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FRIDAY HOOPS PREVIEW

Today, we preview Friday's top match ups on the hardwood and release the latest wrestling rankings. Track all of tonight's scores on your mobile device with our FREE SCORING APP or visit our online scoreboard at scoreatl.com. 


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In This Issue

Trivia
Question: 
What two schools are St. Francis basketball standouts Kaiser Gates and Malik Beasley signed to?

Today's answer can be found in the newsletter!

Thursday's Answer:
National basketball powerhouse DeMatha lost in overtime to Norcross during its last trip to Georgia. 

WRESTLING RANKINGS


 

Class AAAAAA


 

1. Archer

2. Collins Hill

3. Etowah

4. Mountain View

5. Kennesaw Mountain

6. Pope

7. North Forsyth

8. Chattahoochee

9. Lee County

10. Brookwood


 

Class AAAAA

1. Camden County

2. Woodland-Cartersville

3. Allatoona

4. Cass

5. Ola

6. Clarke Central

7. Union Grove

8. Alexander

9. Cambridge

10. LaGrange


 

Class AAAA

1. Gilmer

2. Northwest Whitfield

3. Marist

4. Buford

5. Carrollton

6. West Laurens

7. North Hall

8. Troup

9. Eastside

10. St. Pius


 

Class AAA

1. Jefferson

2. Sonoraville

3. Lumpkin County

4. Spencer

5. Toombs

6. Oconee County

7. Banks County

8. Westminster

9. Rockmart

10. Pepperrell


 

Class AA

1. Social Circle

2. Bremen

3. Greater Atlanta Christian

4. Gordon Lee

5. Lovett

6. Fitzgerald

7. Dublin

8. Vidalia

9. Armuchee

10. Jeff Davis


 

Class A

1. Commerce

2. Mt. Zion-Carroll

3. Turner County

4. Trion

5. St. Francis

6. Treutlen

7. Eagle's Landing Christian

8. Pacelli

9. Athens Christian

10. Mount Vernon


 


 


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Friday, January 23, 2015





FRIDAY HOOPS PREVIEW
By Kyle Sandy
Top-ranked St. Francis visits Paladins 

No. 1 St. Francis (16-3, 6-0) @ Fellowship Christian (4-16, 0-7)

 

Georgia's smallest classification arguably fields the team with the most talent in the state. Region 6-A's St. Francis is loaded with Kaiser Gates (Xavier), Malik Beasley (Florida State), and

Photo by Ty Freeman

five-star junior Kobi Simmons. The 6-foot-8 Gates averages 13.4 points and 7.5 rebounds while Simmons pitches in 21 points per game as a 6-foot-5 guard. Beasley, a senior guard, is a high flyer that can get to the rim at will. He is averaging a team high 22.5 points and 7.7 rebounds while shooting 91 percent from the line. This will be the first meeting between the two schools this season. Fellowship will be at a height disadvantage as its tallest player is 6-foot-4 junior Reed Kroeber.

 

Newton (16-4, 3-3) @ No. 5 Tucker (20-2, 6-0)

 

The rise from Class AAAAA to AAAAAA has not hindered powerhouse Tucker. The Tigers have rolled in their new Region 2 home. Tucker's only two blemishes came in succession when they dropped to rival Miller Grove 60-58, and to Heritage 56-53. The Tigers are back on track winning six straight games heading into a rematch with Newton who they beat by 15 earlier in the season. Auburn-signee Bryce Brown is a sweet shooting guard who leads the Tiger offense. Seniors Jon Stephens and Joshua Parker are also lethal on the perimeter. A win for Newton would give head coach Rick Rasmussen his 200th career victory. Guards Darvin Jones, Jaquan Simms, and D.J. Hill control the backcourt for the Rams. Antonio Smith battles inside at 6-foot-5.

