be found in the newsletter!

 

Friday's answer:

Jonesboro freshman James Walker Jr. averaged 19.8 points per game in this year's playoff run to the state title. 

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP SCORES/ SCHEDULE

 

Thursday, March 6

 

Class A-Public

Girls

Randolph-Clay 53, Mitchell County 32

 

Class A-Public

Boys

Wilkinson County 72, Turner County 64

 

Class AAAA

Girls

Redan 63, Columbus 53

 

Class AAAA

Boys

Jonesboro 56, Columbia 51

 

 

Friday, March 7

 

AAASP Wheelchair

Houston County 38, Henry County 16 

 

Class AA

Girls

Kendrick 69, Wesleyan 58

 

Class AA

Boys

GAC 58, Calhoun 55

 

Class AAAAA

Girls

Tucker 84, SW DeKalb 64

 

Class AAAAA

Boys

Miller Grove 70, Warner Robins 43

 

 

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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Saturday, March 8, 2014


HEADS UP FOOTBALL CLINIC



FRIDAY RECAP
Recaps of Friday's championship games

Class AAAAA Boys

Miller Grove outscored Warner Robins 26-7 in the third quarter and cruised

Photo by Ty Freeman

to a 70-43 victory in the Class AAAAA state championship. The win gave the Wolverines their sixth straight title, which ties a 20 year old record set by the Hart County girls (1989-1994) for the most in Georgia history. Miller Grove senior Keith Pinckney finished 7-of-10 shooting from the field, including a perfect 3-for-3 from downtown and netted a game-high 21 points. Senior James Walker added a game-high 10 rebounds and finished with 18 points, 12 of which came in the second half.

 

The Wolverines struggled from the foul line early and Warner Robins was able to hang around and trailed just 27-22 at the half. However, sophomore Alterique Gilbert allowed the Wolverines to control the pace coming out in the second half. Gilbert opened the second half scoring with a traditional three-point play and on the next Miller Grove possession he dished to Pinckney for a three-pointer to make it a 33-22 ballgame. Gilbert finished with eight points and a game-high six assists and either scored or assisted the first nine Wolverine points of the second half.

 

 

Class AAAAA Girls

Tucker won its first girls basketball state title with an 83-65 victory over

Photo by Ty Freeman

region-rival and defending state champion Southwest DeKalb in the Class AAAA state finals. The Tigers opened the game on an 8-0 run and never trailed. The lead extended to 38-26 at the half and grew to a 21-point advantage late in the fourth quarter. The Tigers outscored SW DeKalb 40-28 in the paint and held the Panthers to four fast break points despite 19 turnovers.

 

Tori Robinson broke the Southwest DeKalb full court press and created quality shots until the final buzzer. The 5-foot-3 senior finished with 21 points off of 7-of-10 shooting and played through an ankle injury she suffered in the first half diving into a pile for a loose ball.

 

Tucker's frontcourt was unstoppable as seniors Erykah Davenport, Nuba Jackson and Naima Jackson dominated. Davenport (Miami-signee) grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds and stuffed the stat sheet with five steals, four assists and 11 points. Nuba shot 6-of-10 from the field and netted 12-of-13 free throws to finish with a game-high 26 points and twin-sister Naima finished 9-of-10 from the foul line and 11 points.

 

Southwest DeKalb was led by junior Tynice Martin's team-high 16 points and junior Davion Wingate's 15 points.

 


Class AA Boys

GAC won its second consecutive Class AA state championship with a 58-55

Photo by Walter Pinion

win over Calhoun. It is the Spartans' fourth championship in five years.

 

But it wasn't easy. GAC and its talented roster threatened to run away from Calhoun at times during the contest, but the Yellow Jackets just would not go away. It wasn't until a last-gasp heave by Calhoun's Jireh Wilson fell well short at the buzzer that coach Eddie Martin's team could celebrate.

GAC led just 28-25 at the half and 41-40 heading into the fourth quarter, but could not extend the lead much past that.

 

Isaiah Wilkins led the Spartans with 29 points and 12 rebounds. No other Spartan had more than seven points. Calhoun was led by Kaelen Riley's 18 and Chandler Curtis' 14.

 

The Spartans finished the season undefeated at 32-0 and have won 50 straight games.



