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Today, we recap a busy basketball weekend with our Friday hoops roundup and a breakdown of Saturday's Hilton Invitational at Norcross High School that featured some of the top teams in the nation taking on our in-state powers. 

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In This Issue

What Georgia schools left the 2015 Hilton Invitational with victories?

Today's answer can be found in the newsletter!

Friday's Answer:
St. Francis standouts Kaiser Gates and Malik Beasley are signed to Xavier and Florida State, respectively. 



1. Wheeler (19-2)
2. Tift County (20-1)
3. Shiloh (20-0)
4. Pebblebrook (16-5)
5. Norcross (18-3)
6. Tucker (21-2)
7. Douglas County (16-4)
8. Collins Hill (17-4)
9. Pope (17-3)
10. Hillgrove (16-4)


1. Miller Grove (19-3)
2. McIntosh (21-0)
3. M.L. King (17-4)
4. Gainesville (18-2)
5. Brunswick (19-2)
6. Allatoona (19-2)
7. Southwest DeKalb (17-6)
8. LaGrange (16-5)
9. Apalachee (16-5)
10. Stockbridge (15-4)


Class AAAA
1. Jonesboro (20-1)
2. Johnson-Gainesville (20-0)
3. Lithonia (19-1)
4. St. Pius (18-3)
5. Carrollton (18-2)
6. Columbia (13-6)
7. Westover (14-6)
8. Albany (14-4)
9. Burke County (18-2)
10. Bainbridge (16-5)


Class AAA
1. Laney (20-1)
2. Jenkins (17-3)
3. Cedar Grove (15-3)
4. Morgan County (14-7)
5. Johnson-Savannah (17-4)
6. Butler (14-7)
7. South Atlanta (17-4)
8. Blessed Trinity (17-4)
9. Rutland (19-3)
10. Peach County (17-2)


Class AA
1. Pace Acdemy (18-2)
2. Seminole County (16-3)
3. Holy Innocents' (18-3)
4. Crawford County (17-3)
5. Thomasville (16-5)
6. GAC (13-7)
7. Model (17-3)
8. Bryan County (17-4)
9. Vidalia (17-2)
10. Harlem (18-3)


Class A
1. St. Francis (17-3)
2. Greenforest Christian (18-1)
3. Athens Christian (19-0)
4. Whitefield Academy (13-8)
5. Hancock Central (15-1)
6. Wilkinson County (16-3)
7. Greenville (19-1)
8. Calhoun County (17-2)
9. Treutlen (16-1)
10. North Cobb Chr. (12-8)



1. South Forsyth (19-2)
2. Osborne (19-2)
3. Parkview (15-3)
4. Westlake (20-1)
5. Archer (18-3)
6. Mountain View (18-3)
7. McEachern (15-4)
8. Norcross (18-3)
9. Woodstock (21-0)
10. North Forsyth (18-3)


1. Brunswick (22-0)
2. Mays (17-2)
3. Effingham County (17-4)
4. Sequoyah (19-3)
5. Forest Park (17-4)
6. Stephenson (17-4)
7. Cross Creek (19-3)
8. South Effingham (18-3)
9. Southwest DeKalb (17-6)
10. Greenbrier (19-3)


Class AAAA
1. Buford (18-3)
2. Jonesboro (20-1)
3. St. Pius (19-2)
4. Mary Persons (19-1)
5. Veterans (20-1)
6. Americus-Sumter (20-1)
7. Redan (15-3)
8. Marist (14-3)
9. Bainbridge (17-4)
10. Carrollton (15-6)


Class AAA
1. Dawson County (21-0)
2. South Atlanta (21-0)
3. Kendrick (20-1)
4. Laney (18-3)
5. Decatur (19-2)
6. Beach (16-5)
7. Washington County (15-4)
8. Morgan County (12-5)
9. Westminster (16-4)
10. Peach County (13-3)


Class AA
1. Holy Innocents' (21-0)
2. Pelham (19-1)
3. Wesleyan (16-5)
4. Model (19-2)
5. Darlington (16-5)
6. Putnam County (16-4)
7. Vidalia (15-3)
8. Thomasville (15-6)
9. Lovett (13-6)
10. Early County (15-4)


Class A
1. St. Francis (15-2)
2. SW Atlanta Christian (18-3)
3. Taylor County (20-0)
4. Tattnall Square (18-2)
5. Sav. Country Day (19-2)
6. Calvary Day (16-3)
7. Claxton (18-3)
8. Turner County (20-2)
9. Stratford Academy (15-4)
10. Mitchell Co. (12-3)