 

South Gwinnett (12-7, 5-5) @ No. 2 Shiloh (18-0, 12-0)

 

The Generals are off to a hot start behind the play of Kareem Brewton and Joshua Okogie. Okogie, a junior forward, is averaging over 18 points and seven rebounds a game while Brewton

Photo by Ty Freeman

scores 19 points and grabs 3 rebounds a night. Cedric Guillaume patrols the paint at 6-foot-6 and Malik Chandler controls the point. South Gwinnett lost by just three points in the two teams' first meeting. Roberto Gallinat is a knock down shooter who leads the Comets in scoring at 16.8 per game. Fellow senior Aaron Udell brings the same sweet stroke and averages 10.1 points. The two combined for 44 points and six threes in their 71-68 loss at home to the Generals. The Comets are currently in a three-way tie for third place in Region 8-AAAAAA.

 

No. 3 Pebblebrook (15-4, 9-0) @ Langston Hughes (15-4, 6-3)

 

The Falcons only loss to an in-state team came in a non-region game against Laney. Pebblebrook has blitzed through Region 3-AAAAAA, leaving no doubt that they are the team to beat. They came away with a 75-70 win over Langston Hughes at home earlier in the season, their closest region game all year. Ty Hudson (Clemson), Derek Ogbeide (UGA), and Jared Harper (Undecided) are the catalysts. 5-foot-9 Harper leads the team in points (21.5) and assists (8.2). Langston Hughes is led by a talented group of sophomores. 6-foot-7 Chuma Okeke is already drawing interest from scouts. Okeke is averaging over 20 points and seven rebounds per game while Khalil Cuffee hovers in the high teens in scoring. After winning just seven games a year ago, the future is extremely bright for the Panthers.

 

Landmark Christian (16-3, 8-1) @ No. 2 Greenforest Christian (17-1, 8-0)

 

Region 5-A could be in line for a huge shakeup if Landmark Christian is able to upend the Eagles. Greenforest's only loss came by three points at the hands of No. 3 in 6A Pebblebrook. The Eagles are long defensively and have some division-one talent. Junior guard John Ogwuche is pegged as a three-star talent. Seniors Justin Ravenel and Faisal Abdul-Malik have been scouted by college coaches. 6-foot-7 Precious Ayah mans the middle for Greenforest. High scoring Landmark Christian is led by junior Zack Allen who averages 20.7 points and 7.3 rebounds while hitting threes at a 46 percent clip. Senior Jackson Schultz scores 18.4 points and hands out 6.3 assists on average. Junior Eddie Windsor anchors the paint for the undersized War Eagles at 6-foot-4, but still manages to grab seven rebounds and block nearly two shots per game.

 

North Clayton (12-8, 3-3) @ No. 2 Cedar Grove (14-3, 5-1)

 

Coming off a loss against No. 10 South Atlanta, Cedar Grove will look to regain its footing in Region 4-AAA. 6-foot-6 forward Jacara Cross leads the Saints in scoring (14.7) and rebounding (6.7).

Photo by Ty Freeman

Three seniors score in double figures led by Christopher Fredrick's 12.9 points. Kenneth Lewis (12.4) and Benjy Parrish (10.3) round up the main offensive threats.  North Clayton is led by 6-foot-7 forward Reginald Scurry who averages 19 points. Taiyon Hector, a senior guard, is second in scoring at 11.8 per game. The Saints knocked off the Eagles 57-46 at North Clayton in December.

 

Lambert (17-3, 12-1) @ No. 9 Alpharetta (16-4, 13-0)

 

Lambert looks to avenge a five-point loss in a crucial Region 6-AAAAAA matchup. The Longhorns are led by a three-headed guard attack. Sophomore Andrew Melms, junior Tanner Hall, and senior Jake Morris are all key cogs in the Lambert offense. Patrick Noble and 6-foot-7 forward Ross Morkem also play big roles. UNC-Wilmington-commit Devontae Cacok leads the Raiders. The 6-foot-7 forward teams up with fellow 6-foot-7 post Jaylon Gamble. The two combined for 40 points and 17 rebounds in their 76-71 win over the Longhorns back in December.

