Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Region Race (Episode 2)... plus a look at "Class 3A Week"

Region Race 2015, Episode 2

Hoops wise, I'm pretty excited about the first full week of the new year, or the first full week of high school region action.  It should be no surprise that I am into this stuff:

1)  I've started weekly YouTube show (episode 2 is above!) called "Region Race 2015."
2)  This past Sunday and Monday nights, I wrote about and shared highlights from four of the weekend's six region 3A and 5A games in special "double big old blog posts" with over 20 minutes of footage of 8 teams and countless players.  You can find the features of those games at these links: Butler vs Glenn Hills, Washington County vs Josey, Cross Creek vs Grovetown, Lakeside vs Greenbrier.

Link to boys game
Link to girls game 
But this is not just any week.  I'm calling it "Class 3A Week."  Pretty exciting name, huh?  Oh well.  The reason this week is so neat occurred to me after the Laney basketball Facebook page shared's state rankings.  Laney remains in the top spot.  Jenkins of Savannah, whose game at Laney Saturday was the subject of Tuesday's "big old post", occupies the second spot.  Butler gets a well deserved nod at number three.  And Morgan County, who pushed Laney to overtime in Augusta in November and finished as the runner up in the highly regarded Chick-fil-A Classic in December, is slotted at five.

Laney hosts Butler Friday.  So the follow up to last Saturday's #1 versus #2, Laney versus Jenkins duel is a #1 versus #3 pairing between cross town rivals.  And the Wildcats will travel to Morgan County Saturday for a #1 versus #5 match up (AugBball will present this game via live stream with the help of SUVtv at these links:  Boys game and Girls game).

Zep Jasper applies pressure defensively
This is a brutally difficult week for coach Buck Harris' Wildcats.  My guess is the guys will handle the tests well, like they did when matched against teams another outlet,, rank highly in its "regardless of classification power polls."  The attitude that allows Laney's guys to handle pressure masterfully can be sensed listening to floor leader Zep Jasper.  The junior point guard who has been controlling games, knocking down shots, and hawking ball handlers all over the state had a great response to my advice before Saturday's game against Jenkins to "have fun out there."  Zep said, "You know I will.  It wouldn't make any sense not to have fun playing.  I wouldn't play very well if I didn't have fun!"

Well said, young man!

While Laney is taking its already historically unparalleled schedule up even another notch this week, Butler is finally getting a shot at a team highly touted by the AJC's and HoopSeen's of the world.  The Bulldogs are likely chomping with eagerness to defend its undefeated region record.  Butler has been dominant in wins over Glenn Hills and Westside.  And coach Cervantes Boddy's senior heavy group gutted out two important road wins at Josey and Washington County before the holidays.

The state's top team has faced great guards all season.  I'm sure there are arguments that some are better than Butler's Don Coleman.  But the Wildcats haven't faced anyone with Coleman's uniqueness, something I wrote about in a "double big old blog post" following his 33 point burst versus Glenn Hills.  Then again, Don is no stranger to the Laney players.  Between school and AAU basketball, these guys play with and against each other twelve months per year.

My advice?  Get to Laney early Friday!  I don't think there has been this much buzz about a local high school game since my guys Ricky Moore and Will Avery (Westside) and Vonteego Cummings and Antrone Lee (Thomson) sold out GRU's Christenberry Fieldhouse two consecutive seasons in the mid 90's.  I just realized today's Wildcats and Bulldogs weren't even born by that time.  I'm old.  But I already knew that... I'll see you in the gym.


  1. Great post Chad! I enjoy reading these!

    1. I appreciate your saying that. Big time! See you in the gym!