Friday, February 19, 2016

Laney and Grovetown host sweet sixteen round games; Westminster playsfor region title; Richmond visits a juggernaut; 3A teams aim to makeround at Augusta University's

Welcome to headquarters for Friday night playoff updates!

Last update:
Here is the link to my full report, including video highlights, from Friday's Laney Lady Wildcat win Friday:

Also, Westminster's boys topped John Milledge to claim a region championship Friday. Senior Nygl Eaddy nailed two free throws with 2.4 seconds left to help the Wildcats earn a 44-42 win and a round (two rounds if they win) at home in the GISA state playoffs.

Here is a link to my coverage of the Wildcats in region tournament semifinal round action Thursday:

8:16 update:
De'sha Benjamin spins and scores and Laney has built a 56-25 lead with 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter. 

As you can see in the Facebook video, the boys team is here and they are rowdy! Vincente Thompkins is the young man running with the flag while the rest of the boys cheer for the girls.

7:11 update:
Two updates. One is happy. The other not.

7:46 update:
Laney's Lady Wildcats are continuing to speed through the post season, leading the 24-2 Dawson County Lady Tigers 45-21 at halftime.

45 points in one half! This from the team that has won its last four games, all against state playoff teams, by an average margin of 30 points.

7:41 update:
Grovetown fell 84-72 to Mays at home in the sweet sixteen round of the playoffs, ending a stellar 28-2 season by the Lady Warriors.

Leading scorers:
Mays - Kamiyah Street 42
Grovetown - Destiny Marshall 24; Kwajeljn Farrar 18

6:46 update:
After trailing 35-15 in the second quarter the Grovetown Lady Warriors got a three from junior Elizabeth Metress and would finish the half on a 14-3 run when Destiny Marshall converted a fast break layup to get the Mays lead under 10 (38-29) at the break.

Destiny Marshall has scored 8 points and Daylon Young 7 to pace Grovetown. And unless I received a text with a typo, Mays's Kamiyah Street has scored 26 points (!) to lead all scorers.

6:31 update:
Mays leads Grovetown's Lady Warriors 20-10 in the first half of their sweet sixteen round game at Grovetown.

The girls basketball season here is on fire. Here is a copy of the text Will Avery just sent updating us on the college coaches that are watching area players in playoff action:

"Georgia State in to see Alexis Brown at Morgan County; Memphis is at SW Dekalb to see Alana Davis; and Belmont-Abbey and GA Southern are at Grovetown to see Kwajelin Farrar." - Will Avery

6:26 update:
I'm at Laney for the Lady Wildcats (24-4) duel with Dawson County (also 24-4) in sweet sixteen action. See below for links to my report of last season's elite 8 round instant classic classic between these teams.

Tip-off is at 7. I'll see you in the gym.

3:00 PM update:

This weekend, I'll report live with real time highlights from Laney Friday and from Miller Grove Saturday. I'll also share updates from the gyms where teams I cover are playing, and I'll share tape delayed footage from Grovetown (Friday) and Laney (Saturday). As I prepare for the fun ride this weekend will bring, the following questions spring to mind:

Laney's Bowman (right); Collier (middle); Bonner (left)
 celebrate 2015 quarterfinal win over Dawson County;
Will the Lady Wildcats upend the 24-4 Lady Tigers again?

Will Grovetown and Laney continue the trend and defend their home courts Friday?

Will Cross Creek buck the trend and win on the road at Southwest Dekalb?

Will Westminster's boys and girls claim a region title and host the first round of the GISA state tournament? 

I've heard Miller Grove's Alterique Gilbert,
a UConn signee and McDonalds All American,
is a "Ricky Moore type competitor and winner."

Can Richmond derail the Miller Grove dynasty Saturday? And is Miller Grove's UConn bound McDonalds All American as good as his reputation?

Will Laney and Westside's boys win Saturday and advance to elite 8 round at Augusta University?

Friday's rematch on the Boulevard

Friday night I'll provide real time highlights from defending 3A state champ Laney's rematch of last season's best high school game (according to me). If that game is a guide, Dawson County's sharp shooting crew, multiple fan buses, and hundreds of fans will invade the Boulevard with the goal of avenging the loss to the Lady Wildcats in last season's quarterfinals.

Laney (24-4) is scorching hot after after winning its last four games, all against state tournament teams, by a combined 119 points! Below are highlights from Wednesday's 76-36 win over Central Macon. Sophomore De'sha Benjamin dishes to senior Jasmine Bartlett for a lefty finish on the break; junior Aubrianna Bonner drives and finishes with her left hand; and senior Gemyia Bowman drop steps and scores in the post:

The Lady Wildcats have wreaked havoc on opposing offenses for decades with their full court pressure. A new wrinkle is the team's deft passing in the open court. Bonner's dish to Jhessyka Williams for the score in Wednesday's second half won the "AugBball Play of the Night" by getting the most retweets and likes at the AugBball Twitter page.

Dawson County (24-4) is also rolling after burying 10 threes in its 71-54 first round win over Calhoun. Haley Burgess made 5 of those threes and led the team with 19 points. Karlie Bearden scored 17 and logged 4 steals and 3 blocks.

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