Sunday, November 22, 2015

Jags down Paine 117-108 in instant classic

Keshun Sherrill scored 30 points, including 7 in overtime, to lead Augusta University to a 117-108 home win over crosstown rival Paine Saturday. After Richmond Academy graduate Tommy Williams scored twice to give the Jaguars a 103-101 advantage, Sherrill’s three pointer with 2:35 remaining in overtime gave the Jaguars its biggest lead since halftime, when Augusta held a 54-47 advantage.

Freshman Jashawn Brooks scored 24 points off the bench. The Laney graduate made 6 of 8 field goal attempts, including 4 of 5 from deep, and made 8 of 10 free throws. Williams added 19. Josey grad Keith Crump chipped in 18, and Aquinas grad Tamyrik Fields contributed 10. Talk about a “City Classic.” That’s the name this game was called during my childhood.

The game featured the most impressive offensive display I have seen in a long time. Paine’s Denzel Dillingham scored 41 points and posted these incredible shooting stats: 13-20 FG, 5-8 3pt FG, 10-10 FT. The SIAC preseason player of the year played amazingly. Teammate Arnis Libasz was spectacular as well, scoring 22 points while making 8 of 12 field goals and 4 of 7 from deep. And Richmond Academy graduate Don Quarles scored 12 points, snatched 11 rebounds, and made the free throw that forced overtime.

The game, which was broadcast on WJBF, even had some unique “AugBball moments." At least that is what came to my mind when former Richmond Academy teammates Williams (Augusta) and Quarles (Paine) gave each other a big hug after the final buzzer. These two took Richmond deeper into the state playoffs than any Musketeer team in recent memory. They also played together for Augusta University graduate and former player, former Laney coach, and current Baldwin head coach Buck Harris’s AAU team in 2010.

And Brooks made a beeline to childhood friend Don Coleman when he came out of the locker room. Don came home from college to see his buddy play. And Jashawn didn’t disappoint him!

Brooks a "first ballot" All AugBball Teamer

Jashawn's monster game provides me the perfect opportunity to introduce him as the fifth of eight
Brooks scored 24 points in Augusta's
win over Paine Saturday.
"first ballot" All AugBball Team members. The All AugBball team is my way of recognizing the area players who have impressed me most the past five years.

Although I don't name players to the team only for their basketball talent, I will say that every All AugBball Team member is an extremely talented player. But to be on this team, you also have to be a special person.

Jashawn has always shown himself to be a special man. Rather than write a biography, I'll relay my recent observations of the sharp shooting freshman. Brooks watched from the bench for almost the entire game at Claflin Wednesday in his first college basketball outing. He cheered and stayed engaged rather than pouting and visibly wondering when his turn would come. When his time came Saturday, he was ready. Ready to shoot his Jaguars back into the game. Ready to drill the go ahead three on a feed from Sherrill with less than a minute to go in regulation. Ready to win.

"Acting the right way" during difficult moments is a skill coaches demand of players. Usually players respond to a challenging coach the "right way" most of the time if the coach is lucky. Jashawn always responds to difficult challenges the right way. It is only one of the many impressive traits Jashawn possesses.

After getting to know him the past seven years, I couldn't have been any happier to see him thrive as absolutely and as publicly as he did Saturday.

Thanksgiving week schedule for AugBball game reports

Here is the schedule for the game reports from the weekend's action to be released at during Thanksgiving week:

Sunday Evening - Augusta University vs Paine College

High School
Monday morning - Augusta University vs Paine College
Monday evening - Evans vs Hephzibah
Tuesday morning - Butler vs Savannah
Tuesday evening - Westminster vs Myrtle Beach Christian
Wednesday morning - Richmond vs Jefferson County and North Augusta
Wednesday evening - Glenn Hills vs Grovetown
Thursday morning - Cross Creek vs Josey
*This schedule may change without notice

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