 

No. 3 Allatoona (17-2, 12-0) @ Lithia Springs (12-6, 7-5)

 

The Buccaneers hit the road and try to knock off Lithia Springs for the second time this season. The Lions fell 51-45 in the two teams' first meeting. Allatoona is very balanced receiving scoring from

Photo by Ty Freeman

Bradley Brevet, Rodney Brown, and Chris Ifill. Tylen Walker is one of three Lithia Springs players to average double figures. Walker scores 13.7 points per game while Qunta Bedford (12.2) and Daquan Huff (10.9) also eclipse the 10 point barrier. Bedford is also the team's best rebounder averaging 5.6 per game. Lithia Springs is currently in a tie for third place in Region 5-AAAAA with Paulding County.

 

Etowah (12-7, 5-6) @ Milton (11-8, 8-3)

 

Region 5-AAAAAA features an important road game for the Etowah Eagles if they want to grab the fourth seed heading into the region tournament. The Eagles sit in sixth place with Cherokee (6-5) and Walton (5-5) ahead of them. Etowah lost 51-47 in its first meeting with Milton this season. Josh Fulenwider leads the Eagles in scoring (14.2) and rebounding (5.7). Ryan Grigsby adds 10.4 points and Dante Richitelli averages 9.9. Harvard-commit Chris Lewis averages 15.8 points for Milton and Quart'e Sapp scores 11.2. Jordan Burrow and Alex O'Connell also play big roles for the Eagles.

 

Mill Creek (14-6, 6-3) @ Peachtree Ridge (12-8, 5-4)

 

Mill Creek will look to break a three-way tie for third place with a victory over Peachtree Ridge in Region 7-AAAAAA. The Lions are a game back of the tie and still have a shot to jump up the standings. The Hawks knocked off the Lions in their previous meeting, 75-69. Mill Creek is very balanced and receives scoring from a multitude of players. Davion Clark, Scotty Chadwick, Sha Powell, Charles Botchway, and Miles Riley are all capable of scoring in double figures. The Lions' go-to player is Aaron Augustin, a junior guard averaging 16.3 points to go along with four assists and four rebounds. Sophomore Jay Estime is Peachtree Ridge's second leading scorer at 10.9 points. The Lions will need to avoid a slow start if they want to win. They trailed 40-17 at the half before rallying to close the gap.

 


WRESTLING NOTEBOOK
By Craig Sager II
Dual champs face challenge of sweeping titles

Since the inception of crowning dual state champions in 2002, we have seen 48 of the 67 dual state champions go on to complete the season sweep and take home the traditional state title the following month.

Photo by Rob Saye

Last year, Archer, Gilmer, Buford, Jefferson and Commerce completed the sweep while Cambridge upset dual state champion Pope in Class AAAAA and grabbed the Bears' first-ever state title in any sport. Jefferson has completed the sweep 13 years in a row and after cruising to the Class AAA dual state title this season, the Dragons are the favorite to complete their first-ever sweep in Class AAA next month.

 

The only time in state history that every dual state champion also won the traditional title later that season was in 2005 when Collins Hill, Ringgold, Gilmer, West Laurens and Jefferson all returned to the podium after taking home the dual title.

 

Class AA dual state champion Social Circle is the only school with the possibility of completing its first-ever sweep of titles this season, but they'll be in a deep Class AA field that includes six-time traditional state champion Bremen. Bremen pushed Social Circle to the brink in the Class AA dual championship match before the Redskins secured a 34-31 victory.

 

Before Area Tournaments begin this following weekend and sectionals open the first weekend in February, there are big wrestling matchups going down this weekend. Archer will face Bremen in the Commerce tournament on Saturday. Commerce eyes the traditional title without four-time individual state champion Chance McClure, now wrestling at the University of Virginia, but the Tigers have a deep lineup that has dominated this season and outscored Treutlen (59-15) and Trion (66-4) by a combined 106 points before a 54-24 win over Mt. Zion-Carroll in the championship of the duals Class A bracket.

 

SEE LEFT PANEL FOR RANKINGS




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