Monday, November 16, 2015

Siler and Sherrill shine in the Legends Game

This video contains bonus footage at the end. So stick around for it!                        

My Saturday couldn't have been better! Of the seven games in town that I wanted to see, I saw four. And thanks to some friends, I'll bring you news from three more!

After watching them in a scrimmage at Evans, I decided Augusta Prep will join Westminster and favorite Gatewood as contenders in what should be a red hot GISA region 3A race. I saw my alma mater, Westminster, play (impressively at that) for the first time in years.
Keshun Sherrill scored 30 points on 12-17
shooting in the Legends Game Saturday.

And my day was capped with the neatest basketball experience I've had in a long time, coaching the Augusta University Legends against the current Jaguars in the first Legends Game. The Legends are just that to us Jags alumni. The very best players from Dip Metress's unparalleled run (three consecutive NCAA elite eight finishes included) as Augusta University's coach assembled to give this year's Jaguars a model to emulate. And the Legends prevailed 92-82.

I did far more watching than coaching. My front row seat was the perfect view of Garret Siler's dominance in the paint. By making 6 of 7 shots and leading the Legends with 14 points, the center who played for Metress in two final fours reminded us all of his career field goal percentage (78%), which still stands as an NCAA record.

As good as the former Jags were (and they were great), the Legends and I couldn't stop talking about junior Augusta star Keshun Sherrill. The phenom followed his 29 point burst against the All Army team with 30 points on 17 shots against the Legends despite being the sole focus of our defense the entire game.

The game was a celebration of the accomplishments and memories Metress's Jags have created. And a reminder of those yet to come.

Coach Darren Douglas's report on two scrimmages at Evans

But there was even more area basketball of interest to me Saturday. Thanks to friend and coach Darren Douglass, I'm able to bring you information about the action I didn't see in Saturday's scrimmages at Evans.

Below are Darren's game reports from the scrimmages between Evans and North Augusta and Laney and Grovetown. Thanks to Darren, I was able to follow not only my former high school team (Westminster) and coach my former college team (Augusta University), but all of the area's action in the final day of the preseason!

Evans 59 vs North Augusta 36 

North Augusta Defeats Evans behind huge 3rd Quarter.

The game started as a back and forth affair throughout the first half. After a brief feeling out period between the two teams resulted in a 23-21 lead for North Augusta going into halftime, the Yellow Jackets turned up the tempo and defensive intensity coming out of the locker room after halftime. The intensity adjustment fueled a 23-8 run in the third quarter and North Augusta never looked back.

Player of the game:
Jock Smith, (North Augusta) 21 points.
Against Evans, Smith scored in bunches and distributed the basketball when the defense collapsed. He scored 10 of his 21 during the game changing 23-8 run during the 3rd quarter.

Laney 49 vs Grovetown 53

Grovetown defeats Keeling/Jasper-less Laney.

Grovetown gave a great effort from the opening buzzer against area power Laney Saturday night. Laney's Christian Keeling and Zep Jasper did not suit up on this night and it seemed to give Grovetown a boost in intensity that they rode to a 13-12 lead after the first quarter. In the second quarter, super sophomore Donald Henley (who scored 15 points) willed the Wildcats back to take control of the game by penetrating Grovetown's 2-3 zone for baskets for himself or great shots for his teammates. Going in to halftime, the Wildcats seemed to find their footing and led 29-21. Grovetown traded blows with Laney in the third quarter and started the fourth quarter down 37-31. Grovetown started the fourth quarter with a spark of intensity keyed by tough defense by Eric Graham and Trent Bowdre and cut Laney's lead to 4. Shemar Barrett then took the game over with a personal 9-0 run to put Grovetown ahead for good. This was a tough, competitive game and a great confidence booster for Grovetown early in the season.

Player of the game:
Shemar Barrett, 15 points.
Barrett took some questionable shots early. But his confidence is apparent and it paid off in this game. His personal 9-0 run took the air out of the Wildcats and ultimately cost them the game.

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