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Monday, January 26, 2015

By Craig Sager II
No. 1 Jonesboro rallies past Spain Park (AL) in Hilton Invitational nightcap 

Jonesboro 64, Spain Park (AL) 58: Class AAAA No. 1 Jonesboro outscored Spain Park 24-14 in the fourth quarter to rally past Spain Park in the seventh and final game of the Hilton Invitational. Spain Park was led by its sophomore duo of Austin Wiley and Jamal Johnson, who combined for 50 of the Jaguars' 58 points. Wiley scored 14 of his 22 points

Photo by Ty Freeman

in the first half and Johnson took the reigns in the second half with 14 of his game-high 23 points. Jonesboro struggled shooting for much of the game and did not make a field goal in the second quarter until a Deantre Mack three-pointer with 1:14 left in the period. Jyair Mincy hit a buzzer-beater to close the half and Jonesboro took a 30-28 lead into the locker room. Austin Donaldson gave the Cardinals a big lift during a slow third quarter and scored six of the Cardinals' 10 points to keep them within striking distance entering the fourth (44-40).  Jonesboro's M.J. Walker connected on a three-pointer and a lay-up in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and shifted the game back into the Cardinals' favor. Joneboro took a 60-56 lead with 40 seconds left and 6-6 foul shooting in the fourth quarter iced the game. Walker led Jonesboro with 16 points and four other Cardinals reached double-figures. Mack finished with 13, including five in the final quarter. Mincy and Donaldson netted 11 points apiece and Tracy Hector added 10.

North Gwinnett 59, Christ School (NC) 48: Christ School senior John Caldwell hit a late three-pointer that tied the game at 41-41 but North Gwinnett and its lockdown defense responded with an 18-7 run to close the game and gave the Peach State its first victory
Photo by Ty Freeman
of the 2015 Hilton Invitational at Norcross High School. North Gwinnett (9-11, 5-6) held Christ School to 34% shooting and is on a current three-game win-streak that includes holding Duluth to 33% shooting Friday night in a 54-43 victory and Mountain View to 28% from the field in Tuesday's 80-48 victory. North Gwinnett took a 25-18 lead into the locker room as Kam Calhoun led the Bulldogs with his eight first-half points. Calhoun continued to pace North Gwinnett in the second half and added 13 more points to finish with a game-high 23. North Gwinnett's Jack Stucke got out to a hot start with five of his 12 points coming in the opening quarter as North Gwinnett built an early 16-10 lead.


Lee (AL) 54, Greater Atlanta Christian 50: Greater Atlanta Christian (12-8, 7-3) led 27-25 at the half

Photo by Ty Freeman

but could not overcome Aston Ray's team-high 15 points as the Generals closed out the victory. Cam Boyd netted 14 points for GAC, including a huge three-pointer with 28 seconds left to cut the deficit to 51-50 but the Spartans failed to secure the rebound on Lee's late free throw attempts and ran out of opportunities. GAC junior Garrett Covington hit double-figures with 14 points and senior teammate Eric Jamison led with a game-high 18 points.


Jenkins 70, Winston-Salem Prep (NC) 57: Class AAA No. 2 Jenkins (17-3, 9-0) took a 36-30 halftime lead

Photo by Ty Freeman

and outscored the Phoenix  34-27 in the second half to take Game 3 of the Hilton Invitational. Jenkins was led by a balanced offensive effort with junior Dimetri Chambers' game-high 16 points and double-digit scoring from Eric Johnson (12), Michael Coffee (11) and Malik Benlevi (11). Benlevi got Jenkins out to a fast start with eight of his 11 points coming in the first half.


Norcross 72, Madison Academy (AL) 64: Class AAAAAA No. 5 Norcross (18-3, 9-1) took a 39-30 lead over the visiting Mustangs at the half and

Photo by Ty Freeman

held on for the victory, despite a huge second half from Madison Academy's five-star junior Josh Langford. The prized 2016 recruit scored 14 of his game-high 27 points in the third quarter as Madison Academy outscored the Blue Devils 21-16 and cut the lead to 55-51. Ricky Madison's team-high 19 points kept Norcross in control along with double-digit scoring from teammates Amir Butcher (14) and Rayshaun Hammonds (13).


DeMatha (MD) 61, Pebblebrook 54: National powerhouse DeMatha used a 20-13 scoring advantage in the third quarter

Photo by Ty Freeman

to build a 44-39 lead and held on to topple Class AAAAAA No. 2 Pebblebrook (16-5, 10-0) in the sixth game of the Hilton Invitational. DeMatha was led by Markelle Fulz's team-high 16 points, while Pebblebrook saw its usual trio of scores reach double-digits. UGA-signee Derek Ogbeide netted 12 points, while guards Ty Hudson (Clemson-signee) and Jared Harper each added 14 points.