Class AA Girls 

The Wesleyan girls do not lose a lot of games at the Macon Coliseum. In

Photo by Walter Pinion

fact, they were 21-2 in the arena before they took on Kendrick in the Class AA state championship on Friday. But thanks to a strong showing by senior forward Kahlia Lawrence, Kendrick was able to take down Wesleyan 69-58 to win its first state title since 2008.

 

Lawrence led the Cherokees with 25 points and seven rebounds. She scored 10 points in the first half and another 10 in the third quarter. Junior forward Taylor Farley added seven points and eight rebounds in the win. Despite being plagued by early foul trouble (three in the first half), Lawrence was the go-to player for Kendrick.

 

Wesleyan struggled with Kendrick's full-court press, turning the ball over 32 times. The game was back-and-forth until the final quarter, when Kendrick took the lead and built on it.

 

Not only does the loss snap the Wolves' six consecutive year title streak, it was the first time since 2001 that Wesleyan lost to a public school team in the playoffs.

 

There were a total of 10 ties and 11 lead changes. Kendrick finishes the season with a 31-0 and Wesleyan finishes with a 27-4 mark.

  

 

Wheelchair Championship

Houston County captured its second consecutive AAASP/GHSA Wheelchair Basketball state title on Friday with a 38-16 victory over Henry County at the Macon Coliseum. The undefeated Sharks opened the game with a 21-0 run before Henry County got on the board with a Jerome Payne free throw and Darvin Chatman jumper with 1:59 left in the second of six periods. The Sharks outshot Henry County 22-5 and forced 11 turnovers in the first two periods. 

 

In the fifth period, JaQue Billingsley netted a jumper off of a Jordan Kozloski assist to give Houston County its biggest lead of the game at 37-12.

Billingsley scored or assisted on Houston County's first eight points and finished with a game-high 16 while adding seven rebounds, five steals and four assists. Houston County's Braxton Miller and Jeff Sweeney each finished with eight points and Chatman led the Hurricanes with 10 of their 16 points.



AAAAAA FINALS PREVIEWS
By Stephen Black and Craig Sager II
BOYS

WHEELER

28-5, Region 5

 

Doug Lipscomb is Georgia high school basketball. The Wheeler head coach

Photo by Ty Freeman

has won state championships across three decades including his and Wheeler's first in 1994. This group of Wildcats look as good as any team Lipscomb has had, including his 1994 bunch that starred future NBA star Shareef Abdur-Rahim and future Georgia Bulldog D.A. Layne.

 

The Wildcats have five losses, but only one of them came at the hands of a team from Georgia, a 48-41 defeat by Milton on Feb. 8. Wheeler, however, trailed by seven at the half of its 67-52 win over Pebblebrook in the semifinals, but outscored Pebblebrook 20-4 in the third period to take control of the game. Junior forward Jaylen Brown led Wheeler with 21 points while Mississippi State football signee Elijah Staley added 19 and senior guard Avery Patterson had 14.

 

Brown, a 6-foot-7 small forward, is a highly-recruited star, something Wheeler has had a lot of in recent years. Brown has offers from programs like Arizona, Louisville, Kansas , Marquette and UCLA, in addition to in-state programs Georgia and Georgia Tech.

 

Junior center Daniel Giddens also stars for the Wildcats. The 6-foot-10 post player has offers from Georgia, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas and Ohio State and will likely choose between those teams. He had 12 points and 11 rebounds in the semifinal despite being in foul trouble for much of the game.

Wheeler again ruled Region 5 this season, beating rival Walton three times, including twice by three points or less. The Wildcats also nearly fell to Etowah in the first game of the region tournament, before win- ning by two points. Wheeler narrowly escaped Shiloh and North Gwinnett in the state tournament, winning each by three points.

 

A championship would be Wheeler's first since 2009.

 

TIFT COUNTY

27-3, Region 1

Tift County has made an appearance in the state playoffs every season

Photo by Shine Rankin

since 1994. Despite owning the longest boys playoff streak in Georgia at 20 years, the Blue Devils have claimed just one state title (1996). The Blue Devils lost a heartbreaker (68-63) to North Cobb in the quarterfinals last year but these abrupt endings seem to motivate Tift County the following seasons. This year's run to Macon began with a 70-49 win over Tri-Cities followed by a wild ending in a 60-57 second-round win over Lovejoy. Tift led the Wild- cats 44-28 at the start of the fourth quarter and held off Lovejoy's furious comeback attempt and parade of three-pointers for the win.