By Craig Sager II, Kyle Sandy & Seth Ellerbee
No. 1 St. Francis girls continue hot-streak with win at Fellowship Christian


The Fellowship Christian girls used a 10-5 run to cut the halftime deficit to seven points (26-19) before No. 1 St. Francis erupted and outscored the host Paladins 20-4 in the third quarter and ran away with a 59-35 Region 6-A victory.


"We weren't defending the cutters in that first

Photo by Ty Freeman

half and that's one of the things we stressed at the break," explained St. Francis head coach Aisha Kennedy. "Bumping the cutters, staying low and playing inside the perimeter."


The Paladins' (11-6, 5-4) only third quarter points came on a Cameron Swartz three-pointer and free-throw while St. Francis (15-2, 7-0) used its size to shut down the paint with 6-foot-4 junior Yasmine Ratliff and 6-foot-3 sophomore Kasiyahna Kushkituah.


Offensively, Ratliff (10) and Kushkituah (13) each reached double-digit scoring, while senior Abby Grant put on a shooting clinic with six made three-pointers and a team-high 18 points.


"Abby has been shooting lights out for us from the three-point line and we've been working to get up the court quickly and maximize her open looks," said Kennedy.


Fellowship Christian's Swartz showcased her shooting ability as well, continuing her breakout freshman campaign with a game-high 21 points, including 13 of the Paladins' 16 second half points.


Osborne 74, McEachern 70: In a Region 4-AAAAAA battle, second-ranked Osborne (19-2, 10-0) overtook No. 3 McEachern (15-4, 8-2), which led 56-52 going into the fourth quarter. Zutorya Cook had a huge final quarter for Osborne and finished with 27 points, four assists and five rebounds. She was aided by Nikira Goings with 25 points and eight rebounds. McEachern's Te'a Cooper (Tennessee commit) had 22 points.


Archer 73, Grayson 57: Fifth-ranked Archer (17-3, 10-1 in Region 8-AAAAAA) had four players in double digits. Amber Skidgel led the way with 22 points including five three-pointers. She was helped by Linsey Machese, who added 14 points and five rebounds, Tatiyana Wayne had 11 points and Autumn Newby finished with 10. Grayson  (15-6, 7-5) was paced by Shakara Burton's 10 points.


Holy Innocents' 62, Lovett 54: Top-ranked Holy Innocents' (21-0, 9-0 in Region 6-AA)  was led by Erika Cassell with 19 points followed by Kaila Hubbard with 18 points and Kennedy Suttle with 11. Lovett (13-6, 5-3) received 14 from Jenna Brown and Te'Erica Eason and Quinn Barry added 13 points.


Mountain View 56, Collins Hill 29: Mountain View (17-3, 10-0 in Region 7-AAAAAA) had three players in double digits as D'Andra Pringle scored 15 points,  Aneysa Williams had 14 and Iceis Walker finished with 12. Collins Hill's (10-11, 3-7) Sydney Brown and Jazmin Smith led the way with eight points.


South Atlanta 45, Jackson (Atlanta) 33: Erica Gibbons scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds to push fourth-ranked South Atlanta (20-0, 6-0 in Region 4-AAA) past Jackson. For South Atlanta, Kierra Graham had 11 points and eight rebounds and Lawrencia Simon had nine points and three rebounds. South Atlanta went on a 24-14 run in the second half to pull away from Jackson (14-5, 6-2).


Woodstock 58, Pope 46: Ninth-ranked Woodstock (20-0, 13-0 in Region 5-AAAAAA)  outscored Pope in three out of four quarters and received  24 points from Kennedy Montgomery. Pope (17-4, 9-3) got 23 points from Kierra Henry.


Dawson County 55, Banks County 40: Top-ranked Dawson County (21-0, 8-0 in Region 7-AAA) had three players in double figures in the win at Banks County. A 22-10 Dawson first quarter set the tone and Haley Burgess led the way with 19 points including three three-pointers. Sheyenne Seabolt added 15 points and Ashley Parker had 13. Banks County (18-4, 6-3) was led by Kaitlyn Duncan with 18 points and Jody Milford had nine.





Pebblebrook 74, Langston Hughes 60: Jared Harper scored 27 points and dished out six assists to lead visiting No. 4

Photo by Ty Freeman

Pebblebrook (16-4) to 10-0 in Region 3-AAAAAA. Derek Ogbeide posted a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds while blocking six shots. Ty Hudson pitched in 13 points and six assists as well. The Panthers (15-5, 6-4) were led by Chuma Okeke, who scored 23 points. Khalil Cuffee added 21.