 

In the quarterfinals, Tift County outscored a talented Hillgrove team 10-2 in the second quarter and left the Hawks with no answer for a comeback in the second half of its 56-47 win. Tift County's best perfor- mance of the playoffs came in the semifinals against defending state champion Norcross last Saturday. Tift made the 200-plus mile journey to Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion and dethroned the reigning champs 78-70. Senior Tadric Jackson, a Georgia Tech signee, went off for a season-high 35 points on his future college court. The 6-foot-2 point guard netted 12-of-19 shots from the field and tallied five rebounds, three assists and four steals.

 

While Wheeler looks to slow down Jackson, the Blue Devils have one of the deepest rosters in the state. Senior D.J. Bryant averages in double figures and 6-foot-4 freshman P.J. Horne has been a huge factor to Tift's success this year with his 13.2 points per game. LaDarius Stewart hit a huge three-pointer and scored 11 points in the semifinals win. Tift County is an excellent three-point shooting team and shoots 40 percent as a team. Bryant leads the category with 59 made three-pointers off of 47 percent shooting.

  

GIRLS

 

Archer

29-3, Region 8

Head coach Ryan Lesniak has continued setting higher goals each season

Photo by Sonny Kennedy

for the Tigers, who are in just their fifth varsity season. First, sights were set on earning a spot in the playoffs for the first time in school history. After the Tigers checked that off the list in 2010, a spot in the Sweet 16 was next. Archer accomplished that last season.

 

With a strong returning cast this year and a group of rising stars, the Tigers viewed themselves as state title contenders from the start season. "We have always made realistic goals as a program," admitted Lesniak. "But with this year as a team, we knew we had the talent to make a run at a state championship and that has been the goal from Day 1."

 

The Tigers are peaking at the right time and opened the playoffs with a blowout over West Forsyth before victories over with Roswell, North Forsyth and Lowndes. The Tigers won by an average 19.5 points per game along the way.

 

Junior point guard Madison Newby is considered by Lesniak as "the heart and soul of the team" and averages 10.2 points per game while dishing out six assists. Madison's younger sister Autumn is a 6-foot-2 freshman forward who averages 12.4 points per game and nine rebounds. Madison dropped a career-high 29 points in the 78-67 semifinals victory over Lowndes. Kayla Rogers, who owns the school record with a 30-point game, is a one of three players with more than 1,000 career points on this roster.

 

Junior Amber Skidgel, a UGA-commit, transferred from Hebron Christian this offseason and has fit in perfectly with the Tigers, averaging 12.4 points per game and shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc. On the defensive side, Alesha Mann, Tatiana Wayne and freshman Tia Shorter are the tone-setters for a unit that forces an average 22 turnovers a game, including 15 steals.

 

 

McEachern

27-2, Region 4

It took one season to rebuild from historic 33-0 state championship run in

Photo by Sonny Kennedy

2012, but McEachern is back and possibly better than ever. After a disappointing first-round exit in 2013, the Indians are a perfect 22-0 against Georgia teams this season. In the playoffs, McEachern has posted a 36.65 average margin of victory and is scoring a demoralizing 25.5 first-quarter points per game.

 

Junior point guard Te'a Cooper sets the pace and the UNC-commit averages 20 points per game. Cooper has scored in double-figures every game this season except a 79-46 blowout against Pebblebrook when she netted nine points off of just seven shots.  

 

Forward Caliya Robinson transferred from Kell this offseason and has been the perfect complement to McEachern's aggressive backcourt. Robinson averages 15 points per game, 11 rebounds, seven blocks and four steals per game. In McEachern's 94-75 win over Brunswick in the second round, Robinson finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 17 blocked shots. This star-studded team knows how to share the spotlight and the ball. Four players, including Robinson are averaging close to four assists per game.

Senior Taylor Gordon is a 40 percent three-point shooter averaging 12.7 points per game and sophomore guard Jada Lewis is averaging more than 14 points per game during the second half of this season. 
 
Aunesha Williams transferred to McEachern after she won the Cherokee County player of the year at Cherokee High School. Williams can dial up a big game whenever her number is called and notched a 29-point with 26-rebound game in last year's playoffs for the Warriors. Head coach Phyllis Arthur plays to the strengths of each player, and the result is a lineup that can not only score in the triple-digits, but can also force a state-best 17.4 steals per game on the defensive side  


FALCONS FOOTBALL MOMS CLINIC



Information Session: March 18 | 7-9 PM
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  

 

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