Milton 48, Etowah 45: Chris Lewis scored a game-high 20 points to help Milton (12-8, 9-3) knock off visiting Etowah (12-8, 5-7) in Region 5-AAAAAA action. Jordan Burrow and Keishon Kershaw notched 10 points apiece. Etowah was led by JT Thompson, who scored 12 points, and also received 11 from Ryan Grigsby.


Cedar Grove 70, North Clayton 62: Class AAA's No. 3 ranked Cedar Grove Saints (15-3, 6-1) rallied after trailing by 12 at halftime to beat North Clayton (12-9, 3-4) in Region 4 play. Kenneth Lewis got hot from deep and finished with 21 to lead the Saints. Jacara Cross also added 19. Marquez Abernathy finished with 17 for North Clayton while Reginald Scurry chipped in 11.


St. Francis 75, Fellowship Christian 40: Top-ranked St. Francis (17-3, 7-0) outscored host Fellowship Christian (4-17, 0-8) 29-9

Photo by Ty Freeman

in the opening quarter and built a 50-21 halftime advantage before cruising in the second half. Five-star junior Kobi Simmons matched the Paladins' 21 first-half points by drilling four three-pointers and netting 21 of his game-high 23 points before the break. Malik Beasley (16) and Kaiser Gates (10) also reached double-digit scoring for the Knights. Fellowship Christian was led by Mitchell Keim's team-high 12 points.


Pope 53, Woodstock 49: The visiting Wolverines (5-16, 2-11) dropped a close one after Tyler Borko led Pope with 19 points on five three pointers. The Greyhounds, now 17-3 overall and 10-2 in Region 5-AAAAAA, also received 12 points from Chase Hutchins. The Wolverines were led in scoring by Tyreke Johnson who scored 14. Dillon Morgan netted 11 on the night as well.


Collins Hill 71, Mountain View 39: In Region 7-AAAAAA, No. 7 Collins Hill shook off a slow start on the road to advance to 17-4 overall and 7-3 in the region. Devin Watson led all scorers with 25 points while Max Clark chipped in 15. The Bears (6-14, 1-9) received 11 points from Spencer Rodgers and 10 from Paul James.


Peachtree Ridge 67, Mill Creek 64: The Lions managed to hold off the visiting Hawks behind Aaron Augustin's 22 points and Jay Estime's 12. Peachtree Ridge now advances to 13-8 overall and 6-4 in Region 7-AAAAAA. Mill Creek (14-7, 6-4) was led by Charles Botchway who scored 20 points. Scotty Chadwick and Davion Clark both added 10 in the loss.


Alpharetta 72, Lambert 70: In a battle between Region 6-AAAAAA's two top schools, No. 9 Alpharetta (17-4, 14-0) survived at home in double overtime. Devontae Cacok led the Raiders with 21 points - six coming in the second OT including a put-back with five seconds left to give Alpharetta the lead for good. Carlos Carriere added 14 points off the bench. Lambert (17-4, 12-2) received big play from Connor Mannion who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Tanner Hall pitched in 13 points and Jake Morris and Ross Morkem both finished with 10.


LaGrange 87, Hardaway 62: The Grangers weathered a three-point barrage from Hardaway in the first half and moved to 15-5 overall and 6-1 in Region 1-AAAAA. The Hawks (2-17, 1-7) connected on eight long balls in the first half and managed to stick with LaGrange trailing by nine at the half. Jaquan Daniels did the bulk of the scoring for Hardaway, but eventually the Grangers pulled away behind Rico Smith's 22 points.


South Paulding 66, East Paulding 45: Host South Paulding (15-5, 9-4) rode its balanced scoring to defeat the Raiders in Region 5-AAAAA action. Kane Williams finished with 15 points and five rebounds to lead the Spartans. Anthony Brown recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds while Ja'cori Wilson pitched in 13. The Raiders (5-15, 2-11) received 12 points from Jalen Browder and DJ Wakefield apiece.


Greenforest Christian 96, Landmark Christian 71: In Region 5-A, host No. 2 Greenforest Christian (18-1, 9-0) got the better of No. 10 Landmark Christian (16-4, 8-2) in a high scoring affair. Justin Forrest led all scorers with 21 points to pace the Eagles. Justin Ravenel added 18 and John Ogwuche scored 17 for Greenforest. Collier Schultz led the way for Landmark with 18 points while Jackson Schultz netted 14.






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